I can stand by no longer. I can't let Her keep hurting you. Every time you come, there are new marks, new scars. She is branding you. I won't stand for it. But I can't leave my world. I start to wonder. Every time you come, when you find what you're searching for, you drift away again. If I could find it too . . .
I know where everything is in my world, but I resist the urge to search that way. Instead, I drop to my knees like I've seen you do so many times, and I stick my hands into the ash. I search. I move closer to the trees that have lost their life, trying to find that one little thing that you have searched so desperately for.
When I start to lose hope, my hand touches something hard. I dig a little deeper and pull out something small, brown and full of life. It warms at my touch. A small green tendril pushes its way out and I smile. I feel myself starting to fade and quickly drop to the ground, burying the little seed in the dirt where it can grow.
In just a few seconds, I find myself in an unfamiliar place. But there you are. Lying face down in bed. At first, I fear the worst, but you stir, push yourself up off the bed. You shiver as you stumble towards the bathroom, look at yourself in the mirror. You wince in pain and put a hand to your cheek where a bruise has formed. Then to your chest. She has hurt you again.
You pull your shirt off over your head, look in the mirror once more. Confusion fills you. You don't know how those marks got there, but I can see clearly. She held you. She didn't care that She hurt you. The deep red marks go down from your shoulders, end at the center of your chest. You put a hand over your heart and I see the other mark. How She took you away from your home.
I start to move towards you, but then I see Her. She moves in front of the open door to the bathroom, not protective. Possessive. Her dress is a light blue, Her skin a deathly pale. But Her eyes are pure black. Her true self.
Her eyes narrow, silently telling me to leave, but I can't. Now that I'm here, I can't leave you with Her again. We stand facing each other. She tries to stare me down. I simply stand in place, unmovable. She can't stand the heat that comes from me, yet she still stands guard.
I know you will come out soon and I force my feet to move, to get closer to Her. Her icy feel pulls on me, but I ignore it. The cold hurts me, but just a little. For Her, the heat is unbearable. I move closer, coming at Her from the right. She instinctively backs away, holding up an arm to shield herself. I detest this struggle that goes on between us. But for you, I will fight.
And for you . . . I will win.