Ariella walks and walks till her legs tire. The bright sky a great contrast to her current mood. She checks on her health app and she's walked round and round in circles along the beach shore for four kilometers. If anyone was watching, they would have thought her mad. They probably wouldn't have gone closer to her either. Who wants to approach someone who's walking aimlessly along the shores of the beach. Ariella notices a broken log and chooses to sit down. Her body is exhausted from the unplanned work out. She stares at the unending sea of blue. Perhaps she ought to come to this place as often as every day to this particular spot. The alignment of the palm trees forms an octagon which seems unusually organized for the beach setting.

The octagon is very calming. As she sat on the log, she felt at peace. She felt a different projection of good vibes and most of all she couldn't feel the anger that had her walk aimlessly since midday.

She soon fell asleep and woke up to this magnificent place surrounded by a waterfall, fruit trees, roses, daisies, morning glory and sunflowers to the far end. The butterflies flew by and seemed to enjoy the scenery as much as she was. The humming of the birds sounded like a jazz mix tape playing from her grandmother's cassette. The log on which she'd sat was replaced by a stone like bench. For stone it felt smooth and warm. But again what was the point of witnessing something magical alone...without anything as close to a friend to share it with. Her stomach growled and she realized she had nothing to eat except for the fruits that seemed to juicy to be real. Ariella then walks to the trees plucks a mango and takes a bite. It would make perfect juice she thought. She uses her jacket like a basket to collect berries, grapes, two mangoes and apples. She turns to see a squirrel jumping up and down un easily trying to collect nuts.

"Here let me collect for you as many as you can eat." She murmurs to the squirrel. Skillfully she climbs the tree and shakes one of the branches. Luckily enough a handful of nuts falls to the ground. The little rodent exposes its teeth as if smiling at Ariella. She picks up the nuts and adds them on the fruit collection on her jacket. "I could use some company if you don't mind." The squirrel wags its tail in approval and follows Arielle to her spot on the stone bench.

"Why are you out here alone little fellow?"Ariella asks. The squirrel shrugs and continues to chew at its nut."I honestly have no idea why I am in this place anyway. Being alone simply sucks...especially having no one that you can trust to share all your epic ideas and crazy imaginations" Now look at me sitting here trying to explain how human life sucks to you. This is just absurd. The squirrel smiles at Arielle for a second time. "I know its pretty lame and awkward for you." She says as she returns the smile for the first time that day. "I'd like to have someone...anything to share my dilemmas and sadness today. To be able to let it all out knowing there'll be no judgment. Like you for example." Ariella continues "I hope that's okay and you don't mind" the squirrel stretches its hand to touch Ariella's elbow as a sign for her to proceed.

"Well here goes nothing. Little one. I'm going to let it all out."

See I grew up alone with my dad. My mother died when I was four and all I have a faint memories that I see in the album. It plainly sucks to have no motherly figure especially at my age. I get jealous of my friends that get to live with their mums. All I can do is imagine how life would be if she was still around. I know I wouldn't be this introvert that's always had issues making friends...and living my own life. I don't even know what my life really is. All I know is I'm entangled in my friends lives. Sort of like the best friend to the star in a reality show. It just sucks. No one seems to be bothered by what I am feeling yet I am always there for all my friends. Whenever anyone wants advice they remember I exist. It sucks to be me little fellow. The squirrel looks at Ariella and offers her a branch of grapes "Thank you little one. I wish I had someone to listen to me the way you do. I feel a whole lot better"

And then today I find out my best friend has always been in love with me. He texted me to meet him at his house. We'd been hanging out in his room when I opened a parcel with his medical documents where he'd been diagnosed with prostrate cancer and he has less than a month to live. And he hadn't told me anything about it. My fantasy of him loving me comes true at the expense of the sad reality of his closer than ever death. I am so angry at him for not telling me and at the fact that it is so unfair for him, his parents,friends and especially me to die early. If I've learned anything in this life is that bad things happen to good people. I guess I should just let go of my anger and make the best of memories while he's still alive. The squirrel nodded in agreement and this time offers Ariella an apple.

The last of the bugs is the fact that my dad is getting married again. I've always thought that it would forever be him and I against the world. I thought he'd never love again after mum. All the stories that he told about their lives was top notch. I'm sad thinking about how he'll forget her. Already the house felt weird without their pictures hanged on the walls. There's always that adoring look that he has on his face for Jeannine. It bugs me a lot that he gets to have a second chance at love yet I haven't even had a first at it. I almost had one but because of my ex best friends jealousy she chose hate over her love for me. I still wonder why on earth she chose my then James over me. She'd been pretending all along. It's not like I cared so much anyway

Mostly little one I don't understand why dad would set their wedding date on my birthday of all days in the year. He has always known how I'm stoked about having festivities on different days. For example, I wouldn't want my proposals or my marriage anniversaries on Valentines day. What would be so special about that huh. Ariella turns to look at the squirrel "I guess you wouldn't know about any of that either." The squirrel nods in agreement. 

Ariella sees the squirrel getting restless and guesses it must be late as the sun was setting. "Little one. I'd like to name you Happy. Sitting here besides me has been the most liberating and peaceful thing that has happened to me today. Thank you for being my happy place." She unwraps a bracelet she'd made for a friend and ties it to Happy's tiny hand. "You'd also make a great therapist to many people." As they hug it feels like Happy is telling her she hopes Ariella sorts out her life. She then sets the squirrel to the ground to get back home. Happy ten yards away from Ariella turns around and waves bye to her. "I hope to see you again soon Happy"

Ariella then wakes up to find herself back to the octagon. She feels extremely peaceful. This place is beyond magical. She checks her watch and its seven o'clock. She dusts the sand from her body and she walks to her car planning on making amends with her best friend and choosing to be happy for her dad. Not everyone gets to have a second chance at most things in life. She's also grateful to strange occurrences like her encounter with Happy in the afternoon. At least she gets to be friends with a healthy squirrel unlike Charlie, in Daniel Keyes book Flowers for Alergnon, who got attached to Alergnon the rat.

May 14, 2020 18:45

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Joan Kearney
01:48 May 21, 2020

I really liked this story, it's very calming throughout.


18:54 May 21, 2020

Thank you so much😊


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