Dead tree

Death Valley, 2016

Death Valley, 2016


You reached out and touched the branch.

That’s when I knew. I knew you weren’t coming back to me. There was something in the way you did that. You knew we weren’t stable. You knew we wouldn’t last yet you insisted on coming here out into the desert.

I said, You need to wear some shoes. Flip-flops won’t do. The sand’s really hot.

But you didn’t listen. You never did. Your feet burned on the heat of the ground. You pretended it didn’t matter.

You said, It doesn’t matter. I’m fine.

I tried to make you come back to me but you left walking deep into the distance. I called for you for hours. People came and went.

They said, No one’s here. I think you’re seeing things.

I knew you were there. I knew you were.

The air changed around us when you disappeared. The temperature dropped. it became cold.

Everyone said, We’ve never felt the desert so cold before.

Everyone shivered and pulled on jumpers, rubbing their arms and blowing on their hands. A soft wind blew their hair making their teeth chatter.

I worried for you. I worried for you because of your flip-flops. Your stupid flip-flops. Your feet will be cold now. Where did you go?

They said, She’s all in your head. Just a memory. She died a long time ago. Remember?

But I saw you there. Bold. Solid. Living. They gave me pills and told me you weren’t there.

They said, The trauma damaged your brain.

But I know what I saw. I saw you.

Feeling brave? Want to share your story? In the words of one Disney princess, Let it go, in the comments below.