The dark clouds of sleep wrapped themselves around her consciousness. Blackness that gripped at it and refused to let it free. Its black hands reached forward to grasp her awareness too. Darkness was all that she knew. Even as her awareness came back to her she knew what she would see. She would see dark trees that had shadowed her mind forever. She would see clouds that covered the beauty of the world, and if she opened her eyes she would see a world that was dull. A world where everything had lost its color. It was the way she had always lived. A life full of pain and darkness. She vaguely remembered a time where the world was filled with vivid colors and bright light. How a sun of happiness and positivism used to follow her wherever she went. However that sun was gone. It was covered by the dark clouds of pain, and even the memories now seemed dull and dark.
As her consciousness returned further to her she expected to feel the cold air of fall pierce her frail body. Expected to feel her cold hard bed beneath her. Cold that would seep into her bones. She expected to hear the sound of cars drive by and people. However instead she felt nor heard any of that. Instead of the cold harsh winds of fall she felt warm air rushing past her. In fact she felt quite warm. Warmth that even came from the soft ground beneath her. Perhaps she was dreaming. Dreaming about the warmth and the peace that met her ears. Slowly she peeled her eyes open. She blinked a few times trying to process what she saw. Trying to understand the vivid blue sky above her. The sky should not be so blue. It was always cold and dull, not bright and brilliant.
Slowly sitting up she looked around to see a world that she had never seen before. A place that was nothing like the world she lived in. A world so full of colors. A world so bright, one that was not overcome with darkness. Standing ever so slowly she stared at the trees that were swaying elegantly in the wind. Trees unlike anything she had ever seen before. Their long branches stretched out over the earth, yet not in a menacing way. The branches seemed to instead be sheltering the earth, and their leaves were a vibrant gold. The golden leaves were inlaid with a radiant silver. The silver spread from the leaves into the trunks of the trees. Silver veins wrapping itself around the wood of the tree. The wood itself was a dark blue. The tree's roots were buried deep into the ground hidden by the dirt and silver grass. Flowers of all different colors sprung up from the ground. Their colors seemingly glowed with how bright they were colored. Her black eyes took in the beauty of this world around her. The world that was so unlike her own. Her world had almost always been dull at least for her, but even her dreary eyes saw the beauty of this world. The darkness that had a strong grip on her loosened slightly in the beauty of the world.
She felt her feet begin to move on their own and only when then did she notice she was not wearing her battered shoes. Instead her bare feet touched the soft earth. As she walked through the luminous world she felt the dark hands of pain start to lose their grip. This world was too beautiful to be real, but even if it was a dream she wanted it to never end. For the first time in a long time she felt happy. She felt safe and as if her life had meaning, even if she was doing nothing here. Even as life in this world seemed to have no meaning she still felt as if it was full of meaning. And maybe it did. The colors, the birds, and even the air all seemed to have meaning. They all seemed to have a purpose. If she had been in her other world she would have felt as if she had no purpose, but here she knew she had a purpose even if she did not know what it was.
As she walked she came upon a beautiful pool of water. The water was crystal clear and fluorescent. The foliage was filled with bright colors and brilliantly colored fish swam peaceful past the shore. A rush of sound attached itself to the peaceful air. A clear water full poured over the edge of some rocks. Walking past the fireflies that hovered all around her she walked to the edge of the lake. Kneeling down she stared at her reflection in the pool. The face she saw looked nothing like the one she remembered. She was used to seeing a broken girl in the mirror. One who never smiled. One who never knew joy and only knew pain. Yet the girl who stared back up at her was smiling. It was the face of someone who had gone through pain, but had learned to still see the beauty in the world. “How do you find the beauty of the world?”
“You look for it,” A voice echoed through the peaceful world, “It won’t be easy and people will hurt you again and again but if you close yourself off you will never find the beauty.”
She glanced away from the pool and up at the bright blue sky. The pain and darkness returned and wrapped their cold hands around her soul. How could she find beauty in her world? It was easy in this one, where everything was so beautiful. Yet as she stared at the world around her she began to see the shadows. The darkness from her world was here too. Yet she had not noticed it. She had focused on the good first. She had been unconcerned with what she did not know here. So she had seen the beauty. She had opened her heart to see the beauty and she could do it in her world too. Turning she went to look at her reflection again only to find that it was not the same. Tears were streaming down the face of her reflection, and she saw the broken girl there. The beautiful world began to fade and she was suddenly in her bathroom. Bare feet standing on the cold tiles. One hand was gripping the sink and the other held a handful of pills. Suddenly those pills seemed to burn her hand. She dropped them and backed away from the sink. Looking up at her mirror she saw her haggard face and matted hair, but what caught her attention was not her reflection. Instead of her bathroom she saw a lone tree. A tree with golden leaves and a dark blue trunk. A tree with silver veins in the leaves and bark. A tree that stretched itself over her to shelter her. For the first time in a long time her lips curved upward. The darkness still clutched her heart, but it felt lighter. She still looked broken, but she could see a sliver of the girl she had seen in the other world. She began to see the beauty of her world.