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Updated: Jun 7, 2021

IMAGE: A girl with a purple satin tie around her waist

Freedom. My most treasured possession. It's the best thing about my life, the best thing about me. Whilst everyone else is trapped, seeking three pages of permission before they can leave their village or town, I go anywhere. I go everywhere. No-one knows how I earned this privilege or why I was chosen, least of all me. Some envy me as I move in and out of their lives like a dream or at most, a memory. And I love that. No ties, no responsibilities.

Every day I wake up in a different place. Places I only used to be able to dream of visiting. Don't ask me how, I've long since stopped trying to work it out. I like to think of it as some kind of magic. That somehow I met some almost impossible criteria and was chosen for this opportunity. Whatever the reason, however it works, it's mine.

When I'm in these places, I have tasks to do but they're usually easy, especially as I get step by step instructions for completing them. Clearing someone's debt, putting two people in contact with each other, finding lost pets. I'm like a good Samaritan.

My freedom is the best thing about me.

* * * * * * * * *

It was day twelve of month fifty seven when I wanted to stay. I don't always measure time but I remember that day. I wasn't anywhere really special, a grey day somewhere in a non descript English town. I wasn't looking forward to the rather boring task of litter picking. Of course the day was far from non descript- because of her.

She stood out to me immediately. Long, straight blonde hair cascading down her back, a huge smile on her face and dimples in her perfect cheeks. I'd never really known what love was, I was never anywhere long enough to experience it, but I knew then that this was what it must feel like. It felt like we'd known each other forever, like she could see into my soul. We took ourselves off away from everyone else so that we could be alone and didn't leave each other's sides throughout. When we were finished picking litter, she led me further into the woods and there, under the sunlight streaming through the leaves on the trees, I kissed her.

Time went too quickly. I knew as the sun fell behind the horizon and the sky darkened that I didn't have long left. She couldn't understand why I was crying and I couldn't explain. How could I ever make her understand what I don't understand myself? As she left me there, she told me that I'd see her tomorrow. Same time, same place.

But I'm never in the same place. I'm anywhere and everywhere. All these incredible places, all this freedom that others crave. And now, I don't want any of it. All that I want is to be there.

Writing by LISA BURNS


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