With & Without

by Jess


Darkness fell across the room as she attempted to find her way. There is but a single flame to guide her, illuminating only what she needs to see. The light is almost out, but this light cannot be extinguished; many have tried. No matter what happens in her life the heat from the flame burns deep within. It creates just enough light to keep her going day after day. This time, however, the wind was blowing fiercely in the room, and it seemed as if, this time, it would go out. If it were not for the other presence in the room, it would have. She could not see or feel it, but it was there, working within and without. She found her way bumping into objects as she went. She stumbled, barely conscious of her surroundings, and collapsed on the unmade bed. The beating she received today was almost more than her fragile body could bare. It was not a physical beating, but an emotional one. While the physical scarring was not there, the emotional scarring ran deep within her heart. She began to fall asleep with wet tears from her whimpering. Tears streaked her face; shaking, she finally fell into a deep sleep. It was many hours later when she heard the faint sound of the birds outside the deck of the bedroom. The morning light slowly cast a faint glow across her face. Slowly, she squinted her eyes. Stretching her aching limbs, wondering how she managed to get in bed. She knew that she did not feel like getting up, but she found herself in the shower anyway. As she let the hot spray wash over her, the words all came back as if hearing them for the first time. The voice echoed in her mind, and with each crushing word she attempted to scrub the pain away. Finally slinking down to the floor of the shower, she pulled her knees to her chest. The tears mingled with the water. This time, however, she could feel the sting. Where before, she felt nothing. It was in this state that she was found. She felt arms lift her up and wrap tightly around her shaking body. The soft fabric of the newly changed silk sheets felt cool against her heated skin. She felt her hair being smoothed and her skin being caressed. She drifted off to sleep once again, but not before her comforter fed her. Little did she know she was being fed not only with food for her body, but more importantly food for her soul. She awoke in mid afternoon feeling for the first time. A lifetime of pain faded away replaced by a comfort she never thought possible. A smile greeted her with soft comforting words filling her ears. "Hello love." She stretched languidly hearing the intake of breath and once again feeling her body being stroked and loved. She felt soft lips close in over her own. All previous thoughts gone, she became lost, letting her body feel what her mind would not let her. With each stroke of tongue and hands, she began to heal. This time, it was real. She felt alive for the first time in her life. More than that, she felt truly loved, within and without. As the waves washed over her, she came back down; once again tears stained her flushed face. This time, they were lovingly kissed away. These tears were from the healing and freedom she felt. The release was overwhelming. In her eyes were reflected the love she longed for: trusting, loving, and spirit-filled. Eyes that accepted her as she was. Eyes that filled her deep within her soul. No longer was the emptiness nor the negative feelings. The eyes they say are the window to the soul. Where once there was a faint flame, there was a passion which burned deep. "Thank you for loving me," was all she could choke out. "Shhhhh. no need for words," the sweet voice said. "Sleep love, we have a lifetime to live. "The two souls, now one, stare for quite some time drinking in the love they shared. Nothing else mattered at this moment in time. A moment in which the eternal flame would burn within them transcending time and space.

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