I had to walk away. Leave the garden behind me. Step out of the bright sunshine and leave the kaleidoscopic array of flowers and aromatic herbs that always made it a sensory paradise.  

Each step down the dark, narrow alley away from that Eden was painful and protracted. Clutching vines were quick to spring up, murdering the passage of time. How many months I floundered there, I do not recall. But I do remember how the shimmering rectangle at the end of the tunnel behind me got smaller and smaller and more overgrown, suffocated by knotweed and creeping ivy, as I descended in to darkness.  

When the shadows finally enveloped me, I was glad not to be reminded of the outside world through that fissure of hope. I hugged self-pity to me to keep me warm and convinced myself I had no need of sunlight. The smell of you of my skin, of geraniums and raindrops, dissipated in the dank atmosphere. I became my own smell of moss and heather: things that could grow in a barren land.  

My senses became sharpened to danger as I grew evermore accustomed to the dark. My nails grew in to claws with which to scratch away at the dust, and my eyes, living in dimness, grew wide with oversized pupils; my eyelids receded until I no longer blinked. My ears grew long, hair sprouting like a protective netting over my refined hearing. Limbs shortened to accommodate the ever-decreasing hole in which I chose to live.   

I crawled onward through the dirt, hoping that one day I would see another light, one without a wrangle of weeds. But I, of course, had changed and was looking for an altogether different garden to call home. 


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