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Run Away, Love
With flying feet, she ran.
What did she run from? Many things were suggested. Fear, hatred, commitment, and death were among them. She believed differently.
As she ran, her tears torn off her face by the shrieking wind, she tried to forget his smiles, his promises, and his final face, cold and frozen.
She ran from love.
Not commitment, no, never commitment. She ran from the feeling that clawed from inside of her, raging and screaming to get out. She tried to hold it in, clutching her sides violently to keep this strange feeling inside.
She failed, and he died. It was because of her. -It’s my fault-, she told herself as she ran away, her bare feet accumulating various scratches and bruises as she did. -I killed him, it’s true.- Her wracking sobs were also taken from her, coming together in a cacophony of agony-filled sound.
This was her tribute to him, her final act of love.
She tripped on a root, and fell onto the unforgiving soil. It wasn’t raining. This surprised her, for it seemed as if the heavens should have been rent apart in her grieving for him, pouring down their sadness, too.
So she was left alone to mourn, alone to cry for him, her sobs muffled by the black dirt. She slowly lifted herself up, her eyes puffy and red from her tears. She couldn’t believe it.
Jacob couldn’t be dead.
She hadn’t told him that she loved him, hadn’t professed her undying devotion. His face was fresh in her mind, as fresh as it had been for the past couple of years. His tousled brown hair, and his lively green eyes. That guileless smile that he would flash at her, Jenny, his love… it haunted her.
It was as if she could almost hear him whispering in her ear, laughing with her once more. -Jenny, I love you. Jenny, I’ll always be there. It’s only for a year, Jenny.-
It was too much to handle for her. That morning, when the letter came, it was obvious what it held. His closest army comrades had come to deliver it, and even they shed a few tears for her love. It was different for her. They didn’t love him, hadn’t been engaged to marry him. He wasn’t their Jacob.
So she had run away.
She couldn’t bear to see their faces, their sad glances and murmurs of sympathy. They didn’t really understand. No one did, except for Jacob.
And now he was dead.
Jenny slumped against the bark of the tree, letting a few more tears fall. She wiped her nose on the sleeve of her sweatshirt. She looked up at the sky, squinting her eyes at the bright light of the sun.
-Are you up there, Jacob? Are you watching me, Jake? I miss you. I need you; I can’t go on alone. You said you’d always be there.-
She closed her eyes, the once brilliant light of the sun turning harsh in her eyes. Jacob was dead. How could the sun still shine for another day?
She dashed away her tears, almost angrily. Steeling herself against the ever-present pain, she lifted her gaze to the heavens, hoping against hope that maybe… maybe, he would hear her exclamation of love. Holding onto the tree for support, she cried out to the cold dawn air, “Jacob! I love you!”
Her cry echoed through the vale, briefly obscuring the birdsong for just a moment. A moment… she hoped it was enough, enough for her cry of devotion to reach his heavenly ears.
A draft of ethereal wind wrapped around her, warming her to her very bones. She gasped, and a grasping finger of the wind blew her hair away from her face. As she stood, stock still in the wind’s embrace, she seemed to hear words whispered in her ear:
-I told you I’d never leave you.-
She fought for air, the tear tracks on her cheeks shining in the light of the new day. “… Jacob?” she whispered tentatively, a smile wavering on her lips.
It was as if the wind blew harder, and she heard wind chimes in the distance. She laughed, and with the laughter came tears of joy. “You never left me,” she murmured to the easing wind, holding the remnants of the spiritual air to her body.
-I never will, my love.-