The deserted prairie Highway he walks feels nothing, like him. The pouring rain stabs with a cold viciousness deeper than the sharpest icicle of desperate hate. He tries so hard to ignore how very alone he is, though the ghosts of the past dance all around him. He asks the voice deep inside with a pleading tone how he got to this place, and what he should do now, but no answer comes. The rain makes the road ahead unclear and misty. It lends him no foresight or vision beyond his here and now.

He remembers someone from the echoing distant past and She appears before him. Not Her in true form, only the whispering cloud of her memory. It flickers indistinct before him haunting him as punishment for having the mere thought of Her enter his shattered mind. Her face stares at him with a feigned adoration to taunt him ever further down the highway. He knows She’s not real. He knows this is just a ghost from his mind’s eye. But this knowledge does not stop him on his lonely journey; it only fuels the burning in the core of his empty being. And so on he walks.

The years become weeks, and the weeks become days, until finally he comes to a rest stop on his walk. A roadside cafe sits to the side of his highway, for it truly is his highway though he doesn’t remember why yet. The cafe offers to him its shelter and comfort from the rain, and though he carries only regrets and wears only memories, the cafe does not judge. He walks into it without hesitation, hoping for a feast of answers.

Inside the warm interior ghosts wander to and from their tables, consuming the oddities of his imaginings. He lets his gaze drift over the interior until it comes to rest on the only solid truth in the room; a beautiful young woman behind the counter peering expectantly at him. He sits in front of her, not truly moving from the door, for the door never truly moves away from him. She requests his order, and he gives it. He asks her why he is here, and if there would be purpose for him on his Highway soon. He asks her about the ghosts following him, and the image of Her. And he asks where the Highway leads. She speaks the answers to him in a whisper within his ear in languages long forgotten by any man. Though even he has forgotten the ancient tongues she speaks to him in, he knows the answers are not what is important. The answers are always there even when he doesn’t hear their singing. Instead he knows it is important more that he asked. So She knows he still thinks of Her. So they know he still remembers their presence.

He pays for his meal with tears and out the door he wanders again, joined by Her image. The rain has stopped now but the clouds have not faded away to reveal sunlight. For this Highway knows no sun, only tears of the Goddess. Onto its unforgiving pavement and arbitrary lines he returns listening to the ghosts whisper around him. He reaches out for Her hand in a gesture of emotion he never really ran out of. She gives it freely and in this at least he knows if She is not with him, Her ghost always is. He knows where he is going now, though uncertainty and fear fill him at the thought. He is going to Her, to return Her ghost and beg for the other half of His heart.

 

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