Trapped

by Kadijah Runge

She was lost and trapped. Not trapped in a physical sense, but she was trapped in the world, and within herself. And that has always been the worst kind of trapped; to feel trapped within yourself feels like you have no options, nowhere to go, no means of living.

She ran through the forest, her feet cut and bruised, her hair strewn across her face, stuck to her forehead with sweat and mud. She was running from something, to somewhere, but she didn't know from what, or where she was headed. She ran for the sake of running, she was trying to get away from this physicality that was following her, but all she really wanted to do was get away from herself. That was something impossible, so she ran.

The cold night created goose bumps up her arm, and it felt as though the cold was soaking through her skin to her innards, chilling her whole system, making any movement send a shooting pain through her limbs. But she didn't mind, she had felt worse pain. She extended her arms to push branches from her path, but it did more detriment than it helped. The branches were sharp and made wounds in her hands and the branches didn't move out of her way. She cried loudly in exasperation and pain, but she figured at least her hands were warmed by the sticky liquid.

What was ahead for her? What pain would she meet once she got to where she was going? Because there was always pain that followed and tormented her. When one pain left, another one returned in its place, sometimes a new foe but more often than not it was an old one. Would anyone help her? These questions would only be answered when she stopped running, and she knew that, but could she ever stop? This she did not know.

Further and further into the forest she ran. At least she believed she was going deeper, when in actual fact she was on the brink of breaking through the line of trees. She tripped and fell, scraping her chin on the roots of the forest floor. She stayed lain there for minutes, maybe even hours, crying into the ground; she had forgotten all about running. She was breaking.

She felt a hand on her back which forced her to open her eyes quickly. She sat up and pushed her way back into a tree. She didn't trust anyone, she was afraid of contact; she knew they brought more pain. She looked up to meet her maker, but the face she was confronted with was soft and kind. The slightly tanned face was framed by long light brown hair, flowing in waves to her ribs, with fringe pinned to the side with a feather that looked like one a gypsy would wear. The woman smiled at her, showing off her dimples and lighting up her eyes. She was still wary, but she got to her feet slowly, still cautious, merely to look in the woman's eyes. They were shining and had oranges, gold, greens and browns swimming in them. She could see the pain in them, even though she knew the woman was trying to hide it. She could see the pain that mirrored her own; this woman had seen pains one should not see, in some ways more pain than she herself had seen. This pain- these eyes- are what forced her to trust this woman, so that when the woman extended her hand, she gingerly laid her hand within it and allowed the woman to lead her out of the forest. It was such pain that enabled her to reply when the woman whispered tenderly, My name's Deej,' she replied softly, her voice cracking momentarily, I'm Fi.'

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