Wherever the Sun Goes

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When I close my eyes, and the breeze swipes my mind of clutter, widening it with imagination spilling in like hot gas concealed in a rubber globe, I appear in a plunging valley, nestled low within snowy peaks that hover and greet me in the fields. Their frozen glitter has come and gone, no longer tormenting us for the year. My pale, cream coating quickly peeled clean-at least for the next three months. I stand merely half a doorway high, but with enough spirit and imagination to crowd the room.

The stiff mounds of white, which the neighborhood agreed had been cemented into the tidy tar roadways forever suffocating our approaching lilacs, are replaced with slender velvet threads bursting from the ground with casted, hazy shadows beneath every broad-leafed tree. The thirsty blades slice in all directions, their paint a rich emerald glaze oozing together from the paralyzed tips stuck in bitter, coated chocolate. They curl between my toes and tease my ankles, bronze after only a week of timeless, summer days. The meadow’s warmth gives way to sturdy earth, expanding tingling sensations through everything in contact, gazing down while the stars sleep, and the seedlings bloom and dance in rhythm. A blast of Earth’s affection shoots up my leg and triggers my lips to curl, revealing glimmering teeth.
Quick repetitions, so swift the wind surrounds the flailing limbs, under arms and soles and beneath the panting breast of a fleeting hummingbird, and Her persuasive gust clutches us into her embrace, if only for a moment, until my foot thumps again. Equally shaped, our figures fit like puzzle pieces, one on top of another. She mimics my loose ponytail, tired and sprawled after a hurried morning, as it swishes across my neck and cheeks. And when my hands reach up to brush loose strands from the gloss of my eye, her hand is raised too, disappearing in a blur of silhouette. She races me, her stride a perfectly silent synchronize. My chest thumps to the rhythm of her body, the rise and fall of her slender structure, how she can keep my time precisely, mockingly, as if the reassurance of her companionship were enough to please, amidst our competition.

Together we twist our legs under pumping arms, too mesmerized to tire in our blatant youth. The chase takes us over orderly stones that hug the beds of vegetation, scraping the sides of that thick brick, at last rounding the corner and shrinking in the vast valley, wide beyond the furthest stretching paw, severed by the skyscrapers of the gods. Attached at my heels, she lags slightly in the weary sunshine, cooling in the hardened heat. I sprint until I cannot push her anymore, her aggression stricken dead under the canopy of autumn-crinkled oak leaves, where I collapse away from the enflaming sun, before collecting my limbs. With every beat of my pulse, my breath steadies, a child’s attention giddy with adrenaline.

“Wow that was really fun, good job racing, but you’re not as fast as me!” I exclaim playfully to my friend, but when I swing my head- twice to be sure- I discover she has vanished.

“Where did you go?” I manage in a chopped gasp, the weight of my pounding chest choking my breath. My faithful companion has vanished, and despite the achieved victory, I am lonely. I rest my neck, arms and thighs, releasing my exhaustion. Could she have fallen off the course? Or perhaps stopped to catch her breath a while back? I wonder silently, apprehensively, was she even there at all? But I was positive, she had to have been, her bold ebony outline still concrete under my eyes. She pushed me on and laughed with me, and I trusted her. Even worse now I fret- Has she just now left me here alone?

“Please come back,” I whisper, pushing up with my trembling elbows, stretching the tendons of my neck under a wobbling, heavy head. I hold my breath and hug my knees in patience, too still in a world of motion and mischief I feel down right unbefitting, especially without my sun-crisped half. I allow my eyes to roll back to my thoughts, to listen like a lone gazelle being hunted; all it takes is the skip of a stone to echo the plains and set the chase as lions roar with every anxious, pattering paw. And in that glazing day surrounded with the whips and whirls that curled my twirls, the wind tickles my ears when she whispers back.

“I never left you, I never will. Even when the clouds creep in, looming in the chilled air, while the sun naps, we will frolic. I live in here, you are my home,” she assures me. Her masked figure but a blurred expression, every emotion of her intonation is resilient and soothing. Her voice is familiar, a melodious tune with the power to bring me back to a moment, and a clever treasure of the earth, entwined with mango vine and bitter petals that polka dot between the pick underbrush. And I believed. As my eyes trace the gaze of her finger, I find my hand interlaced in the company of hers, an inconsistency among the grays, blues and blacks, what a contrast against my sandy pigment. Collected they lay, as one, resting powerfully against my heart. She felt of the gooey, cinnamon center of syrupy apple pies melting into themselves against the back of my throat, sending instant warmth to every vessel. In that moment, when the winds whistled along with the drum of our feet as we raced passionately about the yard, I understood that without her, I was incomplete.

I believe that every single person is meant to have a best friend, always with her no matter where she travels, someone to share opinions, seek answers and make memories. When I was six years small, I learned my best friend is an equal part of me, the abstract personality to my physical body. I understood that only my own conscious thoughts would keep my unspoken secrets locked away, that self-confidence and perseverance come best from inner motivation. Other people will let me down in the chaos of life, but I will never fail myself during the hardest battles. How perfect my heart whistled, a best friend wherever the sun goes.

Perhaps I was too young to grasp this concept, but isn’t that when we believe the strongest? Unaccustomed to the disappointment of reality, our dreams clear as settled fishermen waters, yet to stir with the disappointments of society. When life is pure and simple, our existence alone is effortlessly splendid, but later, often blurred out beneath muddy stressors, we forget our greatest treasure is ourselves, gifts of chosen actions, words and beliefs. I haven’t forgotten who I am, not one part, but two. My shadow is a mirror that helps me see what I look like without the sun’s spotlight, reflecting what truly matters inside.





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