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The Storm

Thursday 9 th April 2015

the storm - forest trees

Stress. Pain. I had to relax. And so I found myself in the forest, where I stretched my arms and released it all. Poured the negative contents out of my brain, into the grass, which in turn, absorbed it all.
“I am free!” I yelled, laughing, almost maniacally. But my behaviour no longer mattered, for I was all alone. I had all of this to myself! Oh, how unbelievable it felt, how spending a few minutes in nature, among the trees and fruitful plants, how it made you feel so alive, so detached from the insane world of ongoing stress.
Except, it didn’t last forever. Because now, my reasons for running had changed. 

In a few seconds’ time, the beautiful warm weather that had accompanied my powerful sense of peacefulness had fallen apart. Monstrous, charcoal clouds emerged from the mountains where thy had been hiding, and now I was at their mercy, destined to be their prey. Two centimetres behind me, lightning struck, and my heart stopped as two trees came crashing down - in front of me, two more - and the booming resonance of thunder - the whole forest appeared to collapse, like shot soldiers, and I stopped. I was the only one standing, in this naked territory, exposed to the storm which would unquestionably take me. I had no choice. Breathing in what I thought would be my last breath, I closed my eyes and submerged myself into the pool of dead trees and grass.

Yet, as I opened my eyes, I realised I was no longer in the woods, but where the storm had actually taken place. Elisa, with a shotgun pointed towards her forehead. The court. The voices. What I had chosen to block out, to forget, to destroy, all those years of my life, and now I stood right in front of it.

“If you say a single word - you are killed, is that clear?” Dear God, that was his voice… And how loud, how handsome…
“David, drop the gun. NOW.” I said, my voice shockingly firm, in contrast to my trembling body. He seemed so unresponsive, so emotionless.
“Where are they?”
“I will never hand my family over to you! Kill me instead!”
“No!” I yelled, as loud as I could. I reached for the gun and grabbed it from him. For a second, everything was still. But David’s anger had soon started to build up, and I felt his hand slap my cheek, taking the gun from me, and the gunshot….

I was convicted for her death. Twenty years of prison, and David out in the loose. His arguments were stronger, and he had a better lawyer on his side - which I could have never, in my lifetime, been able to afford. Fingerprints corresponded. And his story was so convincing that even I began to believe it.
But I had committed a crime far worse than the one I had falsely been convicted of. I had deliberately chosen to forget my dear friend, which was, by far, what my ex-husband was wishing for. I had fallen for it. 
The lightning, the trees, the room, the court - it was all gone - and I immediately realised what was the right thing to do. I go to her favorite place, and carve, ‘for my best friend Elise, who, since the storm, will always be remembered’. And before I say goodbye, I laugh to myself, for the place I am standing in is the forest I saw collapse before my eyes.

More about: stress , relax , storm , running , trees