I used to think that if I were free,
it was only because I was always running away.
My dreams have always been running ahead of me,
and I ran after them in hopes that I could catch them on my way.
I used to pray that everything chasing me would fall astray,
and by the time I would stop running, everything would be okay.
It was all over my head,
but I quickly put it under my feet
and I ran and I ran and I ran
to where all my roads started to meet.
I came to a halt,
I just wanted a break
For a quick second I swear,
My heart no longer felt its ache.
I looked to my left, and I looked to my right.
I looked to the day, and I looked to the night.
Fearing something I already knew,
I looked behind…
Only to see reality had never left me,
and running away got me nowhere but here.
Just a different time, and a different place,
with a few more wrinkles on my face.
I could have spent my whole life running away,
but every time I tried it would bring me back to today.
A day that the past seems too much for the the present to bear,
The day when I realized running away never got me anywhere…
Nisha Mary Prasad, September 2011
As the girl made her way out to the end of the jetty, she came across several rocks that were tagged up with frozen moments of time. The graffiti ranged in everything from quotes of friendship to those of everlasting love. They were moments that dated back to more than a decade ago and some even just a few days. The jetty was always more to her than just a bunch of boulders set out in the bay. The rocks were a place where promises were made and love was frozen within the ink that held the names upon them. It was a place of hope and commitment. The rocks, whether in high tide or low, never failed to create an atmosphere around it of pure timelessness.
The girl herself had fallen prey to writing eternal words upon the rocks on several occasions. Every time she had gone back, however, the words always seemed to had washed away. But on that day in particular, her trip to the end of the rocks were filled with nostalgia and hope that she could find some peace of mind. She was hopeful that scaling her way across the jetty would instill within her a sense of calm. It could be presumed that she went there that day, because her love was on the rocks. She knew she was lost, and she was just waiting to be found. She started to forget who she was, and she thought it could remind her who she was. She knew she was really hurting, and hoped that it could magically fix her. As she reached one flat rock in particular, she sat herself down facing the bridge. She must have sat in that one position for over three hours waiting for the sun to set. There’s something about watching the sun set behind the bridge in the distance that was magical to her, and she was waiting for that short moment in time when the sky turned a shade of pink and orange. As the girl sat there, dozens and dozens of people passed by her including young and old lovers, small families, fishermen, and friends. They walked back and forth, holding hands and making promises.
The girl sat there staring at the sky waiting for the sun to set. If it were possible to contemplate her entire existence in those few hours, she might have possibly done it. But she only remembered the things that she was trying to escape from in that moment. It had been a long year, and she just wanted to hide away. She thought that if she went to the place, where those problems originated as promises, she could find some answers. She waited and waited but the answer was not revealing itself to her. As she started to become hopeless, she saw a pair of seagulls settled upon one of the rocks. They stood there for more than ten minutes in what seemed to be a discussion of promises like most of their human counterparts nearby. One of the birds was as still as a statue, only turning its head from left to right. The other was prancing around from side to side around the other. And in a quick instant, the uneasy bird jumped closer to the other one, and then quickly soared into the sky. The other watched her closely but didn’t follow. In that moment, the girl tried to understand what had just happened. It appeared to her, that those two birds settled on those rocks, promised they would always stay together. But one would never let go of that rock. He said that he would, but that was one promise he couldn’t keep. And because of that random occurrence, the girl had felt as though she had finally gotten the answer she was waiting for. It was more than she could bear, but it was just what she needed to open her eyes and to make her let go. And in that moment, “the girl and her heart had become friends, and neither was capable of betraying the other.”
After the sun had set, she returned home leaving her love on the rocks that day. But before she had left, she had written a promise for those birds on the rock where it was broken. She wrote it in hopes that one day, they end up back together where their love was frozen and their friendship seemed like it would last forever.