Frozen

A man, once a man of god, but now only of himself, waits. He waits and waits, and waits. But for what? He waits to feel something: the air to stir, the sun to touch his eager skin, the tears to escape the heavy confines where they have been denied for so long. But they will never come, not in this moment and not in the next. You see, time in this reality is frozen. The people here will never move forward, they will never move on. The ones around them, their friends, family, their neighbors, they do not live in this reality, nor are they aware of its lonely existence. One can only know of it if they have been there themselves, and if you have been there, it is likely that you are confined there still. The people there are in a reality unmoving. They speak in soft whispers, afraid to be heard, and if they are, who will believe them?

The man waits to move. Unable to make the decision to do so, he stands perfectly still, the only movement being the steady rise of his chest as his slow shallow breath keeps him living. Existing in a nonexistence, he is imprisoned in his own indecision. The light of a distant, half remembered sunshine flashes across his face as he shuffles past the bars of his cell, through which he catches glimpses of faces, faces of those whom he once loved. He sees a beautiful woman, with bright and playful eyes; a child, his son, peaking around the bars, but drawing back, unsure. The worn withered hand of his father reaches through, but the man, frozen in time looks away, unable to bear more of that which he can no longer be a part of. Their realities are not the same; they were once, but no more. He continues to wait.
A woman walks slowly, holding her composure, past the empty bench under the oak where her husband had sat with her, discussing inconsequential things such as the flyaway hair coming loose of her hat, or a barely perceptible change of the air. They discussed many philosophies, the world, their pasts, and every possible future. But now he is gone, buried for 6 years the following month. Each memory she holds, more important to her than any moment of the present. As a ghost, she lives half in the moment, and half in the bittersweet bliss of memories, roaming back and forth, unable to move forward, yet unable to go back.
She regrets the things she hasn’t done yet, things she’ll never do now. No children, no home in the countryside, overlooking rolling hills of green, no one to be still with, to be perfectly content just to stand next to, convey a single thought through the gentle touch of the hand. Frozen in time, she is trapped in a frigid life where she will never thaw and let go of the past. The world around her, she sees as if through a heavy veil. The muffled figures, come and go. They live the lives they were meant to, contentedly turning the pages to read their next chapter, while the woman sits, book in hand, rereading her previous chapters again and again, finding only half-hearted joy, and empty triumph when, after reading, she realizes she may never know how her story ends.





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