The Stranger


United States
40° 42' 17.1864" N, 73° 56' 30.696" W

I stumble upon the grass and branches as my heart is racing. I’m surrounded by darkness. The sky has no expression. I run towards the sun but i cant catch up. I keep running but I can't find a way to escape him. The fatigue got to me so I stopped to catch my breath. I lean against a familiar tree and fall into a small pond. My back lays flat on the ground. A cold breeze brushes against me and I shiver.
The sky and stars has been replaced with giant dark trees. I close my eyes to imagine what it would look like if the darkness ran away. I imagine dark blue grassy hills. Orange and yellow trees. Green ponds with red frogs. The bright sun with fluffy clouds. I open my eyes my lungs are caught up with air. I hear birds and animals but they are quiet like their whispering. My thoughts are racing so my eyes shut again to stop them.
I try to force myself out of what I claimed a dream, but no amount of shooting stars could get me out of this reality. I breath in silence and hear a few branches break and crack I get up abruptly because I know he is coming for me.
I begin to run again but this time I hide in one of the scary trees. From this perspective everything looks different. The branches with leaves blanket me as I held my breath so he wouldn’t hear me. I begin to think of him and who he was. He’s everywhere like an extra shadow. From a distance he looked emotionless. His silhouette replicating a man in a trench coat and a short top hat. Like how old detectives would wear. But he only detected me, he only wants to break me down. I remembered the time he got me and tried to drown me. With angry words he said, “ I hate you”. I found the strength to fight back. To escape I have to keep fighting.
I remove myself from the past as I stare straight down at him. His confusion lost him and his lostness confused him. Like mist he vanishes in seconds. He stopped his search but he’s not giving up. With conviction and perseverance I know he will be back.
This battle seems impossible to win. I can't give up I owe it to myself not to. The wind starts to attack. My eyes look up at the darkness. I slowly blink my eyes as drops of water begin to fall. The fight, this war, each battle makes me weak. The tree stood forty feet tall. My gripped slipped and I dropped from forty feet to none. The pain was inevitable and unimaginable but i felt zero percent of it My physical pain could not compare to the pain in my heart. I laid there. I didn’t blink much. I kept thinking this thought over and over again. I told myself, “Failure is a disease. I can only cure it”. I repeated it until I lose count of how many times I did.
Then I thought about him again. He yells to me, “ You will never be pretty. Your just sad excuse of a human being”. He whispers in my ear, “You will always fail in everything you do. The only time you will succeed is if stars fell on earth”. I know the words that evolve from his throat are just void lies. But i fall into that void and fill it with belief.
I reminisced on the time he once again tries to get me. Instead of drowning me he tried to bury me. Taking me down under would glorify he won. But when I get to a close all with him I again find the strength to fight.
I close my eyes as the sky cried harder. I remember the rain. The water from the sky that comes down to cleanses the earth. This rain meant more than itself.
Because of my fear I never got too close. I never got to see his face or to look into his eyes. I don’t know if I’m ready to face him.
I open my eyes and made my decision. I got up, my body felt lame and broken. I breathe helplessly. I walk slow. The sun begins to break through the clouds and that meant I was finally really ready to face him.
I drag my body to a house. The fences were white, the grass was green and the house was painted apple red. I stood facing the house and it looked typical. I turn towards the forest I was once lost in. It looked the complete opposite of what I imagined. It was more beautiful. I saw exotic birds take flight, the trees with green leaves that dripped rain, The ponds glistened under the sun and it was covered with flowers that a light breeze blew against. There were unlike and odd creatures that rummaged the forest. It was paradise but when I was there it was the devils playground.
I looked toward the sun I finally did and I smirked at it. I quit contemplating because I had a mission that desperately needed completion. I opened the door to this home to find it empty and soulless. The furniture was dusty, broken picture frames shaped into the for, the walls were stained with dried blood. On the outside it looks so stunning and perfect, like everyone who lived there was happy but on the inside it was disgusting. I thought of a song that said, “ Even the people who never frown eventually break down”.
The emptiness was compelling. I dragged myself up the stairs. My clothes are stained in mud. There torn up and dirty and wet. My location pinpoints to the bathroom. I will face him at this moment. My hair is full of leaves and grass and I begin to pull them out. Tears begin to roll down my dirty face. The fear runs through my body like my blood.
I stood in the cold bathroom and closed the cabinet door. That’s when I came into reconcile with him. I saw his face and saw his eyes. I stood in my reflection. He never actually existed because the only one who said those things were me. There was no man nor a shadow who tried to get me. But it was me who was fighting myself.


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