By Vania Graciela. Vania is a student living in Tangerang, Indonesia. Please read her article and leave your thoughts and comments below.

It was simple. He asked and she agreed. He took the lead and she followed. What else was she supposed to do, when he had such a hold on everything that she was?

The first step was a breeze, carrying her forward with him by her side. And so they ran, their hand in each other’s. But as they ran, she slowed down. She stopped and time was a blur. She was frozen while he ran through the fields, not once looking back. With the first step, his question was left as a weight on her shoulders.

The second step was nothing like the first. She trudged through the mud, trying to make it across. She had seen him, a silhouette heading towards the fading sun. But just as before, time had slowed down around her. Even as her mind was racing towards him, it could not leave the body trapped with a record of him leaving once more. And as the record played, the weight on her shoulders got heavier, with the will to take her fully under.

The third step was defeat. She let the weight settle as she slowly fell to her knees. He was long gone, and who was to say he would return. With every heaving breath she took, the air itself seemed to turn against her. A sudden spark ignited, a fire burned up inside her, replacing what was once her white flag. The weight dragging her down was left as dust in the wind, and she rose once more.

The fourth step was revival. Just as she thought she had burned out, the world had disagreed and supported her with the solid ground beneath her, keeping its form even with elements forcing to let her fall. As a person rose, a beast awakened inside her, adding to the fire that could be seen glowing in her eyes. This time she walked with purpose. Because this time, she was not going to reach out for him and take his hand. She would pass him and leave him there, as he had done to her.

The fifth step was the last step. The step where she ran, and the step where she took control. With an inch from self-destruction, she pushed the beast inside her into the raging fire it created for itself, bringing the orange flames to a cloud of solid grey. And as that cloud slowly dissolved into the air, so did all the crushing weight one singular phrase brought her. There she awaits another time of change, another place to put her foot down. For even with the breeze passing her shoulders, her hands remain stained. Reminding her of all the steps she took, and all the steps she would take.

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