** Trigger Warning **

A small girl twirled in her white flowing dress. It would have touched her feet if she were standing still but while she was twirling the dress reached out with its fabrics, as if trying to join in the joyful exuberance. The girls eyes were delighted with the release and shined bright. They were only surpassed by the smile that grew across her face.

“Look”, she laughed, “I’m dancing.” She seemed surprised by her actions.

A man stood a short distance away smiling. He hadn’t turned away and had watched the joy bubble up inside her and overflow in this display. It was such a special thing to see and he wasn’t going to miss a second. As he continued to watch, the atmosphere affected his spirit and he couldn’t help but join in the laughter. His laugh was deep and strong. It sounded like a song being sung, harmonising with the sounds surrounding them.

“I see you. You dance beautifully.”, A few moments later he took a few steps closer. “It is time to go, Little One.”

Her face changed as she stopped still. Her smile gone and her eyes became misty. Arms that were moments ago swinging out in free abandon were now holding her tight. Her eyes falling to the ground in front of her.

“Why do I have to always go back? Please don’t make me. Don’t leave me.” Before she even finished the last word, the field she was in slowly started to dissolve. She stood up near the ceiling watching below as things happened that shouldn’t be. Yet, he was still there standing with her. Watching with her.

She turned to leave but found there was no where to go. “I don’t want to see.” She clenched her eyes tight. Yet she could still hear. She knew. It was why she went to visit him, to go dancing. It was better than being here. Fear overtook all that she had been feeling. Darkness crept in where the light was shining bright. The edges were becoming sharply in focus and the joy she had felt was washed away and replaced with a dull ache. She didn’t really know what it was but she just knew it was a heavy feeling. It weighted her down. This emptiness was the heaviest thing she ever had to carry.

“I know.” He wanted to just scoop her up and take her away, completely away. Instead, he reached out his hand and drew her close to him. Holding her to his chest. “I know.” His tears fell on her head like a blessing. They stood up near the ceiling as unspoken things happened below. Heart cries as mouth lay silent. As body lay still despite the fight against what was going on. Then it all finished and she needed to leave the safety of his embrace and return to her own darkness.

“Don’t leave me.” The frightened child reached out as she moved away. Trying to hold onto her only safety. Her refuge.

His eyes filled with such love, and yet the sadness of what he was watching was still evident. “I have never left you. Ever. I am always with you. Even when you can’t see me.”

Her eyes adjusted as she saw the curtain dancing from the breeze blowing in the window. She was able to feel all of her now and didn’t like what she was feeling. The weight next to her shifted as the steps moved further away and the door was closed. Leaving her in the empty darkness. A small child shouldn’t be left alone in the dark but being alone in the dark was safer, even with the heavy emptiness that seemed to be a moving writhing monster that was trying to devour her from the inside.

She bravely turned her head to the door and saw that it was closed and that she was alone. She rolled over and sat up on the bed. It hurt. It always hurt after dancing. She placed her feet on the floor and stood next to her bed. Standing she could feel everything. She bent down and reached under her bed for her blanket. She pulled it out and wrapped herself in it and pushed the heartache away. Tears pricked at her eyes but she knew if she were to allow them, it would mean the door would open. She pushed them away as she climbed back onto the bed, laying her head on her pillow. Watching the curtains dance again, a single tear falling down her cheek and hitting her pillow.

“Jesus, you promised you would never leave me.” As she was drifting off to sleep she felt a touch lighter than a feather on her cheek, right where the tear had fallen. She breathed deeply before falling asleep.