When I was but a child I cherished her. Any kind word or praising look would light my face up, but there came a day where she packed her things and hugged me good bye, to start her journey. My world became cold and quiet as I began to hate the town that reminded me of her, and I grew, always, always thinking “what would she want? What would she have done?” Years passed before I set off into the dark fog, following her footsteps blindly. I never realized that it was the little girl inside me who cried for me to follow her.
Some towns I walked through were cold and dreary, other lively and kind. In the darkest hours I cried, wondering if she had done the same and why she walked through those towns of cruelty. I refused to see and so the fog enclosed me in its darkness even more. As my journey continued I began taking short cuts, avoiding cold, rude towns –but always finding her footsteps. Some days the fog lightened enough for me to see a broken bridge or a rocky cliff ahead of me, ones that would have led me into the clutches of those dreary fog-filled towns.
Many towns told me tales of her as I passed through, giving me small moments of pleasure and joy. None filled me with so much joy as that day when the fog lifted completely and I saw the town I heard she stayed in. I raced along her footsteps, laughing and smiling as I hugged her at the gates where she waited.
I looked around and saw a beautiful town, happy and cheerful. Those first few days of spring it was as if I was a child. The world beyond the gates was foggy, but if didn’t matter because I was here, making her happy.
The day came where it was not enough to make me happy. Something tugged on me, filled me with such longing and desire I could not stop it. And it was at the gates she found me, staring at the world.
“Look at this town, really look at it, do you know it?” I was surprised to see that this beautiful place, the place the footsteps led me too –was also the place her footsteps led me from. The town I hated.
“It’s changed.” I said astonished.
“Look at the gates. What do you see?” she challenged. The fog that surrounded the town was no more, only open fields of sun. My surprise grew when she challenged me yet again. “What do you see when you look at me?”
“Everything has changed” I said quietly when I saw her. She was just a person, someone I knew, yet could never know.
“Has it?” She asked quietly,
The little girl who insisted on trusting her, excusing mistakes, and following her blindly was gone. As I met her eyes, it was with my own, not those of the little girl’s. Nothing had changed but my way of seeing the world. As a child I had seen an amazing friend worth following blindly; one that taught me many things by leaving a trail of footsteps. I could only pray to be like her, to teach others from my mistakes, and guide them, but first, first I had my own footsteps to make.
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