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A Stop Along The Path

Matias and Amira

By kathleen rojasPublished 2 months ago 31 min read
A Stop Along The Path
Photo by Jasper van der Meij on Unsplash

Amira was dreaming. “That’s your cue!” Stomach in knots. Her cue? Which play is this? What’s my part? Sweating and dizzy. She barely walks to center stage and with a SLAM- she’s face down. Just as she feared. Snickering, judgement. Humiliation.

It occurs to her that none of this is real. High school was a long time ago. She’s 45 and married now….. no. That's not right. Not married anymore. Cheek burning hot in the spotlight. She turns her face to hide from the intensity and grit rubs across her nose. Batting her eyes open, dusting away sand, Amira sits up in confusion. She can hardly see in the glare. She shields her eyes and feels a salty breeze cool her flushed face. An endless sparkling ocean with a spotless horizon stretches out before her. Outside? Why am I on a beach? For a moment of confusion she thought she had dozed on the resort lounger again and rolled off. Amira sees she is alone on an empty beach. She remembered sitting for dinner on the cruise ship last night. Amira notices her dress from the evening before. Oh my goodness! The ship? Where on Earth is the cruise ship?? Amira stands but staggers as her eyes dot black. Her mouth sealed closed from lack of moisture. She drops back to her knees hard and feels the stab from the rocky sand. Oh no. Panic. She must breathe. Her skin and hair feel stiff and salty. She was in the water? Had she fallen off the ship?? Her memory is a dark chasm. Looking around at her surroundings in desperation she sees the beach is mostly sun bleached rock. Limestone. There is some tall grass and very few palm trees. Further inland on higher ground are large palms and grass atop rock formations. Low-lying cliffs in the distance. She had no idea where she was. Are they in port? It had been 6? Or 7 nights already. The ports blurred into one another. Had they left the Canary Islands? Were they heading back to Morocco or was it Spain? Amira sat and took a deep breath to focus on what she could remember from the previous night.

Amira sat down at her assigned table at dinner but she had a vague recall of collapsing onto a deck lounge chair and succumbing to the violent spins. Amira’s pulse quickened. She feared what lurked in the shadowy gaps of her memory. Amira never drank alcohol but Mr. Phillipe was so insistent. She agreed to accept the drink to be polite but also because she was hoping to dilute the awkwardness. Amira never went dining alone, nor traveled. She had accepted that she would be subjected to dining by herself on this trip but had not accounted for assigned dinner seating on the cruise. She was to be fifth wheel. Luckily, the meals on the cruise had been surprisingly delightful, up until last night. Her dinner companions, were a young couple on their honeymoon who skipped dinner or spent it whispering- The Dysen’s. Amira talked with the older couple- The Phillipe’s. Mrs Phillipe- Clara- had kept the conversation flowing- quite inquisitive. Amira happily answered all of Clara’s questions. It had been years since someone showed interest in her. She hadn’t spoken so much about herself since she and Carl began dating. That was almost thirty years ago. Goddamn Carl. She had planned to tell people that she was recently widowed if anyone asked why she was alone. However, she wasn’t ashamed to tell Clara that she took this cruise by herself because her husband had left. She was boasting about it, as though she had been waiting for someone to ask. It was her lifelong dream to see the Mediterranean. It was meant to be their big anniversary trip. It would’ve been their first trip anywhere. Amira worked hrough her summers to save for this trip. There was no way that fool Carl was going to rob her of this experience the way he robbed her of twenty- five years of her life. She traded his cruise ticket in for an upgrade to her own. This was the bravest thing she had ever done. Amira was looking forward to meals with Clara but last night was different. It was only Raymond- Mr Phillipe. “Clara was feeling queasy.” He saw Amira’s face fall. Raymond had barely spoken the evenings before while the women talked. Now all of his focus was on her, expecting the same charming conversationalist. The truth is for much of Amira’s life before this cruise she barely spoke to anyone unless she had to. The frustrating thing was she felt she had things to say but wouldn’t let them out. She was not bold like her mother had been. There had been so many times that she held her tongue out of shyness. She was never comfortable asking questions either. It was difficult for her get to know someone. What if they rejected her? Amira was often ignored, overlooked. Amira would be a spectator of life, the observer. Day after day for twenty years she haunted her office like a ghost. The other school secretaries she shared space with discussed their lives, their families. Small talk, gossip, playful banter- all around her while she sat in silence. “Oh look at Amira- so quiet. So engrossed in her work!” She wasn’t. She listened to their every word but she knew it was too late now to change. Mostly, they forgot she was there. Luckily, Clara conducted dinner like an interview. Amira felt like a guest on the Tonight Show. This set her free.

