It had been a long winter. Countless days and nights alone by myself. No one to keep me company. I found myself seeking another presence, spiritual, make-believe, it didn't matter. I just missed the company of another. Someone to talk to. Someone to touch, if even only on my shoulder. Someone to see, if even I were dreaming.
I didn't plan on staying here. I didn't plan on being stuck without a phone or internet or the ability to leave. I didn't plan on spending the entire winter by myself. I didn't even like myself, much less want to be alone with myself.
I started reading an old book I found. The writing on the cover was worn off. It looked as if it may had been missing some pages. It looked like it had been read multiple times. The pages were bent on the corners. There were notes in all the margins.
This book talked about a kingdom full of mansions. It talked about promises that would make me happy. It talked about singing out loud. It spoke of crying out my misery. It talked about hope and a future.
As I was deep in my discovery, the words seemed to leap off the page. They were all around me. I was in them. This book was alive! It was breathing! I was afraid and I threw it. I moved as far away as I could. I didn't know what I was experiencing, but I knew it was real.
I came to know a man in this book. He seemed to talk to me through the words on the tattered and torn pages. He comforted me. He gave me peace. He gave me life. He made everything I had done wrong, right. He gave me strength. I wasn't alone anymore.
He told me about the place he lived. He called it a kingdom. He told me there was a key I could possess if I wanted to join him and his father. It seemed like an amazing place with no worry, no struggle, no tears or pain. He said that one day I could come, but for right now I needed to learn more about it.
Every day I read the book, being careful not to further damage this hidden treasure I had found. The more I read, the more I found myself between the lines. The man... the man that spoke to me with every single word I read... he made me see my life in a whole new light. He made all the things I couldn't understand tolerable. He was a kind man. He seemed to be a gentle man. He seemed to hold all my desires in his heart. He was something special. He was unlike any other man I had ever known.
On occasion I would doubt the unbelievable experiences I was having, only to go back to the book and find him and I both all over the pages again. It was as if it would take me into another dimension. I wanted to be in this kingdom I could see glimpses of. I wanted to literally see this man I had fallen into this bizarre sort of love with. I wanted to stay there. I wanted those feelings to never go away.
I believed what he told me. I believed in his promises. I saw his secrets and he saw mine. I had never felt more free in my entire life. I had no doubt that every bit of this book was somehow true. I just wanted this key that he spoke of so that I could stay, so that I would never have to leave again.
It was obviously possible, after all the unexplainable things I had already witnessed. I could go be with him. I could be with him where he was with his father. But this key... I had to find it! At one point he told me I could find it within me. I didn't understand, but I kept searching. I kept reading. I was sure I would find it!
What would I say when we were finally face to face? What would he look like? What would his father think of me? I would stand in front of the mirror every day asking myself these questions, wondering how to say what was in my heart. I would practice my speech of how thankful I was for having gotten to know such a magnificent man. I would imagine standing beside him.
I had come to so much extreme revelation about my life through this book. I had an understanding where there once was none. I now carried a peace inside that overcame all of my loneliness. It overcame all of the fear of being stranded. It overcame the isolation. I had overcome myself.
Dancing in front of the mirror, pretending as if I were dancing with this man I was preparing to meet, feeling more beautiful than ever, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. How foolish I thought I looked! If anyone had possibly been able to see me, they would assume I was crazy, talking to myself, singing to myself, crying to myself, dancing with myself, watching myself in the mirror... so I walked away. "I must be losing my mind.", I thought. "This book isn't real. This man isn't real. This kingdom isn't real."
I snapped back into reality. I saw I was alone. I was still stranded. I looked into the mirror. All I could see was me. Same old lonely me. I was devastated that I had created such a false reality and believed in all this nonsense I had conjured up out of my isolation and from reading that crazy book. Just as soon as I walked away from the mirror, I heard a voice. It said, "No, go back. You can see me there."
I walked back to the mirror. I stood there and looked myself in the eyes and there he was. I finally had the key! It was within me! He was within me! The kingdom was within me!