To Feel, A Modern Tale (01.05.11)

In a small, close-knit town, there lived a young girl who wished for something. Something new, something different. Every day she wished and wished. Would she find a new job? Would the right love come along? Would she ever really know what pure happiness could be for since she could remember, it was only a life of this – safe, ordinary and pleasant. Not terrible, not terrific. “It just is,” she would say. And it was just that. She had longed for a tempestuous romance and to feel sheer exuberance. But never had she known true passion or true pain.

This young woman was called Chloe and though she liked her name, she too was never passionate about this either. “If only I had a name that triggered a stir in my heart like Penelope, Camelia or Guinevere,” she bemoaned to herself. “But instead I must settle for this name – neither horrid nor heart-pounding. It just is.”

And the village that surrounded her charming though cramped bungalow left her just as still and unaffected. The winding streets would carry travelers into CarthMoore and what she saw as a chilly, empty, lonely place. There were shops to visit but nothing interesting to buy, restaurants to stop for a bit but nothing exotic to order and people in the buildings, in their cars and along the streets, just wandering and looking as empty as she felt each time she strolled into town. Would she ever know the sensation of sweet anticipation of a spring saunter into the village? Would she ever care enough to model her best outfit hanging in the closet or make an effort to strike up a conversation with a new person at a sidewalk café? Probably not, she thought to herself. Because it is after all only a village, and everyone knows that a village cannot change. It just is.

But on this day, she decided to take a different path to the village. She wasn’t sure what had compelled her to veer off course. Call it a whiff of whimsy, a dose of dalliance, but she just felt the urge to go running down the lane that her mother had always forbidden her to go. “You mustn’t travel down there, Chloe, for you will see grave things and you don’t want horrible things to happen to you, do you?” she would caution. Yet despite the warning and her avoidance of this horrible roadway, she had experienced such boredom and such listlessness, that this sudden burst of curiosity carried her down the road despite her mother’s orders.

She practically skipped down the path, the laces of her shoes dancing from one side of the shoe to the other as the bottom of her foot hit each stone in a rhythmic tap. What had gotten into her, she wondered aloud. For what seemed like no reason, she was giggling, nearly singing and dancing, with a wry little smile sneaking out between her pursed lips as she gallivanted like a fool. What was coming over her? It was as if she had marched right into a pool of perky and floated sky high onto a cloud of kooky.


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