Without Clara, Raymond would find Amira to be a most dismal dinner companion. So she took the drink. It seemed a bit too strong, but to her any drink would be strong. Amira couldn’t understand the appeal of liquor. She immediately felt the warmth. She would just have to struggle through this one drink and then she’d be relaxed. But that was it- the last coherent thought Amira could recall. Amira didn’t remember the conversation, dinner or even finishing the drink. Just a sickening swim of her head. Coming out of her contemplation, Amira looked up again at her surroundings. Did she just keel right over the side? Was she leaning over to vomit?? Washing up on shore like a dead fish while all of her belongings- luggage, ID, phone and credit cards sailed off without her into the sunset? “Dear Lord, I am a fool.” Amira sobbed. Amira had been closeting her wounded pride for weeks now. She hadn’t even loved Carl so why had the abandonment stung so much? She knew it was really because HE left, not her. He found someone else and left her while she had stuck around for all those years. She was a coward. The sun was beating down on her head and Amira realized it must be nearly noon. If she wasn’t completely dehydrated before, she was now. Amira needed to start her walk of shame down the beach. Hopefully, it wouldn’t be a far walk to the nearest resort so she could get help. She had to figure out how to repair this mess.

Amira walked along the wet sand. The lazy surf spilled in occasionally to dampen her feet. She couldn’t see very far ahead down the beach. In each direction the shore turned inland and ducked behind the low cliffs. She assumed she was walking west based on which direction she thought the sun was moving. Amira’s sense of direction was awful. She always chose the wrong way first. Right now she was focussing on what looked like palm trees up on the higher ground. They seemed to be about a mile away. If she got near the trees with still no signs of civilization in view she may try and see from a higher vantage point. She believed it was fruit that she saw hanging from the trees and she remembered her thirst. A tour guide mentioned the palm trees with the yellow dates on the islands. They were edible- although- not very tasty. Thankfully, there was a steady breeze that kept her cool enough to keep going. She hoped she’d make it to a hotel before she needed to resort to climbing and shaking palm trees.

It was an hour or two into her trek when the clouds began to thicken and a darkness threatened the horizon. The gentle breeze grew into a forceful wind causing sprays of sand to sting her skin and eyes. Amira started to become alarmed that she would be caught in some bad weather before she made it to a hotel. She had no idea how much farther she needed to go. The cruise ship’s last port was called Lanzarote- she thought. Or was to be the next port? It had been so many days she was getting confused. How far could they have sailed? How long before her absence was noticed? They couldn’t have been too far out to sea if Amira made it to land. But how many hours ago was that? She wasn’t even sure how long she was lying on that beach. Amira heard the howl of wind and her attention was drawn to an elevation where a powerful gale nearly blew over a large palm tree. A golden-colored bushel came loose and tumbled down to the rocks below. She went over to investigate and was elated to see that she was right, it was a cluster of yellow fruit. Amira murmured grace while she consumed the dates. The sky was darkening quickly and she was struggling to see from the wind. Amira resigned herself to the notion that she needed to get out of the open and shelter herself from the coming storm. Stepping down from the rocks she found herself a shallow cavern underneath that would shield her. The rain came down fast and heavy and she was happy to have found herself some protection. She sat holding her knees with her back against the rock listening to the sounds. After about a half hour the downpour subsided into a light misting but Amira was feeling hesitant to leave her secure place. Her mood had turned. Although she was still craving some real food, she was worried about walking with no known destination in the dark of night. What if this was just the beginning of the storm? Amira began to wallow in her predicament and sank into depression. What was she thinking? Taking this cruise alone without a word to anyone. School break had just begun. Who is even looking for her? Who would care? The parishioners at St Mary would probably think she was in hiding. Missing church to avoid seeing Carl with Janice. She couldn’t even imagine the gossip. They’d think she was home with the covers over her head. Poor childless Amira, can’t even keep her man. Even when they discover she’d taken the cruise they might assume she jumped off the boat over Carl when she turned up missing. That thought sunk her down low. The idea that anyone would believe she was suicidal over that sorry sack of potatoes.

