Sighing, she clicked on her mouse, exited the program, stood up, and walked away from her computer. Drastic measures indeed she thought to herself, smiling. Time to spend time in the real world - how long had it been anyway? She rubbed her eyes, far too long she realized. The sun was even shining! What was wrong with her anyway? Sitting in front of a computer when she could be walking the dog, working on her latest watercolor, even reading an actual book!
Snapping her fingers, her dog came instantly, wagging his whole body he was so starved for attention. “Yes, you’re a good boy, yes you are” she crooned at him. Grabbed his leash and walked out the front door, nearly tripping over him as he did his little happy dance.
And stopped. And really looked. It was so beautiful, she’d forgotten, the trees, the flowers, her herb garden, the little path that led to the mailbox, all so wonderful and alive. And a bit overgrown she admitted ruefully, not able to remember the last time she’d dead-headed the cosmos or thinned out the rosemary or swept the dirt from the path. She turned to call out to her sweetheart, working as always in their dwarf fruit orchard, before she remembered that he wasn’t there, wouldn’t be there ever again, hadn’t been there for weeks now...or was it months...she wiped her eyes quickly and walked out the gate, with the dog running in circles around her legs.
It was curious, she thought, letting her mind wander as she walked through the park, half an eye on her happily-unleashed dog, how similar her created world was to her actual life. And what did THAT say about her imagination - not much! Still, it served some purpose, helping to process events that could still bring her to her knees crying if she thought about them too vividly. Lyrics from a song from her youth came to her mind, she hummed along softly to herself, ‘wherever I am, I’m always walking with you, always walking with you, but I look, and you’re not there’...what did Cat Stevens mean by that song, she never knew - was his lover dead? disappeared? merely a hope in his heart?
She came to with a start, wondering how she’d gotten this far into the park, and where was that damn dog? “Here boy! Come to mama!” and oh thank goodness there he was, running wildly to her, as if SHE had left HIM. Such a cutie he was, she hugged him tight, and turned around to return home.
Arriving at her front door, she realized her heart was a little lighter than it had been in a long time. Vowing to get outside every day, if only for the dog, her feet automatically started walking to her computer. The dog drooped, as if he knew her attention would not be with him for hours if she sat down in that chair. She had to physically force herself to turn and go to the kitchen instead. She fixed his dinner, watched him gobble for a few min, and the next thing she knew she was at her desk logging in to her virtual world. Really, she hadn’t meant to, but as long as she was here.....