My enigma is not dancing. Her body is curled up against the side of our couch and there’s a swallowing light blue linen dent engulfing her body. Her clothes aren’t the majestic swirling gypsy cottons. Instead, she is clothed in a kelly green sweatshirt and gray oversized sweatpants; my sweatpants. She hasn’t changed clothes in 3 days. The last time she showered. Messy, tattered hair sits on top of her head like ragged, rusty crown from a monarchy overthrown centuries ago. The age spots seem to grow more prevalent with each day she decides to not live.
She’s not talking or smiling. I miss her roaring laughter. I miss her subtle, quiet inside jokes. I miss my other half. I miss my lover. We’ve been through hell, and we’ve survived it. We held hands and walked out of those raging red flames. Our bodies not scorched or burned. Our hearts black seared only slightly from those hellfire burning brimstone hard times. They were the times where we fought our demons. And we managed to stay intact. Hand in hand, and our foot steps mirrored each other in a divine devotion.
I am the devil sitting on one shoulder and she is the angelic ray perched on the other side. She is my best half believing in everything. I’ve never believed in anything. She has always held enough belief for the both of us.
Once she came rip-roaring into our bedroom in the middle of an afternoon on a random summer day. Her voice screeched with anticipation. She screamed, “Wake up! Wake UP!” I arose wearily from a lazy, humid mid-summer nap.
“They caught him. It’s on CNN! They got one. It’s real. Come look, c’mon!” She kept rustling the covers, stirring afternoon energy with an excitement.
I stumbled from my sleep to the living room to stare at the television. There in a white styrofoam container reserved for boat parties and summer fun, people had posed a dead Big Foot. She truly believed they had finally gotten the infamous wood roaming creature. As much as I wanted to yell at her for awakening me with her naivety, I didn’t. As much as I wanted to scold her for believing in the unbelievable, well… I positively couldn’t.
The look on her face had captivated my attention. She squatted down in the floor with her legs crossed like a child on the kindergarten circle mat. She secured the closest view to the television. Her wide, doe eyes studied every movement as television panned in and kept repeating the same shot.
She wholeheartedly believed laying in that cooler was a real-life once living and breathing hairy Sasquatch. I sat back on our old plaid apartment couch watching and listening to her tales. She reminisced how as a child she held a certain fear for Big Foot. I listened to her stories of having to leave camp sites early because she knew this creature had been lurking too close for comfort.
Within two hours the newscasters recanted their initial report and called it a hoax. Big Foot stopped existing again. She sat, still in her same spot, still staring but her expression and demeanor had changed. The scene mimicked an early Christmas morn, and she had been forced to watch a thief sneak into her home and steal all the presents she’d waited eleven months to open.
Quietly, I could feel her scolding herself for her foolishness. I laughed and told her “They’ll get him one day. There are too many sightings for him not to be real.” Never once could I admit I didn’t believe in Big Foot, or the Yeti, or the Loch Ness Monster, or any created mythical figures which had died many years ago with my childhood. I believe in nothing. I stopped believing in all things long before I met her.
But then she danced into my life. She spun magical woven tapestries around my heart the first night she touched me. Perhaps, on the night I met her, I believed in something; one tiny miraculous creation. I believed in her.
I held her heart openly as we crossed rivers in inflatable kayaks and walked trails throughout old Appalachian hills. I caught her tears and sadness when life disappointed her over and over again. I wrapped my hands around her plump cheeks when she grinned showing her white Chicklet-shaped front teeth right before she kissed me. I let her breath caress my chest and whisper a never-ending string of love letters into my ears as her body heaved in a slow, glorious exaltation when we made love.
I believed in her. Her alone. She is the only creation worth believing in.
Today, she sits sullen and her eyes stare into a distance. I can’t see where she is. I’m sitting less than 10 feet across the room from her, and I don’t know where her mind has went. Her body is there but her spirit, her wildness, is gone. Every few hours, she raises up from the couch and walks outside. She lights her cigarette and there is an automated smoking motion. She immediately returns to her dented spot on the light linen sofa.
I don’t know where she’s gone. I don’t know if she is coming back.
I ask, “Whatcha thinkin?” Hoping she will talk, begging to hear a few worthless words.
The unknown monotoned voice replies, “Nothing.” She goes back to staring at the same four walls. She forces me out. I’m not allowed in. No boys, no humans, allowed today.
I miss her. I may not believe in anything, but I believe in her.
My mind says the same words it has repeated for almost a month, “Come back. Please come back. Please stop shutting me out. I need you. I finally believe in something.”
Rachel E. Bledsoe is a writer and an Appalachian Misfit Mama. She enjoys swimming, long walks on the beach, and Marie Antoinette biographies. She is the sole voice and writer behind The Misfits of a Mountain Mama. You can visit her on Facebook or on Twitter @MisfitMtMama.