Matias was appreciative for the security of the cave but he backed in the warm breeze. God was continuing to answer his prayers. “Thank you, Lord! I have faith you will lead me! My life is in your hands!” It felt good to call out at the top of his voice. He curled up and slept. In his dreams he was a child living near the sea before the illness. His mother’s smile. Sounds of giggles rom his brothers. “Mati!!” He missed his mother’s embrace but that was so long ago. He was old now, tired bones. He had wished he did not get so lost but he knew God led him here for a reason. God would find him here and show him the way to go next.

Amira woke curled on her side, hugging her knees in the dark of the cave. It was humid and warm. She stepped out into the open and the sky was now clear with the moon high above the ocean, shimmering it’s light down onto the lapping waves. It was a beautiful night. Amira had stewed over Carl long enough. Time to focus on her current plight. The one thing she learned was that it was better to work on fixing a problem than letting it fix itself. Up until today this trip had been the best experience of her life. Even right now when she’d normally be sitting home alone- here she was strolling down her own private beach in the moonlight- big sky full of stars. The moon, stars and sea- all for her. Amira allowed the ball of her foot to sink briefly down in the sand with each step. “Footprints in the Sand.” That was the poem on her mother’s nightstand. Amira used to believe that during the tough times in her life God would indeed carry her, but lately she had not been feeling that at all. Her only family gone. Carl’s gone too. Amira had not felt solace in her faith. Lack of spiritual connection. No one is listening. A hole was tearing in her veil of faith. She felt it but wasn’t willing to look at it yet. Amira’s stomach growled and she decided she’d continue to walk through the night and hopefully find help by sunrise.

Matias was dreaming. He felt his mother’s heartbeat in rhythm with his own. She shrinks and withers. The rhythm breaks. Fading away, faster and faster but weaker with every beat. Darkness, void. He was alone. Alone even when others are around. Moving shadows stirring. He could not bring himself to emerge from his abyss. Easier to detach than engage. He did not want to follow the the sunlight and feel the warmth his face. Shuffle room to room. Place to place. Fed, washed. Repeat. Matias awoke with a start but eased when he remembered where he was. Rescued from his grave and brought out into the sunlight. He had been dead for years. A ghost haunting the Earth. But no. New life. He crawled and stretched around in his cave. The remains of his fruit had fuzzed over and shriveled. There was hardly a drop of liquid left but it was something to chew on. He climbed atop his hill and called out to God. “Thank you! Thank you for this morning! For this new day! I know you will show me where to go next!”

Amira had walked through the night. She barely noticed the sky had started to brighten, rehashing her regrets. The sun started to rise ahead of her. She stopped. Amira had expected the sun to rise behind her- she thought she was walking west. Had she gotten herself turned around after the cave? Did she backtrack all that way? She was so lost. She was feeling hungry, thirsty and exhausted. Quite defeated she realized it was time for food and rest. Amira started inland where she spotted a gradually inclining path. Once she reached the summit she collected some dates from a palm and sat down to eat. All she saw around her was rocks, sand and waves. Suddenly she felt a jolt of surprise and a chill down her spine. A voice. She could hear someone’s voice. Oh thank God! Amira stood up looking all around and stopped to listen closely to the direction the call was coming from. She heard it again- sounded like someone shouting. It was coming from further inland. She had not even considered there would be a resort or hotel inland- normally a hotel would be close to the port or waterfront. She couldn’t believe she had been walking back and forth across the beach without even thinking to check inland! The voice was gone but she had an idea of the direction and headed straight for it along the rocks. She came down onto a sandier path and followed it to a clearing. There was a low cliff overhanging a cave. On top of the cliff with back towards her was a man. He had matted gray hair and was skin and bones. He was wearing a pair of dirty green pants. She walked close enough to be in shouting distance and called “Hello?! Pardon me…. sir?” He didn’t acknowledge her. She stayed on the sand path but walked closer until she was beneath the peak where he sat. “Hello?” She looked around her and saw a blanket in the mouth of the cave. There was also a few pieces of shriveled fruit in a tangled net. Amira walked around the bottom of the cliff looking up to see the man’s face. She was right below him and called up again “Hello? Hola Senor? I’m Amira. English? Spanish?” He just stared down blankly like he was looking right through her and gave no response. “I just need help- if you could be so kind as to direct me to where the nearest hotel would be? Is this one of the nature preserve islands? Uh- What island is this?” No response. Amira waved her arms, “Hello?? You could at least acknowledge me. Am I invisible??” The strange man continued to stare down and ignore her. Amira furrowed her brow and started off to continue her search along the sand path to see who else she could find. How odd. He was looking right through her.

