Anguish. That was the word. That was what she felt. Not always, of course – who could survive such a fate? – but enough. Anguish was what she knew. Anguish was what she wrote.
As she sat, knees hugged to her chest on a makeshift bench overlooking the river, a notebook and pen beside her, she saw it. She was surrounded by bird calls and the rustling of wind as it rushed, nonplussed by her presence, through the trees. The river was a mirror, faithfully reflecting the unbroken, blue sky above. She watched with keen eyes the languid movements of a water bird as it floated aimlessly over the surface, sending ripples in its wake. The sun burned high above her, constant and watchful as a life-long friend, but so very out of reach.
There was no anguish here – no anger, no hurt, no betrayal. No anguish; just life. Right?
I never knew it could feel this good. But even as she thought the words, she knew they weren’t real, and her pen did not touch paper. Even in her own mind – that sacred cavern that she guarded so fiercely, that precious prison that could not be penetrated – she would not acknowledge the truth. Like a fool, she refused to let the words form, instead forcing them aside and replacing them with beautiful, perfect lies.
Because even here – surrounded by everything she held as pure and untouched in a world she despised with such fervour – even here the sounds of tires on asphalt sliced clean through the air, as anguish sliced through her heart.