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When I look into her eyes, I do not see my reflection. No one sees a reflection in her eyes. Her eyes consume all and reveal to others what they are at the core.
When I look deep into her eyes, am I really just a red light deep down? All of my soul, my essence, my body, my personality, the flaws, the perfections, the traits, the ambitions, the goals, the weak, the strong, the beautiful, and the ugly are represented not through my reflection, but through a red light.
I am not red, for I am a human being. Red is not my skin tone, red is not my name, red is not my face. Why red?
She does not tell me why, but only continues to stare at me with that gleamy, red glow. She must know what has happened to me within the past two weeks. I have fallen. There was a flight of stairs going up a mountain. I had tried my best to climb, I even had fun at certain points while doing so, but then I slipped on an ice patch and fell. I fell down to the second to last step.
I was still on the stairwell, but I had to nearly start all over. Not only did I have to start over, I still have to wait for the ice to melt. It is cold where I am. There isn't any chance of the ice melting soon. Red will keep me warm, but it cannot feed me, it cannot help me rest, it cannot satisfy my thirst. Red will only keep me warm in this cold patch.
One may ask how I got to this cold patch and I can tell them it was actually an accident. I had been walking along my usual trail in the park, when a young girl ran up to me.
"There is a new trail opened west of here!" The girl shouted.
I had seen the child before, yet she had never spoke to me and I had never spoken to her. Before I had a chance to ask her if it was worth the trip, she had ran off, only leaving me with the curiosity and desire to hike the trail. I accepted the challenge and began my trek. At the bottom of the stairs, I realized this would be a difficult journey and not one I could do within a day nor a week. I could possibly climb every step over the course of one month--maybe two.
Now here I am. It is midnight. I am cold, waiting for the ice patch to melt so I may continue my journey to the top of the stairs. I do not know whether I am sleeping or if I am awake, but this beautiful woman appeared to me. She had gradually materialized at such a steady pace that I did not notice her as I adjusted to my surroundings. It was only when she spoke did I first notice her.
"Why do you make yourself suffer waiting for the ice to melt? Why don't you leave and come back in the summer when the ice is gone and you have the energy to move on?" She asked.
This had not occurred to me. Perhaps she was right. She moved closer towards me and I saw the reflection in her eyes. It was not me, nor the stairs. It was a red light. Then my senses came together and I had the logic I had sought after this whole time.
She is right. I shouldn't be waiting here. I am being blinded by impulses and the willpower to do what I desire most without thinking first. With that, I stand up, walk over to the woman, and kiss her. As I kiss her, she disappears.
I wake up the next morning feeling revived and healthier. The ice has not melted a single drop since last night. I stand up, grab my bag, and turn back the way I came. I head down the stairs, knowing that one day I will return. It may be weeks or months from now, but I will reach my way to the top.
Written by Zach Zeman
aka The Hooded Werewolf