It wasn’t long before her sand path ended and she was getting into waist-high grass. The vegetation was much thicker here. She was getting lost in the trees the further she went into the swamp. Amira didn’t have shoes so she was tearing up her feet on the fallen branches that were hidden in the mud. Amira realized she couldn’t make it very far in this. She needed protection for her feet first. She decided to go back before she lost her way. Perhaps she could find a better route by going around the other side of that strange man’s cave. Amira found a fig tree with low hanging fruit. She grabbed an entire branch and took off a few figs to eat along the way. She was famished and could have devoured them all but had noticed the man only had two deflated pieces of fruit left in his net. Maybe he would appreciate the gift and warm to her. When she got back to him he was down off his cliff at the entrance to the cave, leaning back with his eyes closed. “Having a nap?” Amira asked. “ I don’t mean to disturb your snooze but I brought you a few figs since I noticed your fruit looks spoiled.” Silence. “Say, are you using that net? If you’re no longer using it would you mind if I did? Please, I need something to tie around my feet so I can get through the swamp back there. Unless you know of a better way around?” The man did not stir. It was not like Amira to approach anyone and ask for help but obviously this was a desperate circumstance. What is wrong with this man? What’s to be gained by ignoring her? Amira left the branches of figs at the man’s feet and continued around to see if there was another path. For some reason his cold demeanor made her want to cry.

A drizzle was developing into a very steady rain. The sandy path did not continue around the other side of the cave like she hoped, it was blocked by rock. She found a place to take shelter. She realized the reason she was having trouble fighting back the tears was because she had been walking since the middle of the night. Now it was probably close to noon and so she needed to shut her eyes.

Amira was startled awake in pitch blackness. Someone was shouting. “Thank you! Almighty God I thank you!!! I am grateful to you for providing me with food and warmth! I knew you would come to me!! It took Amira a few seconds to come to. When she did - she realized it was that old man shouting. “Ok so he speaks English alright.” Amira said to herself, “And he's thanking God right now for the food that I gave him.” Amira came out from her shelter. The rain had passed and left a clear night. She walked back around to the old man’s cave. He was lying inside on the branches she had left him, wrapped up in his blanket. “You're welcome for the food. You made use of the branches also I see. So are you lost here too? Is that why you are sleeping here? Why don’t we help each other? I know you speak English, I just heard you.” The man kept his eyes closed and snuggled deep into his makeshift bed. He let out a big sigh and seemed to drift off to sleep. “I’m taking this then!” Amira snapped. She dragged his net around to her side of the cliff back into her own shelter. Her heart was pounding. She had never spoken to anyone like that before and she felt bad that she took his net even though she had fed him. She would think of a way to repay him.

When she got back to her side she was able to rip the large net into a few smaller pieces. She wrapped each foot and saved the rest in case she needed it. It worked, her feet felt protected. Too dark to navigate now so Amira planned to wait until sunrise. The breeze was whipping up again and Amira decided to take the opportunity to try and capture some of this rain. She gathered several large palm leaves and weaved them together into a bowl-like shape. She took some of the net to brace the weave. It was concave and sturdy enough to capture a decent amount of rain. She secured the bowl down with a rock and left it outside the cave.

Amira laid down to rest before daybreak. She was in and out of sleep. She dreamt she was effortlessly floating on top of the sea. She was part of it, one drop of water in the vast ocean. The old man rocked towards her in a small boat wrapped in his blanket. She lost her balance and began to sink. She called out and started splashing for his help but he ignored her. She became furious yelling to him, “Don't leave me out here! You can’t just let me drown!” She watched his boat drift away as she was sucked under the water. Amira opened her eyes feeling angry but then sadness swept through her. Why was everyone so indifferent to her? Was she so insignificant? Amira brightened when she saw her bowl had worked. It was full of rain water. There was plenty for her to quench her thirst and some leftover. Amira didn’t feel right discarding the water so she decided to give it to the old man. She had stolen and tore up his net after all. Plus, Amira would feel better leaving him knowing she left him with food and water. Today she would find help and let the authorities know that he was out here. She walked around to his cave and found him up on top of his cliff staring out into the sunrise. She put the bowl down in his cave next to his blanket. “I’m leaving you some fresh rain water down here, Mister Howell.” she called. She dragged in another bushel of dates. “Me and Ginger are going to go look for the professor.”

