Do you know the greatest trick that the devil ever pulled? It started with a lie. A lie that trickled down through generations, contaminating and consuming everything in its path. Some women forge their lives out of the finer things in life. They color themselves in pearls and satin. They cloak their destiny in stars and galaxies. Other women are born in the dirt like the latest summer crop. They find themselves huddled beneath the surface of the soil, cultivated beneath mud and rocks.
Huddled in the fetal position, they open their eyes to darkness. Some women find their voice amidst the pitchless vibrations of the underground. They scream and shout, pushing their vocal chords to the limit until they finally hear the melodic undertones of the beauty in the sound that makes them who they are. So what does the world do with women who are buried beneath the soil, purposely pushed underneath the rock of the earth out of an attempt to silence them? It hunts them down.
Her eyes glowed green. Her hair was wild and flowing. Her fingers were delicate enough to soothe a baby with their touch but strong enough to crush an enemy in her fingertips. From the moment of her conception, she had been an act of rebellion. Her beginnings were a flaw in some great, flawless design. Her parents had broken far too many rules and she was the result of their reckoning.
One cold day, she had stood, as a child, and watched them come for her parents. Hidden deep behind the cover of the forest near their home, she had watched them drag her parents, kicking and crying out. She had stayed hidden because she knew that that was what they would have wanted her to do. She never saw them again. Every night, she dreamed of them. But her hands would never touch theirs again.
Wandering through the woods, she had made a home for herself amidst the trees and the birds. She had grown up living a life that was nothing short of nomadic and wild. Yes, she was human, but so much of her spirit was intertwined with the earth around her. So, like a budding crop, she had forged her identity out of the same identity that ran through the trees and the rivers and the animals.
When she saw him for the first time, she had been captivated by the color of his eyes. Just like hers, they glowed with green. But there was something else hidden in his eyes that she had lacking in hers. His eyes glowed with worldliness. His eyes told stories about places that she could only dream of knowing about. So, in her innocence, she fell in love with his eyes.
Whether his intentions were pure at the start, only he can tell. But, from the moment that his hands found their way across her soft skin, a plan hatched in his mind. She was an oddity. A beautiful young woman hidden in a forest that had remained relatively untouched by the modern world. Her eyes, to him, told a story. She was a wild horse desperately in need of a saviour. She needed to be captured and taken in and cared for. Most importantly, the world needed to hear her story. The world needed to know that she existed.
One evening, as they lay nestled against the fallen leaves and the soft debris of the earth, he told her of his intentions. He explained his love for her and convinced her to leave with him. With fear and hesitation, she agreed. Just like that, her independence and carefree life lay dangling, abandoned with the trees and the sound of the open forest.
Her life with him was not a happy one. From the moment that she surrendered to him, he made it clear that she was more than just his lover. She was his property. From the hair on her head to the balls of her feet, she belonged to him. He paraded her around like a trophy. Told everyone he knew of how they had met. Her presence in his life became the greatest prize that he had ever won.
One day, as she stared at herself in the mirror, it occurred to her that she had become just like one of the caged animals that she had grown so accustomed to seeing. The bars around her life were not made of steel. The bars around her life were made of a pair of hands, painstakingly guiding her every decision and thought. On their first anniversary, she decided to leave him.
One night, as he lay sleeping, his eyes shut to the trouble of the world, she packed a small bag and left. Whether he pursued her, she will never know. But, by the time the sun rose on the horizon before her, her life with him was nothing more than a memory.
She travelled through the world for a while, seeking shelter in solace and surviving each day on a miracle and hope. But, eventually, she found her place in the world. She found a home in the same earth that she had always clung to for life and vitality and strength. She made her destiny out of the same life that flowed through the rivers that her hands love to run their fingers through. She found herself amidst all the beautiful things that she had been molded into as a young girl, running through an endless maze of winding branches and untouched earth.