There is a girl who lives in the forest. Every morning, she wakes up to the cacophony of birdsong outside her bedroom windows and the rays of sunlight that pour in from behind the canopy of trees. She makes a pot of coffee and stares outside to see the beauty that surrounds her. The trees stand spirit-like, observing the girl’s house that looms above and around them. When she opens her kitchen windows to the wooded air, she can almost smell the coppery scent of the river that lies within the heart of the forest. She closes her eyes and breathes in. Her nose fills with the sweet smell that radiates off the beds of pine needles covering the forest floor.
It smells like home, she thinks.
The man she loves comes up behind her and wraps her up in his embrace, kissing her neck and playing gently with her hair. She spins around and flashes him a smile, digging her head into his shoulder. Her children are still asleep.
This girl has lived here for quite some time, her soul craving serenity and her thoughts seeking retreat. Closing my eyes, I can see her. Freckles mark her face in patterns. Pale skin stretches over bones worn from experience yet blossoming with strength. Eyes filled with the reflections of her memories.
This girl exists only inside the crevices of my mind, just beyond my eyelids, in between thoughts that rage and fly across membranes. She is a part of me, in a way, and she lives a life I’ve never known but always wanted to experience. Her heart beats the same rhythm as mine, and her soul is filled with the same hurt as me. I am like her but, at the same time, I am not. She is better than I am, full of more grace and patience. Full of more strength. Full of all the things I’ve always wanted to be.
I believe that I created her at times when loneliness consumed me and thoughts of a better life would not leave me alone. I think that she began to exist because I could no longer stand myself, because I needed to feel like there was more to me than just bouts of sadness and fits of rage.
In some ways, creating her saved me. In others, it did not. Either way, I am no longer alone.