There once was a girl who met a boy who liked to hike. They went hiking together and decided they had a shared love of nature. So he invited to his apartment. Together, they filled the place with orchids and plants. Occasionally guests would come over and muse that the apartment was like a jungle.
However, when the guests left, the jungle became dangerous. Daylight would fade away, and a moon-less dark night would begin. The once decorative plants would form a barricade of foliage between the girl and the outside world. The plant vines grew on the walls, windows and doors, blocking the sunlight and the fresh air. Contact with the outside world was forbidden. The boy would not let her leave and she became trapped inside.
Then the beasts would emerge. The boy and the girl would transform into primitive Tarzans. Mature conversation would dissipate as words transformed into grunts and screams. The girl grew more frustrated and scared with each passing day. The boy told the girl repeatedly that she was an angry and crazy girl. However, she knew it was him, who brought this feral creature out of her.
The girl would punch the walls and kick the doors trying to break free. But even when she did finally escape, she could not bring herself to leave. She knew he would come after her. So reluctantly, she returned inside to her captor, allowing the vines and foliage to fill in her exit. Though she wanted to leave, she knew she needed to develop a plan in order to successfully flee.
Morning would eventually come and daylight would bring the promise of humanity. Sunlight would trickle in, erasing some of the shadows of the night before. The once dark and ominous foliage would reveal beautiful flowers in the sunlight. But always, as nighttime fell, the angry, resentful creatures would return and undo all the peace.
Then one day she grew brave. She took out the machete she had hidden, and began to cut out an exit. She chopped at all the spiraling vines, and the deceptively beautiful flowers. Slowly, sunlight started to peak through, letting the light into the room. Eventually, she had cleared away the foliage blocking the door. She unlocked each of the bolts and locks, turned the door knob and opened the door.
At last, she was able to break free. She ran outside the door, abandoning all of her possessions. Filled with the terror of being followed, she kept running without looking back. However, she gained strength with each mile of distance between her and the jungle prison.
The further she ran from the apartment, the calmer she became. The feral hostility melted away. Her calmness and beauty started to shine through, as she returned to her true self. Never again would she return to that jungle that had imprisoned her for so long.
2017 Sarah Ritter. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Foliage, Tulum, Mexico 4/25/16
Photo Credit: Sarah Ritter