Page 38 - HEF Pen & Ink 2023
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cause the response she dreaded.
She thought about all the people she had been in
love with. None of them had ever loved her back, and she knew they never would. How could they? She was broken and sad and boring and a shell of a person, who could never be herself. She was clumsy and silly and she cared too much. She gave too much of herself too soon. She wanted things she couldn’t have with people she couldn’t have either.
She was so unbelievably alone. Even if she made it out of the labyrinth, which she knew was impossible, she’d be alone. That was her fate...
She lifted her head slightly.
I’m here. Just breathe.
She looked around. There was definitely a voice coming from somewhere. Her body still shook from crying and her breathing was still labored, but now she was more focused on the voice than her own sorrows.
Breathe in, deeply.
So she did.
Breathe out now, slowly.
She did.
That’s it. Again.
She did. The lights flicked back on.
Keep breathing, you’ve got it.
She took another deep breath. The tunnels widened once more.
Just a few more deep breaths.
She inhaled through her nose, and slowly exhaled. The grass softened, and greened again. Then she took another breath in, and exhaled gently. The tunnel walls mended.
There now, better?
“Yes, much,” she answered. I was worried about you. Are
you okay?
“I... I think I am now,” she
said, nodding to herself and standing up, “You really were worried about me?”
Of course, I love you.
“You... you do?” she asked, not daring to believe it. I do.
She believed it.
The labyrinth looked familiar again. She could find her way now. The voice had saved her. She was falling, but the voice caught her just before she hit the ground. She was lost, but the voice gave her directions just in time. She was dying, but the voice was her lifeline. She would be alright now.
She chose a yellow tunnel and set off. It wasn’t long before she saw the white light that meant she had reached the edge of the labyrinth. She made it through, like she had every day before.
I opened my eyes to see him staring at me with a very concerned expression.
“Thank goodness!” he said, pulling me into a tight hug, “Please don’t ever scare me like that again!”
“I.. I’m sorry,” I said, melting into the embrace.
“Don’t apologize. I’m just glad you’re okay. What’s going on with you?”
“Just got lost in my head I guess,” I sighed.
 By Vesperia Bacon

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