The moon is directly above her. A shiny object, close enough to touch. She reaches out, shuffling through her sleeping bag, catching only emptiness. Last, she had woken up, it was to her right, among the thinning woodlands and fading brown grass.
A barn owl hoots steadily in the distance, the waves carrying his sound to her at regular intervals. She shivers for a moment, as she slips her hand back, close to the warmth of her body.
The sky, a blanket under which the stars take shelter, a deep Prussian shade, reminds her of infinity, a never- ending scope. For what, she wasn’t sure of yet. The night was a creature in itself. It allowed her a glimpse of what it hid in the light.
It was an end and a beginning. The end of dependence, a fragile bubble wrap of care. Care that came with a cost; the expectation to love, the expectation to listen, the expectation to be grateful. The glistening ocean called monotonously on her left.
The beginning of decisions with impact. Decisions that left her vulnerable, hurt, angry and confused. Decisions that she was sure were only hers.
The night was a creature in itself. She was less alone without the light. She was less alone without the clarity and answers betraying her like middle school shadows. Questions kept her alive, not physically (that was a curse), rather in thought. It kept the clockwork of reasoning running. The more questions, the better oiled were the gears.Sitting up, pushing her hand into the base of her neck, she kneaded gently, in a rhythmic sense, imitating the ocean. It was stiff from the bag she carried across the beaches. The crests of the waves shown bright as they tipped into the blackness of the water.
Tugging at the messy knot of locks on her head, she breathed deeply. The night was a creature in itself. A brilliant, unapologetic creature, with colours only wonders could discover, with colours that did not matter, like so much else in the world.
Tomorrow, with caramel sand between her toes, she’ll walk, giggling at the crabs scuttling sideways. She’ll walk, gasping as the sea eagle circles in spirals above her. She’ll walk, smiling at the native who carries firewood back to his family. He’ll smile back, the wrinkles around his mouth answering her question. He’s smiled a million times before.