Not quite lost by francoise

Not quite lost

After the work week had ended, at dawn on the first day of the weekend, Melissa rose and ate a bowl of cheerios. The milk made her feel slightly ill, but there was no other breakfast food in her neglected cupboards and she knew she needed food in her belly for the journey ahead. She packed a broken knapsack with water and rest of yesterday’s meatloaf dinner, a couple boxes of macaroni and cheese, and a bag of apples. She headed out into the woods to find what had happened to her brother.

There had been no word from him in about a month. She knew that he sometimes visited the now rat-infested cabin their great-grandfather had built, the one only accessible by walking the eight miles into the forest. She hoped to find him there. She also hoped that the trail was reasonably clear, not likely since no one maintained that trail. On the other hand, if her brother had in fact gone to the cabin, he might have cleared the trail on the way in. He was like that, fixing things as he went, spending all sorts of time on things that didn’t matter in the big picture.

The walk seemed longer than it ever had. She was reasonably sure that the trail had not been cleared, but couldn’t tell for sure. It got darker and darker as she went deeper into the forest. She mostly watched the rocks under her feet, though occasionally a flower or a bird distracted her from her reverie. She couldn’t have told anyone what she was thinking since she entered a sort of time-free trance. Well, she might have told someone that her heel hurt. The path just continued in seemingly endless sameness.

Melissa was wondering if she had even kept to the path – it was so hard to tell – when she saw some light in the distance that she recognized as the cabin’s tiny clearing. Had anyone been there? She couldn’t tell. Then a woman appeared! “I know you are looking for your brother,” she said. “He will be back soon.” And, sure enough, her brother appeared. “Why were you worried?” he asked. Typical, she thought, struggling between anger and relief. But… a girlfriend! This was unexpected and long-awaited indeed. She tried her best to summon up some empathy for how the joy of a new romance might have led her brother to forget about the outside world which thought he might have died or worse. “I have macaroni and cheese,” she said, “we’ll have to make it with water.” “Yum!” said the girlfriend.
That feeling of relief, anger and frustration all at the same time when a family member fails to communicate. I know it so well. Lovely image going deep into the woods - and is that a hut I see at the end of the pathway.
July 31st, 2019  
"When you go down into the woods, today, you'll get a big surprise!"
July 31st, 2019  
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