Prologue

She was running through a field of green. The grass was tall, up to her waist as she ran after a little girl with hair like golden sunshine. The sun was beating down on both of them as they ran. They ran for who knows how long. When they had started, the sun was just beginning to peak over the mountains surrounding them. It was a nice run. Not too fast, not too slow. Sometimes they ran, sometimes they walked. But she always did what the little girl did. Otherwise the little girl would pick up the pace, as if she never tired.

Now as they slowed, the sun was high in the sky signaling noontime. Her brown wavy hair was all awry and tangled from the wind. Her pristine white dress was disheveled and splattered with mud and grass stains. She scanned the surrounding area for the little girl who had seemingly disappeared. Her upper torso was covered in perspiration from the morning chase. She took out a hand towel from her pack and put a little water from her canteen onto it and rubbed it on her face and chest attempting to cool off. She knew the only thing to really cool her down was to walk, so she started to walk and look for the little girl.

She didn't know why she was looking for the little girl; she just knew she had to. It was somehow extremely important. There was a wood up ahead, so she walked towards it and shade. When she neared the trees, she heard a cry of laughter just up ahead. She put the towel over her shoulder and started towards the sound. Just as she thought she had finally cornered the girl, she slipped away deeper into the wood. But just before the little girl slipped away, she turned her head back towards her and she got a glimpse of the girl's eyes. They were a startling blue green, and had the shape of someone else's eyes, but couldn't put her finger on whose.

And then the little girl was gone. One minute she was there, and the next she disappeared. And then she was no longer in the wood. She was suddenly at a large stream. She was under a Wayward Pine with the branches pulled aside so she could see out and look at the stream. She was sitting on brown pine needles with a small amount of sun coming in through the branches, hitting her in the face. She shielded herself from being blinded from the light with her hand, at the same time getting up. When she rose from the ground she shook clean her dress and walked out of the tree.

The sight was breathtaking. The stream was a spectacular blue that sparkled like diamonds in the sun. The surrounding trees were all different shades of green that meshed together to make a green rainbow. For some, the way the light hit them made them look like they were alive with a spirit in them. There was a slight breeze blowing, moving the trees and making them dance.

There was a small shore down the bank from where she was. She walked down the path towards the shore, thinking she would have a drink of water. She didn't hear the voices laughing until she was almost upon them. She didn't want to be seen or heard, so she quickly jumped behind a tree, and poked her nose and an eye around the trunk so she could see who was there.

There were three people on the shore: a young man, a woman, and the little girl from earlier. The young man looked awfully familiar; he looked like someone who was a dear friend of hers, but she couldn't think of his name. He had fine brown hair that looked soft as a rabbit's, with strong arms that looked as if they could snap you in half if he wanted to. His face was very intelligent, with eyes that sparkled like the stream to his right; eyes that grasped the hold of the woman next to him.

The woman turned away from the man's gaze with a smile and blush. When the woman turned towards her, she gasped. The woman was her! Only she seemed older in a way. But at the same time, the same as she was now. The woman turned back to the little girl and whispered something in her ear. The little girl giggled and replied, standing up. "Mommy, come on! Catch me if you can!" she yelled behind her as she started running towards the woods. The young woman laughed and stood up, getting ready to run after the little girl – her daughter.

When she saw the little girl run straight towards her, she tried to hide further behind the tree. But the tree was small. She looked around her for a bigger tree to try to hide behind, but the trees were all the same size. Her heart started to race faster, thinking she would be found out and then everything would be very confusing.

Then something hit her. The young woman was her. That must mean . . . the man must be Richard. And the little girl was their daughter. They had a daughter. Suddenly the little girl ran past her tree. Shortly followed by her. But not her. The young woman that just looked exactly like her. This was getting very confusing.

As the young woman – her – ran past, the scenery started to darken. Either that or her eyesight was failing her. When the young woman was past her everything went pitch black. She couldn't see anything. Wait. She did see something. A light up ahead. She started walking towards it. It was getting bigger and bigger. Just as she was about to walk into it she heard a voice. Richard's voice.