After taking a good few minutes to weigh the two choices over, and taking an extra moment to send a text to her Mom and her closest friend May - and she made certain to be clear about going for a walk, finding a new path, and that she was going deeper in, and yes, she’d be careful. Once the text messages sent for sure, she wound up deciding she would take the left path.
“Okay,” she said to herself, bracing her mind for what lay ahead for her. She took one step, then another, and then began to follow the new path.
‘I hope this one is the right choice,’ she thought. After all, the whole spiel it went on about love and romance and passion…
Kris didn’t know what she felt about it, in truth. She’d never been fortunate enough to have a relationship that lasted longer than a couple weeks, or a few months at the very most. Sure, she’d dated a few guys, dated two gals, and though they’d been a mixed bag in general, Kris hadn’t walked away feeling abused or misused or anything negative. They’d all been decent in some way - but things never clicked enough for both Kris and those ex-flames of hers.
‘I mean, they were all brief,’ she added internally. ‘I don’t think I’ve had an actual date for about two years now. Three years? Something like that.’
She supposed if she HAD to consider it, deep down, she did want someone that would last - a meaningful love, a meaningful relationship. But what sort of person she wanted most? Kris wasn’t entirely sure, if she were being honest.
Her lips pursed. Kris began to think.
For whatever reason, as she began to walk down the forested trail she’d chosen, getting deeper into it, her mind started to fill with questions about love and what she wanted most in love. The questions and thoughts seemed to come from nowhere - it was like something just sort of nudged these things into her head, and they began to fill her brain with each step she took.
‘Well, I guess…’ She mulled it over.
For one thing, Kris had to be honest: she was openly bisexual, and had been since her teenage years, yet she felt more strongly about women than men. She’d always been more attracted to women - especially tall women. Throw in a fit physique with a tall woman, and give her boyish hair… and oof, she thought, was she probably going to be admiring that woman.
Her cheeks warmed. She cracked a tiny smile.
She’d always preferred more feminine-looking men - long hair, soft features, closer to her petite height - and more masculine-looking women. She couldn’t help it, it was just what she was more into. But that was appearance. Beneath appearance, with personality, Kris wanted someone who could match her in the areas she felt she wanted to be matched in.
‘Someone passionate about something in life, regardless if it’s a job or a hobby or even just relaxing,’ she thought, ticking down a mental box without even having to be prompted to. ‘Someone that likes to be curious the way I do, but maybe wiser. Strong? I guess. Kind. Playful. Jesus, I’m horrible at this.’
Kris sighed again. Despite being twenty-four, and in college, she was still having a hard time figuring her own self out. For the last few years, she felt like she’d been stuck in this dull, gray circle of stagnant living - it didn’t help that she didn’t know what she wanted to do with her life, and her small circle of loved ones didn’t exactly make matters any easier for her.
She brushed a hand through her hair, breathing in deep - the smells of the forest were strong, filled with the scents of grass, dirt, and something that just screamed ‘woodsy’ to her. Potent, yet, still very pleasant smells.
Her mother was a more traditional-minded woman. The sort who wanted her to get a job, then meet a man, get married, have children, and be a caretaker at home for said children. She was supportive of Kris going to college, and a good mother, of course, but she didn’t really seem to have the same level of faith in Kris doing anything ‘big’ in her life. And her father? He was more liberal in those things, sure, yet even he was much the same with traditional thoughts.
Maybe it was their lack of pushing her and their lack of openness to her pursuing anything that really put a dampen on her trying. She wished she could say she was an artist or a baker or a writer or SOMETHING, but she didn’t know what she excelled at. She only knew she was curious, and that she was hoping to find the answers by going to college.
‘Focus, Kris,’ she told herself. ‘Let’s see where this path of so-called love leads…’
No sooner did the thought leave her mind did she hear a noise - a very loud noise, like some kind of… growl or roar? It was rumbling, guttural, and definitely not human, and Kris’ first thought was that she’d stumbled onto a wild animal that would try to maul her. Yet when it happened again, she heard it clearer and… it sounded like a pained noise all the same, like some sort of animal that was in a lot of pain.
She froze in place. Her heart started to pick up in speed. The noise came from her right, deeper into the trees. She stared at the direction, feeling frightened and unsure all the same.
‘What the hell?’ she thought.
The noise came again, ripping through the air and practically echoing in her ears. She swallowed the lump that formed in her throat. Did she want to investigate? Or did she want to keep going, preferably at a faster speed?
Written by Hollowpages on 04 February 2020
To the Noise