The rocky pathway crackled under her shoes as she walked beneath the dying trees. The noises ran away to hide in little pockets of sleeping children and snuggle with lint and discarded feelings. A few cars rolled along nearby but out of sight roads. Their roar permeated her ears and sang the song of loneliness.
Every day when she walked home, she passed the tunnel, jutting out of the old rock cliff. It was dark, overgrown, leaking smelly liquid over it's lip like black drool. The tunnel had fallen asleep over the drain pipe, comfortable, and loving, and oozing spitty drool over it's lap.
She looked at her cell phone, which was blank. The walk back from the bus stop to her mom's house lengthened each day. Her legs stretched and tingled as the brisk air whisked through her jeans. She stopped and played with her hair. Living at home was convenient and cheap, but lonely. She rubbed her aching head. The fluorescent lights in her cubicle gave her migraines. The buzzing of the elevators hurt her temples.
She reached in her purse and reached around for her pipe. She desperately craved one of those montages where the protagonist gets high and plays on bumper cars and dances in a daisy field and runs around barefoot and kisses some tall boy with blue eyes.
The movies always show those montages with the girl being quirky and the guy saying things like, "I've never met anyone like you." And it's the best montage and you cry for the protagonists. But they never show the montage a month later when the guy is saying things like, "You're an adult, get out of the bumper cars. Put on some shoes. Learn how to pay a bill and wash your feet for goodness sakes."
In the beginning the audience is like "Oh, she doesn't brush her hair and she mediates in DMVs. She's so goddamn quirky." And the plot escalates and reaches a turning point, then they're like "She doesn't brush her hair and she falls asleep in DMVs. She needs an intervention."
And then the tall boy with blue eyes invariably leaves for someone who understands him better and has her life together and "is attractive because she knows who she is." Despite the fact that the protagonist's inability to understand people and her messy life etcetera had kinda been like super hot initially.
So the protagonist starts drinking and smoking more and she loses her job and she gets a dead end worse office job and she moves out of their apartment and moves back in with her mom. And there is no happy endings or any endings.
The tunnel calls out to her, a soft whisper at first, a gentle verbal inquiry that sounds like her name. She turns and looks at the jutting pipe. Her imagination must have been playing tricks on her. Tunnels couldn't talk. Unless maybe inside the tunnel there was an animal or a person or a baby or a cassette player with a an audio tape of her name. That's ridiculous. The tape player would have run out of batteries.
At home was her bed covered with stuffed animals and her childhood pajamas and boxes of unpacked belongings from their old apartment. There is the family cat sitting in the living room, curled in front of the fire. Her mom would be up in bed, but listening for the front door. There was a bottle of half drank wine in the fridge.
The tunnel whispered, a futile song into the wind. What was the point? There was nothing in the end, just a rock wall. There couldn't have possibly been anything, no light, no air, just darkness. And the beginning was a struggle, a climb, a crawl. The middle was unknown. The ending didn't exist.