by *Miss Theresa*

When all hope diminished, she called to me.
When it seemed that i was drifting, carelessly, she called to me again, louder, insistently…..
Her voice; muddy, raspy, stirring things in my core, taking hold of the chill resting like glass in my bones.

I crave her, and have no idea why.
I know that I always have.
Faceless, through the fog of my brain, as on the hopelessness of my seas, I desperately come alive, wanting her, but sense the only movement around me as skeletal birds and choppy water.

Water, black as the sticky tar that holds me to the thought of touching her, to the thought of a happiness beyond happiness, splashes up and over the boat….

Deliciously foreboding she calls me again, her words are transparent, made out of apparitions, are dreams.
She calls again.
And again.
To me and only me.

I hear screams of others wanting to pull me to safety, pull me to them. Throwing ropes and stretching hands to me, selflessly offering their lives for mine, rescuing me from this shipwreck that i have caused.

I do not deny that I am adrift, lost by my own free will.

The fog seeps into me, pouring into my lungs, making me choke, making me gulp back tears, making me want to breathe from her mouth, wanting to suck from her all that i dare.

My face rests cradled in my hands and I strain to hear her call, yet hear only the voices of the cherished ones, those willing to wait for me, time and time again, never disappointed by how lost I have become, how selfishly that i live, how freely i love.

Warmth laps at my neck, and I turn to face the glow, knowing that it will not be she, but the love and strength that i have always claimed to want so greedily, but have rejected time and time again.

I then turn to face the promises, and vow to do right, to make them proud, and goosebumps appear from nape to knee as i hear her again. Her laugh. GODDESS BE DAMNED!!! That laugh. Oh sweet gods, that laugh. For me.
Just for me.

I plunge my hands into the liquid chill, and paddle myself forward as something grabs hold of me. Reason, sensibility, clarity grips me and tethers itself onto me. I feel foolish to resist, but am not ready for the journey to the shore. A beacon of light, penetrates the never ending mist and shows me home, the “where i belong”, as i shut my eyes to it, fighting the feelings that are melting my shame. The feelings want to stop me from finding the voice, from floundering in the “never will be”. I hate that feeling. I lust for her and i struggle. I want to be with her. I want to be there, gazing upon whatever form she wants me to see.

Whispers of goodthings, a warm breath on my hand, kisses sweet, make my eyes heavy, as a delicious honey-thick rain drizzles onto me, offering purification, a release of all of my anxiety. I tear into my brain, as the fog cuts itself wide, and i allow myself to drift towards the certainty of life.

I grow hungrier as i roll on the waves to shore seeking the cottage that I know to be there. My senses are sparked, my body is alight. Smelling the bite of burning wood and delicious bread, my stomach bellows. My tongue swells as i can imagine the crunch of apples on my teeth. MY strength is renewed.

From nowhere, a paddle is placed in my hands, and my aches and pains are gone. I am calm, and let go into the whispers of love in my head.

Shapes, fuzzy, forgiving. Family, On shore. Waving and wanting. Offering respite, love, satiety. Wanting only to meet my needs. My loneliness drops away down past my feet, sucked into the swelling sea.

I see blankets in their full hands, along with cakes and coffee and kisses. I now crave these things and know that my journey is coming to an end. I am finding my peace as i am reaching shore and feel the crackling fire and deep soul embraces. I am focused. I am finding my life, the love, the fulfilling ending as my ears fill with delicious words. All stress is released into the pregnant clouds above.
I no longer understand the concept of doubt or hurt or shame. The only thing i understand is “home” and i am ready. I am heading to “love”, to “happy”.

Their laughter welcomes me and sparks me to paddle faster. I am without cramps or pain, and their forms become features, faces. I feel their welcome and a rope thumps cheerfully onto the boat- ready to pull me to their welcome.

but. i hear her again. her voice blowing icy fire on my newly warmed heart. i have no need of this illusion. I have all that I was. I grab onto the rope, I am home.

As the boat is pulled forward, I turn my face to the breeze, and look in the direction where the voice began, and all i see is spongy mist.

I do not want her. The void. The not knowing. The uncertain future.
I want home, and hearth and spirit.

I justify my thought by saying that anyone would do the same. There is no certainty, no absolute security, no sure thing for the future, and i let go of the rope. All i have is this voice, this desperate lust. My craving of more.

Friends, blankets, cakes, grow fuzzy again as I drop the paddle into the water. My joints grow stiff and muscles ache as the wind replaces the fire in my heart and head. Cracks form in the boat and water so cold it burns, pools and swirls around my bare feet.

She still calls, promising nothing. I wish for but a glimpse of an idea of who she is. My want is replaced by desperate need and I stand up in the crumbling wood that is now no more than mere boards afloat on rough and dangerous water.

I face the biting wind and call out to her hoping that she will hear me and lend a hand, to help me to her. There is nothing but my apprehension as fear starts pushing and pushing. Pinpricks of electric, bites of pain. The clouds release all of my previous trepidation, drenching me, dampening me, making me instantly regret my denial of security. I look to the shore and see nothing, no people, no fire, only the black of the night ocean.

Guilt overtakes me as i start to forget my family, and wholly want the voice of the unknown. I remove my soaked clothes and face the direction of She Who May Not Even Be, and I plunge into the water.

My heart slows and I have trouble breathing as lucid liquid fear pumps through my veins. I am more alone than ever, but merely have survival on my brain, I have no time to regret or justify my decision.
The time is now and only now. There is no turning back and I am terrified as I tread water in the slippery sea that wants me to be sucked into its abyss.

There is no longer a voice, but in my head. There is no guarantee or even certainty that i shall survive. I am not even sure that she exists, but goddess do i want her.

Thoughts of her tease, and make me believe that it is her, touching me, tempting me, leading me on.

It is not my choice.
I just want.
Maybe too much.
And now I need.
There is no turning back now.
And i as I feel things coiling, roiling about my naked legs in water so thick that i feel that i can walk on it, I start to sink.
Goddess help me.