Cat sleeping on the bed by her feet, she dreamt of solitude, and why not? The man she had given her past, present, and all her future prospects no longer cared for her. Her son would soon leave to start a family of his own, her oldest friend left her long before she died, and her parents were going, going, gone from her life and soon this world.
The background of her mind played soothing melodies as she travelled in empty trains, toured abandoned bookstores throughout the British Isles–wandering their brightly lit halls with noone to hurry her, no schedule nor expectations, just the joy of a world of literature all to herself. She walked with ease, knees and wrists bending readily and without pain; her body no longer betrayed her.
She was surprised she was not lonely, but the books themselves kept her company with the silent voices of those long gone. She hummed to herself as she perused each aisle, composing a little poem in her head:
ghosts…does it matter? This world,
freedom hers alone.
Finally her journey ended in the far north of the globe. She took her paper pulp treasures with her inside the glass igloo, the Northern lights danced above her as she sat padded in covers within the dome–a miniature cosmos heated just for her from machines hidden deep within the earth’s crust. As long as she had food and shelter, books and a view, she could drink in eternity with her eyes.
Contentment filled her. The thought of being alone no longer hurt the hole in her heart but filled it with hope. Her child, the bright spot of her existence, was fine and would be a great man despite his current growing pains. Her husband neither needed nor cared for her. Didn’t accepting her solitude grant her freedom?
Her eyes were weighted shut, her muscles stiff and unyielding, but at last she pulled herself from her lethargy and forced herself to swim upwards, through the depths of her dreams, to open her eyes. The cat, the feline that had shunned her so often, lay curled at her feet. The woman smiled good morning, scratched behind the creature’s ears, then went to walk the puppies in crisp, white snow.
*Image courtesy of BigFoto.com.