The fire burned brightly in the dark, warming those who sat around it. I moved closer to my love, getting warmth not only from the crackling wood but also from his arm that hugged me closer to him. I felt content sitting here in the dark with him and the others I had come to know in the last few days. The time away from the humdrum routine of work, work, and even more work had done me good in more ways than one. I had come to a decision about what it was I wanted to do – and with whom I wanted to spend my time. The long hikes each day, the whisper of the trees and the music of the insects had helped to calm my mind and set it free from the never-ending thoughts of doubt.
I would go back home and begin to pack up my childhood; say goodbye to the security of my past. I would leave, too, the job that sucked me into long hours in front of the computer with my ear attached to the phone. When I had taken the work on, I began as an idealist wanting to change the world and confident that I could. Years, however, had shown me that lack of money and resources created a never-ending battle against the slide into poverty and despair that so many experienced. Now it was time to be selfish. To care about only me.
I will leave the life I know behind and move forward into the unknown future with a man who has shown me so much. He has given me back my enthusiasm, my zest for life, my desire to take pleasure in the little things. I will move to a new country, experience a new culture, and learn a new language. And I will do so with no regrets for what I leave behind.
I look at the crackling fire and let the conversation of the others wash over me. I snuggle closer to my man. He looks at me with a smile and gives me a gentle kiss. “I love you,” he whispers. And it is that knowledge that makes me strong.
© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
(This post was inspired by Kellie Elmore’s Free Write Friday prompt)