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It was dark. I could smell the wet fallen leaves and hear their crunch as I walked but I couldn’t see anything. It was cold and the wind blew across my face. I could hear water running over rocks in the distance. I was waiting for someone.
I stood there for what felt like forever and then finally I saw a little light in the distance. I watched it torn between running away from it or running towards it. Caught in my own indecision the light grew until I could make out the shape of a man suddenly my heart raced and I could feel myself smile. This is what I had been waiting for.
He approached me his eyes hidden in shadow and he held out his hand. I never hesitated I extended my own hand and he took it pulling me close. He held my face and I could feel the warmth of his hand seeping through my cold skin. He kissed me and I kissed him back. In that moment everything was the way it was meant to be.
I could feel everything falling into place and I knew I would be ok. That no matter what lurked in the shadows all around me I would never face it alone. He pulled back staring down at me. His lips parted saying something I couldn’t hear over the roar of the wind. It didn’t matter though because he smiled and I was whole.
The sun began to rise and I could hear bells tolling somewhere behind me. He turned to face the sun rise holding me close and suddenly I was afraid. I don’t know why but I was, the tolling of the bells turning shrill and angry.
I woke that morning in a pile of ash. My cat having knocked the ash tray over while I slept at my desk. Funny how life works out that way, waking up covered in ash and all alone. I think there’s a lesson there.