by Vanessa Richardson
It was a winter wonderland. The tree limbs hung limp, burden from the fallen snow. The moon was full, illuminating the night with its revealing presence. Confused, she continued her lone walk. She was hurting, not a physical hurt. She thought to herself; that would have been easier to deal with. Alas, this was an emotional hurt. The wind pulled mercilessly at her trench coat. The woman ignored its pull; not even the rapid falling of the snow could stop her painful sojourn.
She was numb, not from the cold, but from her situation. She was walking without seeing, her demeanor completely at odd with Mother Nature's divine work. The passers byers were hastening to their planned destinations. They were wisely aware that they were no match for Mother Nature's awesome display of authority. In passing, they cast curious glances her way, wondering what was causing her to act out of the norm.
The echoing words in her head became her antagonist. The hurtful words reverberated, causing her to pick up speed. Not fast enough! She had to get away from the problem. Why her? Why? She thought. Still not fast enough, she ran faster. She knew not where she was going pure instincts were driving her. Everything was a blur to her. She was not even aware of when the snow ceased its descent. The wind continued to tug at her long braided locks; angrily she shoved them aside.
The forceful winds slowed her process, but she was persistent. Her black scarf went sailing to the ground. Still she did not stop. A woman sipping a cup of coffee in a cafe' glanced up in shock at the speeding woman. She noticed the beautiful scarf's descent. Going outside, she retrieved the fallen garment from the pavement. Standing, she looked at the scarf. It was beautiful. It was embroidered with bold red letters that read TBJ.
Looking in the direction, she had last seen the running woman, she sighed. She recognized the running woman. She never met her personally. She used to be her. Running. Sighing again, she shook her head. Running from the situation would solve nothing. There comes a time, when you have to simply deal with it. Bowing her head, the woman offered up small prayer for the fleeing woman.
Faster, faster, faster. The words became her litany. The wind continued to whip mercilessly at her, as if rebuking her for defying its authority. Her hat came off. She did not attempt to capture it. There it laid a stark contrast against the fallen snow. A homeless man noticingThe fallen garment, staggered awkwardly to his feet. Placing the hat on his head, he smiled. His head and ears were now warm. He looked in the direction of the running woman, scratching his head; he wondered what could make her abandon such a precious gift.
Shrugging his shoulders, he figured, one-man's trash was another man's gain. Whistling, he staggered back to his make shift pallet. Her chest was beginning to hurt; she began laboring for breath. Her body fought against the strenuous demand, she was placing on it. All this and the echoes would not stop. She wanted them to stop! The taunting words pursued her. Suddenly there was a shifting in the atmosphere. If possible, the skies darken. Dark clouds loomed up ahead. Lightning pierced the midnight sky, the booming sound of thunder sent shivers down her spine.
The woman stopped. Up ahead was a sophisticated couple of African American descent. The man leaned in close in a valiant attempt to protect the woman from the cold. Their steps were hurried as they sought refuge from the coming storm. The woman looked up trustingly into her companion's eyes. She smiled; assured he would get them both to safety. Not far ahead, the couple entered a brownstone terrace apartment safely beating out the storm. The heavens opened up then the rain falling in abundance.
She stood there, trembling, watching the rain melt the ice from the tree limbs. She was tired of the running. The piercing cold was beginning to penetrate. She gasped, now realizing she lost her protectants--her hat and scarf. How could this happen? Her hat was a cherished gift from her father. The scarf was lovingly hand-woven by her mother; scribed with her initials on it. Gone. She lost her precious gifts while running. There she stood in in the pouring rain, watching the water carry the debris down the gutter. At her precious loss, she realized she should have simply dealt with her issues.