Watching the moonrise gave her no joy. Each day ended with the same sense of failure. No highlight had occurred during the course of the preceding twenty-three hours, except the knowledge that finally and thankfully, the last hour was coming and would quickly die.
She closed her eyes embracing the darkness of her eyelids with no one around to antagonize her causing angry outbursts to bloom and blossom into pulsing vein-covered flowers. Reality floated in, carried by a hovercraft across a sea of perennial grasses and evergreen leaves. After stepping onboard and through the womb-like hatch, she sat down and was greeted by a waitress who took her order for peace with a side of tranquility.
Below lay the world, her world, with all of its garbage, disputes and yokes of unbudgeable burdens that do not lift no matter how hard she tried to remove them. Forward, forward, forward they glided until even the idea of trouble faded into the landscape. Whoosh! Her mind melted away the lexicon of negative words she had spent a lifetime collecting, until there was nothing left but calm.
She smiled and for the first time smiling wasn’t veiled by cynicism or the thought that happiness is fleeting. It was a real thing and she could grasp it freely, tightly, with the knowledge that it was finally and perfectly hers.
Traveling down the corridors of the hovercraft, she saw other passengers with outstretched arms. Were they embracing happiness too or had they come seeking other things? She didn’t know and didn’t ask, but observed their joy at whatever they were finding knowing that its value equaled her own precious awakening.
“I love you.”
She heard, felt, savored-said the words, in response, reply or from some newly discovered country buried deep within herself.
“I love you too,” followed by another smile and a deeper sense of fulfillment than she had ever known before.
Life lurched forward and finally, she had reached her destination, though she had no idea where she was except that she knew she never wanted to leave it again. There was no one to escort her or greet her as she stepped down onto the landing and felt the outside air prickle her skin.
“Aloha” was written on the side of the hovercraft and she remembered that it meant “I love you,” as well as “hello” and “goodbye.”
She was back home and the moon had found its place in the sky. The day was dead with no one to mark the event with tears or grief. Even so, the happiness she had grasped remained fixed in her hand. She would not file it away for safekeeping. Instead, she would wear it like a jewel about her throat.
This is the secondary road of your journey; a bot’s voice said evaporating silence. It didn’t matter that her journey had taken her back to where she’d begun, and she would have to find some way of maintaining what she’d found. This day had not ended in failure as she had assumed it would. Now, walking around this secondary road, which resembled the same road she’d walked everyday of her life, she realized that it was OK to make return trips to various aspects of herself. Some lessons must be repeatedly learned, just as some roads must be repeatedly walked. She wasn’t infallible after all.