Amira was very deep in the swamp. It was a moving thing crawling with lizards and bugs and who knows what. The smell had turned from a sweet rot to choking sulphuric stench. Her bound feet were sinking deeper and deeper into the foamy marshland with every step. Amira’s hopes of making it to a clearing were fading. Then she saw it. The clearing she’d been hoping for was actually a large bog. It was dark and covered in pond scum. She had no idea how deep it was or what was in there and it went on forever in both directions. Amira could not believe this!!! How could this be happening to her?! There was no other option but to turn back. Amira was completely defeated. She wanted to lay down in the bog and die but somehow she forced herself to make it out. Amira emerged from the swamp to hear the calls of the old man shouting from his cave again. “Thank you Almight God!! You answer my prayers and gift me fresh food and water!!! I am so grateful to you my Lord!! You are my Savior!!” Amira flew over to the caves in a blind fury. “How dare you!!” She growled “You seriously have the nerve to thank God for what I did? But ignore ME! I didn’t have to give you food or water! You don't even have the courtesy to speak to me??” He continued his blank stare without expression. Amira finally snapped. She knelt down in front of him and grabbed his bony arms in her hands. She shook him and said “Why do you ignore me??” The man started blinking wildly and looking around him. His mouth was hanging open in complete shock and he went stiff as a board as his face turned sheet white. “Oh my Lord!!!! Is that you my God?? You have come to me??? Please God!!I would never ignore you my Lord! I barely hear your voice! I can feel you but I do not see!!!” The man reached out in front of him and lightly touched her face. He gasped and tears rolled down his cheeks. “God? It is You! You have come to me at last!!” He wailed. Amira let go of his arms and felt a shame like she had never felt before. “Oh my goodness- you don’t see?” Amira whispered. Matias was shaking wildly “God? I feel your breath but i can barely hear you” he reached for her. Amira stared dumbly at the man as he lightly danced his shaking hands over her face and her hair. She stuttered loudly, “Um. Oh….. Oh my…S-so you are blind actually. You see I didn't notice that. Ummmm…. So Hi. I’m Amira. No, eh- not God, actually. I am Amira.”

The man gestured to his right ear that he was struggling to hear so Amira had shout into his left ear. She repeated that she was not God. He lowered his hands and said “Yes you are. I prayed for you to help me. To bring me food because I could not see, to help me collect water because I did not know how. I prayed for you to show your love for me and you did. You did all these things. I prayed and you are here. God I thank you.” He was so overcome with emotion that Amira began to weep. She was confused at what was happening. Amira looked around and was able to find a shell large enough so that the old man could hold to his left ear and amplify the sound. This way he could hear if she spoke loudly.

Amira asked him for his name. “My mother named me Matias but I have not heard it since I was a boy, many years ago.” “

How did you get here on this island? Do you know where we are.” Amira asked.

“Now that the Lord has come to me, I am in paradise, I came to be here following the path you have left for me.” He answered. She was getting uncomfortable with this mistaken identity. He didn’t seem crazy but why would he be out here all alone. “Ok, I am pleased to meet you Matias, but I am not God, I am Amira.”

“Yes my God you are a mirror to the I AM, created in your image, here to evolve myself by following the chosen path.” Amira sighed, “ No- I am a woman named- Amir- you know what? Lets move on. So you don’t know what island this is? Or how you physically got here?”

Matias told Amira all he knew- which was not very much. He knew he lived close enough to the sea near Gibraltar as a young boy with his mother and younger brothers. He was not born blind but became sick with fever when he was very young which almost killed him. It took his sight and left him almost completely deaf. He was taken care of by his mother for many years. After her death he let himself fall into an abyss and stopped communicating. He was moved around, although he didn’t know where and didn’t care. He assumed he was taken care of by his brothers or perhaps it was a facility. He was detached, a breathing husk for several years until one day someone took him out onto the sea. He remembered the smell from his childhood. The gentle rock of the boat reminded him of his mother. “Eventually I realized I was out there alone. Drifting. I had my blanket over my knees and there was a net with several citrus fruits by my side. I thought about going overboard and letting myself sink but I became curious. Where was headed? What’s next? I had never been on an adventure.” He didn’t know how long he been out there because of the periods he had slept. Matias explained that a storm blew him into land and he gathered the net and his blanket and turned the boat over on himself for shelter from the rain. When it was over and he felt the heat of the sun he wandered off the shore to somewhere dry and has been there since. He estimated seven days on the island. Amira sat quietly trying to fathom Matias’s experience. She couldn’t imagine being abandoned here without sight or hearing. After a time she asked “You came with a boat?”

