I stand at the peak of the mountain, with my arms straight out from my body. I take a deep breath of the fresh crisp air that the rainforest has finally given me permission to have.
The suns light is resting on my shoulders and casting a blanket of warmth over me. The clouds are fading away and the rain is finally subsiding.
Puddles and dampness still remain on the mountain top, but it still stands strong.
As I inhale and exhale the essence of the mountain one last time, I look over at the dense, cruel, forest that I dragged my feet through for countless days and nights to get here.
The forest stares right back at me and calls me back to it's treacherous depths. I fall to my knees and beg the forest to let me take just one more breath.
Just one more breath of the pure relief and protection the mountain is providing me. But before I could go any further, the wind picks up and the thunderclouds roll back in.
The rain starts to pour on the peak of the mountain. Turning the dirt, into slippery mud.
Still on my knees; I sink deeper and deeper into the saturated mud and I scream out for help with tears running down my face,
but my screams can only go so far in a rainforest as dense as this one. I begin to slide down the peak of the mountain back towards the path.
This is the same path that I had begun my journey on before and dragged my feet for days through to get to this very point.
I dig my hands deep into the side of the mountain but the power of the mud slide is too strong. I lose my grip and fall.
As I'm falling from the mountain that has been my safe haven countless times within this endless journey, I begin to wonder.
Why won't the rainforest let me reside on the peak of the mountain? When will I be rescued from its captivity!?
Every time I get a chance to breathe in the fresh air the mountain provides me and relax upon its peak; the rainforest rips me from my comfort and makes me walk the path all over again.
I'm trapped within this endless loop of horror and relief. I'm nothing but a slave to these dense trees and predators that creep within them.
It's just not fair! Why am I all alone in this forest. How did I get so lost.
I limp helplessly through this forest, and sometimes I pray that the monsters that lie within the forest will drag me away from this hell and rid me from this never-ending path.
Along the path to the mountain is a small creek that is outlined with rocks that are painted with all different colors.
As I dash towards the crystal clear water to quench my thirst my foot gets caught on a fallen tree branch and I fall to the ground. Smashing my head on the beautiful, vibrant rocks.
Everything goes black and instantly I'm taken to a new place within my mind. I envision myself falling deep into the mouth of a volcano that engulfs me into it's molten core.
I feel the sensation of being burned alive and scream in pain as the magma burns away at my flesh and right before I slip away from life. I fade back into reality.
My head is gushing blood that is streaming into the creek, and staining the fresh water with a crimson hue.
As I get the strength to lift my head, I see my reflection in the rushing water that gleams right back at me, I gasp at what it reveals.
A man with a famished figure, scars down his back, bloodied skull and hair that's grown out as dense and treacherous as the forest itself.
I wipe my eyes but the reflection still remains the same. This isn't the man I knew. This is a being the forest has manifested. A bruised and battered version of myself.
A version that's felt the pain of loss, despair, and helplessness. A truly broken soul that has a heart of glass that's been pieced back together many times before.
Reality starts to weigh in and I begin to sob.
Why is this rainforest so cruel? What has it done to me!?
I punch the ground in anger contemplating what my next move should be because it sure as hell wasn't to just get up and keep trekking down the path to the mountain.
I refuse to live another fucking day walking this path. I refuse to be a slave to this treacherous forest any longer. It's time for ME to take control of the path I take through this forest.
That night, I was back up on my feet. Still dazed from the fall from earlier that day. I walked for hours with no certainty of where I was going but I didn't care.
As long as I didn't have to see that damn mountain ever again I knew I was making progress because although it once was a place to feel pure relief and happiness.
Those feelings only lasted as long as my screams for help traveled in this dense forest. As days went on, the thunderstorms became louder and the rain fell harder.
Every drop of water hitting my skin felt like a piercing dagger and every step further away from the path to the mountain felt heavier and heavier.
Almost as if the forest had tied weights to my ankles.
By the fifth day I reduced to a crawl because I couldn't bare the pain of the weights any longer.
The dried blood on the side of my head began to wash away within the wet mud puddles I was crawling through.
My lips were pale, shattered, and I could no longer swallow because I was so dehydrated. I knew I wouldn't last much longer.
Finally, after six days of journeying through the cruel climate of this forest, I laid my eyes upon a new path. A path that the forest had never put in front of me before.
What is it that the rainforest doesn't want me to see? I wondered. As I set foot on this new dirt path, the rain stopped and the heaviness that was once wrapped around my ankles was lifted.
The suns rays peaked through the clouds once again and covered me with the same warmth I had felt many times before. But this time it was different.
The trees became fewer and fewer and eventually, all that was left was me and this dirt path. The further I walked down the path, the further away that evil forest rested behind me.
On the seventh day, at dusk, I had finally made it to the end of the path and where it lead me would be the conclusion to this never-ending journey. The mouth of a volcano.
As I stepped closer to the gaping hole, I felt the sweat dripping from my forehead and my breath start to tremble.
In the distance I saw the rainforest but this time it didn't stare back at me, it was completely silent. This is the same rainforest that brought me endless terror and torment.
The same rainforest that shattered my glass heart countless times. The same rainforest that tried to give me a illusion of relief. The same rain forest that built me up just to break me down.
I blocked out the sun blinding my vision with my hand to get a better view of the mountain I climbed every day.
The same mountain that was a safe haven many times and was piece in the midst of the brutal storms. The same mountain that let me inhale it's essence of false relief and protection.
The same mountain that no matter what, wouldn't let me reside upon its peak.
Within these last glances at the deep forest and cruel mountain; tears started to flow from my eyes and I whispered my last goodbyes to my past hardships, losses, despair, and helplessness.
This is all the rainforest ever gave me.
I stepped to the edge of the volcanos scolding hot mouth and turned my back to it. I stood there with my arms straight out, taking one last inhale of the crisp air it gifted me.
As my lungs exhaled I threw my body straight back into the mouth of the volcano.
I land in the molten lava and instantly my flesh begins to burn away and the excruciating pain causes me to scream. But my screams can only travel so far in a rainforest as dense as this one.
My body deteriorates and the rainforest that tormented me from a young age fades away with it. This is pure relief.