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Karen Gomez Karen Gomez
Recommendations: 21

Zero Degrees of Freedom


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Originally intended to be part of a writing exercise, but since I never finished it on time, I decided to fill in the rest and share it,


It had been several hours since I had left my home. The constant screams of the people I dearly loved pushed me to the edge once again, but this time I left for good. I didn’t leave a note or a message on my parent’s phone. No friends or any family members could chain me up to what many people called home.  Freedom was always a wishing dream of mine, but now I was finally free.


    My first savoring moment of freedom’s taste was unbelievably sweet. The taste felt good upon my dry blistering mouth, but after a while, I noticed the sensation of freedom vanished across my pink tongue. It had made its way into my sensitive heart and as much as I tried, I could not sense this intense delightful feeling, only the coldness of the winter air.


    I whimpered and quivered as I found myself sitting on a small freezing bench; a bench that belonged to a beautiful park outside the town’s city hall. People rushed towards their vehicles to avoid the freezing temperatures and completely ignored the stranger that was chilled to the bone and that had now blended in with the bench and the surroundings of the park. “Gosh. I’m so cold.” I said to myself. I could almost see my words been drawn out in the frosty breath as I exhaled and disappeared into the gray icy corners of the park.  


    As I sat and froze my fragile pale body, the harsh cold air cut through my doll-tone skin, and the vacancy of my mind felt empty and so was my heart. I never imagined winter could be so brutal and lonely. Freedom felt good, but the loneliness inside my soul shadowed the least amount of freedom I had experienced today.


    Inside my frozen stubborn brain, I constantly repeated to myself, “This was too good to be true.” Where was I going to go with my lonely soul? I somehow knew I would freeze to death if I stay outside for another minute. The air kept cutting my face every time I tried to move, and it was difficult to blink with my ice-covered eyelashes and even more challenging to shed a tear.


      “I need to find a place to stay.”


    Before I could finally surrender against the brutal cold seasonal battle, a silhouette of a young man appeared just behind the tree from my opposing corner. Clothed with dark wash jeans, and a grayish coat, he began to approach. As he took each step and walked towards in my direction, every detail about him began to glow like my wishing star, the one I always keep making wishes to just before I fall asleep. His eyes were ocean-blue and his smile was unbelievably contagious. He was quite the man I never expected to encounter. His hair was dark as the night and as I began to feel my aching freezing body once again, he finally came up to me and said, “An angel told me you’d be here.”


       From that point on, I knew I wasn’t going to be alone any more. The zero degrees of freedom I experienced today vanished as I set my eyes on this young man. My new freedom had a name, John.


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