Staggering. Staggering and tripping. Staggering and tripping, you meander through the snow, bumping and periodically leaning on your shoulder on trees to catch your breath before the next step.
Like a trail of breadcrumbs, the blood that you spill and drip from your stomach won’t last long. Time will move forward and all evidence of your painstaking effort to keep calm, cool, and collected will dissipate as if someone was spreading a fine powder of invisibility on it. Although, I guess you didn’t try too hard to be cool in this blizzard. The snow will melt, and the heat will arrive. Winter will make itself scarce as Spring will drive it out. And just as simply, your pain, your blood, will be forgotten.
You throw up and fall on your knees as a newborn breeze stiffens your face with the cold. You need to keep moving, that’s what she told you to do. Keep moving. Never return to those that you leave. Never return to those that leave you. So you get up. Again. You get up again. Continue moving with those phrases a hum in your drum.
In this freezing death, absence of heat, you walk for days. And nights. Days and nights; moments turned to hours. In that warp of time, you miss the well from a distance and only notice it when it’s under your hunched body. You peek inside out of curiosity, or the sheer need to distract yourself, and see no end. The cylindrical wall made of slabs and slanted blocks of stone spirals down into the center. The deeper you stare into this seemingly endless abyss the darker it gets. The shadows come together to dance and prance and taunt you like devilish children, to lure you, to join them.
Completely forgetting the cold around you, you become completely absorbed in this well. You lean in, to try and see if there’s water at the bottom, or ice. Your vision focuses down to the bottom and you see that the shadows aren’t merely just dancing aimlessly. In the very center of the well, slowly, a single eye fades into your vision.
It stares. It stares right at you. It stares right into you. This eye… Is a disturbing comfort. A sight for sore eyes, you might say? Suddenly, it appears much closer now than it was a fraction of a moment before. A hand reaches out to your right next to the eye. It extends it’s arm, looking as if it were begging you to come to it. To appear beside it. And lay down next to it.
“I never thought about many decisions,” you say to yourself, “so I guess I won’t think much now.” You give in.
You put your healthier hand on the ledge of the well and, with one, swift motion, tumble onto the other side. Into the well.
Thinking about the solid ice that could be in there makes you feel a tiny bit better. You smile as the stinging cold air attacks every cell of your skin and travels up your face, sending your hair flying with it. You close your eyes and feel relieved.
The vast depth and emptiness the well contains makes you think about the ending to the pain you feel, but, for the instant before everything becomes dark, something jumps in your mind.
What about her pain?