A short story: The Happiness Trap

She stood, still and elegant like the towering trees that surrounded her. Staring out into her own imagination, her troubled thoughts bullying and taunting every resolve she came to. She often came to this spot, a lonely yet inspiring wood where hours could so easily drift by her. It was nearly autumn time and the leaves were bringing out their fiery, red tempers as they decayed in the brisk countryside air.

The sun, still warming the spot where she stood, was beaming at her like an old friend trying to cheer her up. The rays reflected into her emerald green eyes almost as if a projector was crackling and reeling her innermost thoughts out into the wooded background.

She could not work out where she had spent the last year. She felt as if she had let time pass by her and things had not changed. What had brought her here, to this weak and anxious corner of the mind? The rules of society and the acceptance of a generic life were not enough. She needed to escape the walls that were binding her.

Every waking moment her mind wandered into an adventure in which nature gave her spirit the happiness it craved. The day she dreamed of was close, she could feel her inspiration growing greater and the adventurer inside her shouting out for freedom. It was the day that she could step out into a new life, a new opportunity and best of all, a chance for her spirit to enhance.

She knew she was in love but not in the way that most are. She knew her journey but felt afraid by the way it blinded her. Besotted with life, she felt drunk from the way it intoxicated her and did not give way to anyone or anything. The sun and its welcoming warmth had now disappeared and the rain had started to drip from the swollen black clouds that circled above.

The trees then started to dance and sway together in the force of the wind, warning her of the incoming storm. Broken from her thoughts, she knew the darkened wood was the only shelter that she needed as she listened to the mesmerising rhythm of delicate raindrops falling.

By now her mascara had created a dramatic display, running down her face in twisted paths from her eyes. The rain had got to her through the darkened canopy but she didn’t care. She knew that this moment was about her and the negative memories of the past were dying without her attention.

She could be the only one to fuel or dampen the fire within her, to choose the right path at the crossroads she stood in front of. A sense of enlightenment passed through her as she looked up to a passing flock of birds. She had wished many a time that it were that easy to fly away from the labyrinth she felt stuck in.

It was now or never. Her muddy feet pressed firmly down on the faint and forgotten road, toes twitching, her fingers clutching at her bracelet. But it was too late for her already, she had waited too long for this selfish dream. Her stare, haunted and confident, fixated on everything ahead as she smiled and took her first silent step.

There was nothing else left for her to say or do, she was deeply in love but not like most are. She is lost…She is wanderlust.

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