by Kate Oliver

Somehow, it permeated the cracks.

I have been sleep-walking for months. Through the ice, the mist and the rain I have bowed my head and carried a load far heavier than I am able. I have made it here on some mystical pilgrimage because I need to feel something. My swimsuit feels tight and my limbs are unsure of what comes next. The first dip is stunning. The second is agony.

The water is forcing its way in. It is gushing inside wounds that are still raw and I am momentarily paralysed. I push my arms forward to demonstrate I am here and my legs remember to follow. The slow but steady movement helps my body to feel a rhythm it hasn’t felt in months. I don’t blame him for that, but every move by body makes now is a move away into something new, something cold. I keep going.

It seeps in.

“I have made it here on some mystical pilgrimage because I need to feel something.”

I have been worried about the heat. Heat keeps things close – it reignites. I do not want it to be reignited. It has already combusted and burned away. I am charred.

I sit with those feelings as the afternoon heats up. But it does not reignite – much like the freezing water – it begins to creep in. The half of my body covered in shade begins to resent its happier half, and for a moment I realise that this is what healing feels like. The sun has warmed me and promised something better. I gaze back to the imprint left on the grass and realise it the marker of what has been, what never was, and what could be.


Kate Oliver | @KaoliverOliver

Kate Oliver is a twenty-something living in north London, but constantly pining for the actual North. She works in the charity sector advocating for the right of charities to speak up and campaign, and helps smaller organisations develop their social impact goals. She can be found commenting on mostly everything at @KaoliverOliver.

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