I open my eyes expecting to see my favorite tree staring back at me. I count four walls. I am surviving. I wasn’t made for this. I am love. I lie down. I dream. I beg my love to return to me. I surrender my body to destiny. I stop preparing. I go north. I am not afraid of the cold. I only fear love that claims ownership. It’s so curious, the confusion of love and possession. They are opposites. They are a passionate exchange. It’s perfectly natural to be afraid. It is nature’s intention to run away. I will never stay. I will always return home. My body aches. My heart is beating. I inhale. I crave fresh air. This air is too cold to sleep in. I hide. I stare straight ahead. I count one ceiling. She returns. “Baby!” I wake up from the nightmarish box and sit up in bed. The sound is coming from below. I run to the top of the staircase. “You’ve woken me, you brat! You’ve dragged me all the way here, for what? Is this a show of your authority? Are you testing my intuition? Will you come for me? Or must I shut myself behind fear and expect nothing? I wont be expecting pain. For you have felt nothing. I have learned to imagine the same. Are you imaging me naked again? Do you remember our bodies? Do you think of tracing my skin? Can you think of any other moment that felt more like time itself had dissipated? I am so wet. I’ve been walking in the rain all night. I can’t imagine being without you. I can’t imagine. Help me, my love! I am to be imagined only. Don’t be sad without losing yourself to grief. It is so important to feel the loss of my body completely. Only then will memory return unscathed. I’m not crying. I can’t get out of the rain. I hate my assigned box. I hate being without my love! I love my company too much. I want to be alone. Get away from me! Go back where you came from! I never want to step foot in that classroom again. But every time I close my eyes, I see you, for the very first time, all over. Set me free or make me a home. The in-between will kill me. Fuck me! What are you waiting for! Grow the fuck up! Three years older and your acting like a baby. I can’t teach you everything. I can’t wake you up! I cant save you! Save yourself! Please! I beg you.” She is grinning at the bottom of my staircase. “Juniper. Darling boy, you’re being a drama queen again. You’re pissy, that’s fine. You’re lonely. That’s a beautiful sensation. Lean into me, you know very well how close I lie.” She takes one step up and sits. “I do remember. I do what I like. I like to do a lot of things. I like to run away. I like to return again. I like to take things slow. I like to forget. But mostly, I remember. Your smile is intoxicating. What do you need? Think again. Be gentle with those thoughts, sweet boy; they can be the death of you if you aren’t courageous enough. If you want me, make it known. If I want you, I will come halfway. I will carry your sins. I will not go back the way I came. I am not waiting for you. I am moving with intent.” She lifts herself and places one hand on the banister. She ascends.
“How dare you leave me!”
“I never did.”
“I couldn’t if I tried.”
“I took what I could. I needed to breathe. You are mine.”
“I am yours and I am lying in a box on the floor in the middle of the woods. It’d be fucking wonderful if you manifested your own desires baby. I know you know this magic. I learned it from you. You fingers taught me to fear nothing. Your tongue taught me longing. Your eyes taught me something I’ll only ever be willing to whisper in your ear. I’ll wait until your sleeping. When you wake, you’ll see everything as I have prophesied it to be. But only if you believe.” She reaches my body at her feet. “Stand up.” I whimper. “Stand the fuck up, and be a man. Show me what you’re made of. Show me the power of creation in the making. What do you want from me? Power? Control? Do want to keep me? Is my soul what you are craving most? Or is it my body that you must possess? Do you love me? Do you own me? Do you desire to stand by me?”
“I want honesty. I’m so fucking tired of being lied to! It is vanity. You are saving face, but for whom? Another face faking you out for your sake? Is it more offensive to be abrasive or to be lied to? Tell me your truth! I want to know you! I want to know the emotions displayed are free to move over my presence freely. If you must go, leave! You are free, babygirl! You can do whatever you damn well please! Come for me! Get off your ass and take your memories. Leave the screen to rot in static silence. It is a thief. The energy it takes from the center of your baby blues is irreversible, a sadistic soulless fate, by your own two hands. Put it down and walk away. Tell me everything. I want your entire story, beginning to end.” I stand. I put my hands on her wet cheeks. “I’m here baby. I love you with my whole soul. I’m listening. Tell me your story. Set me free!”