Familiar Stranger

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She hopes no one hears
the creaks the old floor makes
under her quiet, yet deliberate feet.
The moans and sighs of it make her envious.
If only she could release
the weight of her thoughts
with some outburst, some noise.
No one is there to listen, but they are all there just the same.
The room downstairs is full of livelihood,
but no one like her.
No one to understand her pain,
or her life.
No one to walk in her shoes.
But she keeps walking in them herself,
silently creeping past every room.
Nothing is as inviting as the silence
pulling her away from reality
and beckoning her in.
She is a familiar stranger.
She is looking for a peaceful moment.
A moment of solitude, as if she hasn't had enough.
The skylights and windows display
the outside world
like a picture in a frame,
taking her to a different place.
She dreams of stepping into the scenery.
She imagines pushing the curtains of inhibitions-and fear and doubt and uncertainty and regret and shame- aside,
dipping her toes in the living water.
A sudden slow smile spreads across her face as she envisions herself,
carefree and wild,
running through the tall grass.
Crimson creeps onto her cheeks as she closes her eyes,
like a million times before,
and watches herself pick delicate flowers in the portrait.
When nighttime falls, she hides behind the trees, gazing at the moon.
If only she could get into the picture somehow.
With her daydream over, she
pushes aside her childish thoughts and
continues to make her way down the hall.
What was she here for again?
Her mind never ceased to fail her.
Another distraction,
she heard the crack of thunder from the now-darkening sky.
It startled her, and she let out a cry,
but what did it matter?
She was alone.
She always would be.
Downstairs, the meeting carried on.
They had probably all forgotten her, anyway.
If they'd ever known her in the first place.
What it must be like, she considered,
to not be a prisoner.
Of course,
in her mind she was free.
In her mind, she was safe.
Her fantasies were her friends.
They made good company.
Was that wrong?
Well, who was there to ask?





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