A small corner of her brain mourned. Recalled the comfort of her lost friend’s arms around her, the safe feeling of knowing they were there and there for her alone.
Except they weren’t.
They were there for themselves, insinuating bonds of fear and doubt, invisible yet with the strength of steel. Selfish and self-centred, wanting, needing, hungry for no-one but themselves.
Captivity, that’s what it was and that’s what flashes of knowing showed her. But the flashes faded and the knowing was lost. And some days she was a willing captive, acceding to demands, relishing the loneliness of a single friendship. Other days, the ones after the flash, she railed against her captor, tugging at the bonds, silent screaming for assistance, til her energy seeped away and despairing acceptance took hold once more.
Each flash, each scream, each tug took her one step away, one step closer to freedom she never thought she’d experience again. Freedom she didn’t even know she wanted again.
Freedom she feared.
For if she didn’t have her friend there to help, comfort, keep her safe then who would she be? She was nothing without her friend … wasn’t she? If her friend wasn’t around to make the excuses then she would have to live, do things, be someone. And that someone would have to stand on her own, stand in her power, stand in the truth of who she was.
Flashes loosened her bonds, allowed her to feel and care and discover that this friend was false, that out there, beyond the boundaries there were people who truly cared, friends who loved with out instilling fear, friends who would support her as she mourned, friends who would cheer her on as she emerged.
Each day her smile blossomed, each day her heart glowed, each day she listened for the false friend – because habits are hard to break – and felt relief when they stayed silent.
Still, she mourned just a little for the lost time and the loss of self. Then tucked the sadness away and welcomed happiness back into her life.