They forged ahead tearing the frosty, fogy forest. The thin, cold air flew from the woods, broke into her nose, hit her nasal bones and accumulates inside, not allowing her to inhale or exhale correctly without a light pain. She kept her lungs busy with the breathing process through her mouth.
She could barely understand where they were going. Putting her arms across herself, trying to stay warm, she crumpled. So much so that she did not even raised her head to see the road ahead. she followed the footsteps of the couple. That was the only vision she had.
The thought of food made her all the more hungry and weak as all the warmth in her body converted in the energy which she used to keep herself going. Gradually she started struggling with herself to continue walking. It felt like someone was pulling her down. She tilted her body further but that would just put more pressure on her legs. It felt like she was tied with one of those huge mountains. The mountains which she found so strong were strange now, breaking her down, bit after bit. Her knees started to shake and her body was left so lose that she would fall into pieces.
“Are you alright my dear?”
She tracked the vision from the lady’s legs, to her body, to her face, from where the words had come out so warmly. Her powerlessness was disrupted. “I’m…. m f…fine” She said, shivering.
“Take a deep breath, we are almost there”
“almost there!!” gave her a lot of courage. She finally steadied her head and looked around. She was not on a plane surface anymore. Her feet were on one of those tiny version of mountains. She was so curled up within herself that she did not notice, all the strength she put was for a climb. Those huge brutal rocks, ganged up and fought with the wind, pushing it so hard that it would bounce back and forth between them with immense velocity. However, she tried taking a deep breath and gathered all the spirit and forced herself one step after the other. She had to reach somewhere at least.
She loved trekking, though. “But this is not that!” She thought frustrated. That needed preparations, of course. Mental, physical, luxury-al.
She strained herself to continue climbing. The couple started walking faster after a point of time, she tried to cope, but her strength ditched her quite a few times. Their feet were out of her sight so she looked upwards very fast. She started to feel dizzy, everything around, dancing in a circle. “Head rush! Urgh! What am I, a kid!?” While she would steady herself, she saw a small house between the clouds, and the old couple standing at the door already. For a moment, she felt embarrassed that she was so young and yet felt so old, but the next moment she was happy to see shelter that they talked about.
She had reached her destiny…
As soon as she stepped the last step, the clouds cleared the space. The sun rays peeped from the spaces between, and rescued them. Suddenly the bright sunny day felt like a summer evening. With the accumulated energy inside her and the warmth outside her body ironed her crimpled body. She dropped herself on her knees right outside the door! It was a small room on a comparatively plane surface on the top of the hill. It was a small room with white-painted walls from the outside and brown pillars with a wooden door.
Sitting right outside the room, she fixed her hair saving it from the wind while lot of things going on in her mind. The hill was sounded by other hills and mountains. “This place is so huge!” she looked around, scanning all the plants and the big rocks on the big mountains. She took a panoramic shot through the lenses of her eyes. She blinked, and click! Captured the image in her mind forever.
The door opened and it was dark and empty inside. She entered the room and all her thoughts were pulled and rested outside the door. There was so much calmness inside the room that her mind felt numb after all the struggle. She sat besides the old couple, who were busy digging their bags for food. She looked around that tiny space protected by four walls and there were merely two small windows the sunlight could enter from. The carpet on the floor was cold and yet the room was warm. The noisy wind outside the door was clearly heard and it was severely silent inside. She felt like the whole world was made of snow and she had finally found a burning fire on the tip of the highest mountain in an isolated corner of the earth.
They removed and displayed a few raw vegetables and some water bottles which were crushed and dusted. Her eyes sparkled as she saw edible things and without any further delay or conversation she picked up the carrot and started biting it loud and fast. Tears rolled down her cheek. She had never worked so hard for a piece of food. She had never even thought of it. The amount of satisfaction she got with every bite was more than the happy feeling that she got, every time she won something in any competition. The old couple looked at each other and smiled innocently.
“Do you have kids?” she asked. The old lady looked at the man and sadness filled her eyes…