Short | Backward

He told her to stop looking back. He said if she kept doing that she would walk into a pole. Isn’t that what the past is like sometimes? Hard, cold, steel metal that can stop you mid-step? She lives there. It’s dark and it’s out of her control. Her plan to escape isn’t something physical. It’s a mental blueprint that weaves and winds through day dreams and a brighter, warm future.

Warm like the heat that beams down while lying in the sun. Warmth that entices microscopic salty beads to form at her hair line. They drip down from the edge of her amber eyes to the lip of her pale, sun bitten ears. It’s like a tiny maze in there; a world of its own. Her locks are strewn among wispy blades of the greenest Central Park grass. She knows tiny bugs are crawling on her tendrils but she’s learning to ignore the small things. 

Her mantra. Breathe out the past and inhale the future. Look at the pole and walk beyond the structure. She passes it and is so focused on the beyond that she misses the in between. 

All around her are moments of love, laughter, and growth. There is change that goes unnoticed. Instead of embracing its presence, she ignores the present. 

The present. It’s right now. It just passed and passed again. This moment goes unappreciated and its competitors are not now but before and after. 

Don’t look back, she reminds herself.  You’re not going that way.