Amira decided they would set out to walk along the beach in the morning in search of Matias’ boat. He said he never attempted to find his boat because the cave had been a better shelter. It couldn’t be too far - as long as it had not drifted away. Amira settled in to stay the night in the cave with Matias. It had started to drizzle so she put her bowl out to catch the rain. It was nice to have someone to talk to. He could hear her if she sat right beside him and projected her voice into the shell. “You understand that I am not God, don’t you? You were just in shock right?” Asked Amira. Matias realized that Amira did not know who she was. He tried to explain. “Well you see, God is all of us. “We are all part of Source. We are on Earth to live the life of the forgetful God.This is how we experience. How we learn. You are the Will. Here on this island I witnessed you express love and kindness for me. It is the Christ consciousness awakened.” This sounded a lot better than Amira’s perception of herself. Getting worked up into a fit over a disabled homeless man not giving her due credit. Could she possibly be an instrument of God? This meant Matias was an instrument as well. She had to admit this was an odd coincidence. Washing up on an island at the same time as this man. Why was she really here? Amira was not careless or a risk- taker. She was inhibited. She followed the rules. She was a doormat. Her lonely life was sad but made sense to her. But to end up lost and stranded on an unknown island? It didn’t seem real. It didn’t feel like a coincidence that Matias should be there with her.

Amira and Matias chatted into the night. Amira was completely candid about how she had come to be on the island and her life leading up to it. Her failure of a marriage, lack of real love, inability to have children. She assumed this would be enough evidence for him to let go of any notion that she could be the Divine but Matias’s faith was unshaken. He complimented her wisdom in choosing such a difficult path to walk in this life. He again thanked her for showing him what he needed to do next. To preserve. To start anew. “So I have learned it is not enough to have the faith and trust in the plan God has for you, but you also have to participate. To take those first steps into the darkness.” He said this lesson was the reason he was meant to wait for her here. Amira drifted off to sleep wondering- what was her lesson?

The next morning the two woke to see they had enough water to share before setting out on the rest of their journey. Amira wrapped some figs and dates in palm leaves tied them with the last bit of net. Matias was able to walk but it was going to be a slow pace. They did not know what this day would bring. Neither was sure they would find the boat or what their future held. Since arriving here Amira had experienced some wins and some defeats. Whatever was in store she would get through it.

It was probably only two hours into their walk when Matias had to sit for a moment and rest. They found a tree to shade him from the sun and Amira unwrapped some food. Amira was looking out towards the horizon when she noticed what looked like a dark mountain in the distance coming up out of the sea. It had to be several miles away but it was definitely land. She had not seen it before, perhaps because of all the rain and fog. Today was crystal lear. “Matias! I see land out there! I wonder if that's where you came from?” Amira suddenly had a feeling the boat must be near where they were sitting. The way the waves were washing in towards the nearby lagoon it seemed the most likely spot a boat could wash up. “I have a feeling your boat is here” Amira told Matias. He agreed. “I walked just as far as i could before finding that cave, just like today.” That was all Amira needed to hear. She rushed down the beach towards the crashing waves and looked up and down the shore. There was a collection of seaweed and branches near some rocks a few yards away. She walked over and pulled off the debri. There was the boat, overturned and sunken partially down into the wet sand. “Matias!!!!” Its here! I found it”” Matias stumbled down the sand to Amira’s voice. The pair clawed at the sand until they were able to dig the boat free and overturn it. They knelt down to catch their breath, unable to speak from the physical labor. They both sighed and chuckled with relief. Matias laid shakily in the boat on the sand, exhausted but full of excitement.

After a few moments Amira returned with enough palm bark to create a paddle. It took some effort but she was able to shove the boat out into the waves and hop in. She thought it would be a geat struggle to get the boat away from the lagoon but the wind and waves moved with them and they drifted further and further out. The distance towards the dark landscape lessoned as Amira paddled and their little island shrank away. “Oh how can I ever express my gratitude to you, God?” Matias asked. “Matias, I’ve told you, I am just Amira”

“That you are.” He replied. “I’ve heard all you have told me about your mistakes but I witnessed your victories. These are not flaws. You are a work of art.” Amira smiled down at Matias. Tears swelled in her eyes and she let out a laugh of joy. Here she was, filthy and tired but she had never felt more courageous in her life. “I Am.” she said “I am my masterpiece.” Amira knew what her lesson was just then. She finally allowed herself to feel the love she needed that had been absent. The love for herself.

Short Story

About the Creator

kathleen rojas

Just letting the constant stream of words flow….

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