For mothers who care for their daughters, and for those who fear letting their child-like selves go.
“Mom, can I go?” her eager voice pleaded. She heard the bird songs in the sky and wanted nothing more than to chase them in the wind as far as her stubbly toddler legs would carry her. The meadow was her playground and she was yearning to be set free in the open green that awaited her.
By contrast, her mother stood firmly alongside her, securely gripping her tiny hand, and fearing the worst if she let her girl go with abandon. The world had already been cruel to her child, and she was not about to let her go without being able to guard her like she always had.
“Mom???” The young girl looked up with pleading eyes. “Can I go now?” The girl’s jumps from her own excitement loosened her mother’s grip on her hand with each step. She was concerned that the beautiful sounds were getting farther and farther away.
Her mother looked down at her warily. With pause and restraint, she opened her hand. Her daughter ran as far as her legs could carry her. “Yessss!” she exclaimed, ready to engage with and befriend everything in sight.
Her mother was scared. She didn’t know if her daughter would ever forgive her if she fell down and wasn’t by her side. She didn’t know if her daughter would trust. She didn’t know how her daughter would heal.
But the girl ran. With the freedom of forgetting. With the freedom of letting go. With the freedom of knowing that she would be enough to face the winds of time.
The mother never saw her daughter again. She knew, however, that her daughter had made it very far very fast, given that she was no longer under her hawk-like watch. Her daughter was meant to leave a mark on the world, and her mother knew that wherever she was, her mark would be felt.
And with that, she finally let her go.
The more money she made, the farther away she ran from her wish to set herself free. From hate, from demons, from revenge. She was her captor’s daughter, blinded by fear and nightly hauntings. She imagined a tomorrow that she would never have and kept herself busy to fake herself into thinking that she’d have tomorrow if she only kept being busy. She had already killed her spirit, however, each time she denied herself that joy of not knowing what would happen if she ever let go. Her cage felt familiar, so she stayed 10 feet in and 20 feet under the surface of the world that would swallow her. She ran and came back over and over again until she couldn’t stand the indecency of her own indecision. She woke up drunk – life is but a dream – and all before her disappeared in their cotton-eyed mist. Graveyards went barren because their zombies fled. It was the Apocalypse of a new world that forgot its name and cursed its children with futures they would never enjoy because their pasts were too strong. So they suffocated. She dreamt this every night that she stayed awake breathing in her own toxic fumes of the Zombie Apocalypse that took her voice until she died. Each and every time.