Forever frozen in the spring

Forever frozen in the spring

Treading through the thick mud that had settled into the trenches on the farthest edge of the concrete road, Winnie’s regrets and aspirations sank into the tracks left behind by her size-six combat boots.

She thinks about how she got here. About where everything went wrong. About how she looked down all-of-a-sudden to discover the remaining fragments of what had been clasped desperately between her two hands. And, as she gripped tighter and tighter without any sense of moderation, the ridged edges of glass cut into, curiously, only her left palm.

As the pieces tumbled from her blood-covered palms, a steady stream of water swept the pieces of the looking glass out of her life and they rolled on exuberantly as if joining a shoal of the sincerest lost things.   

As she walked on, Winnie collided with a simple decision as if it were to be some life-altering event. She stood at this crossroads for more than two minutes—spending her time pushing away the shrouded cloud of suffocating black that surrounded her inside the simplistic exterior. 

To the left, she could see only miles and miles of lonesome trees. This non-seasonal eternal winter raging on showed no signs of leaves blanketing the ground—keeping it safe and warm from the harshness of it all. Something about this was unsettling to her, so she chose to direct her attention to the path on her right. Here, she could see all that she had ever known. 

In some sickening way, she almost found the trail to be more familiar—comforting—as if she could align herself more with the disparative nature of the dead and dying. ”

In the glint of freshly bathed sunlight, she watched as each warm memory danced spectacularly along the rainbows reflecting off of the parcels of glass, almost bringing them closer to some distant memory of who she used to be.

With instant regret, she yet again peered down the tunnel of patchy fog. Once again, she was unsettled by the unknown elements within the radiating cold protruding from the brittle branches of trees consigned to this bleak oblivion. In some sickening way, she almost found the trail to be more familiar—comforting—as if she could align herself more with the disparative nature of the dead and dying. 

After she revisited her assessment of simple cardinal directions, she decided to consult, for the last time, the final solemnly beautiful fractions of her life she managed to chase down.

Peering into the glass, now made murky through Winnie’s unrelenting efforts to be done with the whole ordeal, she hoped to gain some new perspective: one that would be taken out of the context of the life she once lived. 

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As Winnie’s eyelids raised to reveal a garden of sparkling hazel leaves, she immediately flipped over to retreat back into any kind of comfort that the rolling hills of warm, white, fuzzy blankets and pillows could provide her. In the little moments such as these, she could revel in the sweet, infrequent gifts that life would save just for her—she could almost smell the feelings of happiness and sincerity that an endless blue sky dotted with white fluffy clouds bestowed upon the most impeccable of spring days. 

In her innocent morning haze, she had almost forgotten the importance of today: her 19th birthday. Stuck in that awkward phase between legal adulthood and the guarantee of a mature place in society, she moved on quickly from the thought to focus her energy on making it to her sophomore “Sociology 101” class. 

As Winnie hurried down the cracked steps, she almost crashed into some feeling of deja-vu: her perfect spring day. In admitted ironicness, she decided to think nothing of the thought and move on to her routine walk across campus.

The hoard of overly excited freshmen almost ran to class—as if, in some way, they still intended to chase after their dreams with the same exuberance and grandeur—constantly living their lives on the tips of their toes.  

The hoard of overly excited Freshmen almost ran to class—as if, in some way, they still intended to chase after their dreams with the same exuberance and grandeur—constantly living their lives on the tips of their toes.  ”

Arriving at the fountain, placed precisely in the exact center of campus, she located her favorite coffee shop. In frustrated anticipation, Winnie brushed the bothersome, short piece of hair (too short in length to be considered a bang, but much too long to match the rest of the untamed mane atop her head) out of her face and turned right to cut across the well-kept grass to the other side of the quad. 

As she approached the small, brick building, she gazed upon a sign hanging in the window reading: ‘Closed—due to maintenance.’ As the sneaking suspicion of some universal force at work to conspire in the works of an ill-willed birthday, she recalled talk of an older coffee shop located on the west side of campus. After glancing down at her watch, she turned quickly on the heels of her mother’s old black combat boots and, with an enlightened air, headed down the left shoulder of the street. 

Through the alarming jingle, Winnie glanced up through her curly hair, now fallen across her eyes to conceal the most notable features of her face, and her eyes met with a twenty-something-year-old woman shaking iced coffees as if her life depended on it. As she felt the nostalgically musty wood floors creak under her feet, she stepped further into the unexplored coffee shop. 

As she shuffled forward at a seemingly non-existent rate, she realized the number of caffeine-deprived students had dwindled down to only two. Taking a hasty glance at the menu displayed high above the front counter, her eyes quickly scanned for a caramel iced latte. As she took a step forward and realized that her futile efforts would only result in the hushed annoyance of other customers behind her; she chose a basic iced latte she had found on the left-utmost side of the page.

As she sought out into the perfect spring day, she realized she had some extra time to kill before she had to be in class. Upon this discovery, she concluded that the opportunity to take the long way to class could not have been given to her on the most aligned of days.

She wanted to walk past the community greenhouse, so she turned left and continued down the campus street to a more unknown, less imprinted path off the leftmost side of the road. The scene was serene—the crick flowed in a peaceful way, but still as if it knew it had only limited time to meander among the honeysuckle flowers and the flushed color of the individual stripes spotted along the backs of bumblebees.

Winnie bent down, her bland latte sloshing in her inquisitive hands, and observed the magnified innocence of things so uninterracted with throughout their limited days in the forever changing seasons. In her thoughts, she took the heavy consideration of their past, present, and future. She found the intimacy of the creatures alluring and direct—she liked that they have only listened to her thoughts with nothing to poison their enigmatic incorruptibility but the occasional thunderstorm or two. 

Lost in this thought, she never noticed the blinding reality of the encapsulation of her soul to another place. As Winnie knew it, she was forever frozen inside that one tranquil moment of reconnection.

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As Winnie fell through the grasp of this fleeting, flickeringly foreign memory—or as it fell through her’s—she reached out towards the sun-sweet warmth flowing like sweet sap from the images of the past. As they evaded her still, her eyes snapped up towards the path to her right. 

As she squinted down the long line of deep-green pine and akin shrubbery, she became inexplicably agitated with the alluring charm of taking it all in at once. The curtain of glamour fell away, and slowly a more realistic scene was portrayed.

Like some sick game, all Winnie had was dangled in front of her. As she concluded her story by taking a final turn down the left path, she felt as cheated by death as she did on the morning of her nineteenth birthday.