The Climb

September 30, 2009
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Deep in the shadows of the bristling trees on the dreary lake, she sat in silence. She could swear that she heard her heart beating. Come to think of it, hearing her heart wasn't entirely uncommon. She was always aware of the soft ba-bum in her chest. It reminded her that she was still alive. Her dark hair slipped down her face and pooled on her knees, which she gripped to her chest. Tears wet her muddy jeans despite her effort to dry her eyes with her sweater. If it weren't for the abandonment of the lake just a year ago, she wouldn't have this sanctuary. If she had been anywhere else, here eyes wouldn't have let a single tear escape. No, she wasn't the "tough" girl, but she was brave. She was a role model. Showing weakness was a sin. She had been to the lake several times since it was deemed unsafe for human activity. Why not? Danger chased people away, and that's exactly what she wanted. Shoving her rough hands through the dust, she pushed herself up, willing herself to snap out of it. She stepped over rocks and dying roses, though if her bare foot so unfortunately caught hold of a thorn, she wouldn't have even noticed. The callouses that she had gained from painful past occurences protected her from the pricks. She came to the edge of the lake and dipped her big toe into it. Cold. No surprise there. Peering into the water, she searched for her reflection. But the moss and pollution and general murkiness of the lake hid it from sight. Once again, no surprise there. She lifted her head and tried to find the sun, but it was behind the clouds. Or maybe behind the cliff that seemed to watch over the earth, much like Pride Rock. The one place she had never been to. Why? Was it too much of a challenge? was she afraid to face the light? Of course not! She refused to fear, it was a weakness. She squinted and tried to see if maybe it was brighter up there. Was that a flash? The sun trying to convince her to try? Taunting her, perhaps? Without another thought, she becan to spring towards her goal. With no regard to the rocks and thorns, she raced through the surrounding forest, dodging trees. The cliff was steep; she doubted that anyone had ever been up there. Perfect. Struffling to find footholds, she began to pull herself up. Luckily, she was strong from all the time she had been alone. Her hands ached as she got closer to the top. She almost fell a couple of times, but her determination drove her up. She had no idea how long it took her, but she finally wrapped her hands around the edge and struggled to bring her legs up. She ignored the stiff, sore feeling in her limbs and stood. She smiled and raised her arms to meet the sun. The heat licked her skin and she laughed aloud. She found it! She conquered, she overcame everything! Closing her eyes, she imagined staying here in the sun forever. Her skin cooled suddenly and her eyes snapped open. Dark clouds rushed to cover the light that had poured over the cliff. Soft raindrops began to fall around her. She fell to her knees. All that work! Everything for nothing! She honestly didn't know if she was crying or not as rain pelted her face. The adrenaline that had filled her seeped out. The cliff rumbled underneath her but she didn't care. The rock beneath her shifted, and she made no attempt to find a stronghold. She closed her eyes and felt the ground crumble. Her dead weight dropped and the air pushed her. A loud splash erupted in the silence. A silhouette disappeared under the surface. A slow beat could be heard if one listened intently. Ba-bum. Ba-bum. Silence returned to the lake and enveloped the trees once again.

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