She Was Free: Recognizing Crisis as an Opportunity.
White fragments of paint bid their adieus to the wall that had for so long tied them down and denied them their freedom; they drifted into the haughty summer air with the grace and dignity of dancing dandelion seeds. Part of an ancient cobweb clung tenaciously to the window frame, resisting total eradication. She wondered how long it had been there.
She wondered how long she had been here, her body forming a right angle, mirroring the contours of the window sill that she was pressed up against. His pelvis thudded against her buttocks, their skin obstinately resisting parting after every thrust because of the film of sweat covering their bodies.
The hum of an engine purring outside penetrated her consciousness. It morphed into a low growl and subsequently subsided into silence.
Heaving a series of staccato sighs, his movements paralleled his breath. She dutifully murmured sounds of encouragement. It would expedite the process.
Releasing herself from his sloppy grip, she hurried away and slumped onto the toilet, her chin resting nonchalantly in her hands. Her forehead wrinkled slightly as the thought persisted: senseless penetration.
*** Two weeks later ***
Sweet-smelling jasmine overpowered the stillness of the summer night. Keys in hand, she stumbled up the stairs to the apartment, fumbling to find the light switch, a fog of intoxication hanging about her gloomily. The door creaked open, but the flat was strangely still. She walked into the bedroom expecting to find him there asleep, but she was greeted instead by an untouched, crisp bed.
Lines of consternation appeared on her forehead. Where was he? She darted into the living room in the expectation that he had fallen asleep on the couch, but it was also vacant.
As she turned to leave, something caught her eye.
A woman’s handbag.
She crossed the hallway, ascended the stairs, and paused as she came to the spare bedroom, sighing as she turned the handle. She braced herself.
Their bodies were entwined in a gentle embrace. An ochre light from an ageing streetlamp outside spilled in through a crack in the curtains, partially illuminating a bare breast. The woman’s arm was draped over his torso, holding him close.
Heat rose from the pit of her stomach: an injured sense of pride, a flush of indignation. Yet she was not shocked. She had always known that this moment would come. Now it was finally here, the wave of resentment rose, soared and crashed.
Indignation was replaced by something else, something she did not fully recognize, yet something she was grateful for.
It was not sadness. Or grief. Only a sense that a great heaviness had been lifted from her chest.
Standing before them both, there opened up a space where she felt more at ease and vibrant than she had in the past year that she had been committed to this relationship. In this opening, she recognized that what had momentarily presented itself as a crisis was, in fact, a unique opportunity for growth.
She felt unburdened. She felt free. Free to continue the course of her life which had become stagnant for the past year. Free from the ennui of mundane routines. Free to choose a different path, a better path.
She smiled as she watched them, allowing the ripples of relief to wash over her completely.
Turning away without disturbing their peaceful embrace, she collected her things and slipped away, disappearing into the night.
She was free, like dandelion seeds dancing in the fragrant summer breeze.
Anne Marie Morello considers herself a free-range human: she is a Yoga teacher, a writer, a counselor and an English teacher. She has recently embarked on a Master’s degree in Psychotherapy, and she is particularly interested in the benefits of therapeutic writing. Writing is an integral part of her life; it’s how she learns about herself and the world around her. It helps her deal with the ‘plot twists’ in life with some kind of grace and humility. Although she is no fan of spiders or parallel parking, she’s even less of a fan of the injustice she sees in the world. She tries to share kindness and love in her interactions with others in the hope that it will inspire others to do the same too.