He doesn’t meet her or offer help while she searches. Instead he watches her with mild curiosity as she races around, frantic, beating her head against the wall as the relationship dissolves like the sweetness of sugar into the bitterness of coffee. She screams, she glares, she ignores, she loves, she’s silent, she works, she pushes and pulls, but he stays there, glued to the comfort of the rickety, splinter-filled chair he built for himself that he sits in day in and day out, pushing her down when she tries to join him.
She sneaks snacks from others who willingly hold their hands out to her, the stray cat. They pet her, and tell her how beautiful she is, and she shines like she once did for him. She feels guilty for taking their snacks. She knows he has a plethora of nourishment frozen somewhere deep inside of him, and she wants to hold out for that. She tried chipping away at it, tried melting it, but she’s exhausted, and has forgotten who she is, and what she ultimately wants.
She runs far and wide, in search of her own nourishment. She looks for the love she already possesses inside of herself. She’s close. She smells it, can almost taste its sweetness, until she hears him calling for her. She stops and turns, listening to the sound of his voice, basking in it. Finally, he wants her, he sees her, he misses her, and so she happily runs back, jumping into his arms. He strokes her, kisses her, tells her how much he loves her and she relaxes into him. However, the more she relaxes, the more distant he becomes yet again. She panics and clings. He pushes and shoves until she jumps down, leaving him to go hunting again. She decides to run as far as her legs will take her out into the darkness of the unknown. She may end up on the other side of the world but she doesn’t care so long as she can feel safe, and grounded and sustained on her own courage, love, and desire to blaze her own trail.
He calls after her again and she stops, listens, and once again basks in the sound of his voice. It’s farther away this time and she’s surprised at how far she’s come, at how far her legs have taken her. She listens to his voice, but for different reasons this time. She memorizes its tone, the way he says her name and she tucks it into a small pocket inside her heart before she turns and keeps running.