Thousand Rivers

Summary: All rivers flow towards the sea. Teresa fights the currents even though she knows her destiny. OneShot.

Warning: for pointlessness, plotlessness, randomness. Umm, yeah, and I love this story.

Set: story-unrelated

Disclaimer: Standards apply.

The simplest of all laws that govern nature – and, thus, life – is that water only ever flows downward. There is no exception to the rule unless for human, mechanical contraptions with which mankind tries to bend laws of nature to its will. But ultimately every trickle of water, every stream, and every river flows towards the sea.

"Once upon a time, God walked the Earth and watched His creation. He wandered across deserts and climbed mountains; crossed fields of grass and forests of trees. Finally, He came across a small path hidden in the woods. It was barely visible underneath layers of leaves and grass, something that indicated at the fact that nobody yet had chosen to follow it. God decided He wanted to know where the path led to. So He walked and walked, following the steadily winding path, until he finally reached its end.

Where the path ended, the sea began…"

If life is a journey, Teresa recons, the end of the path and of the journey will be at the sea shore. Because everything ends where water begins. Blue and endless, the sky silver in its mirrored glory. Infinite, black, deep and cold, life-giving and –taking. Teresa would never compare herself to the sea but she can associate.

The image is just too powerful.

The sea is cruel and kind, cold and warming, inviting and rejecting. It gives life to the world and takes it again. It has good days and bad days, stormy weather and sunshine, rain and wind. It breathes, gathers its strength to then let it crash against the shore again and again to no avail. And yet, it tries anew every time.

Thousand rivers flow to the sea.

Teresa is every single one. Each one of them alters her, fills her, adds to her. Changes her. She is full of them: full of names, lives, sorrows. Of feelings, wishes and dreams. Cities pass and towns, people, men and women, children and old. Nothing seems similar and yet is, oddly, the same. The colors are washed-out and mostly grey, the faces bleached by sun and life. She takes in everything she sees and creates herself newly every day, ever-changing and yet remaining the same for all eternity.

Thousand rivers flow to the sea.

There is no giving back, no reclaiming. What once was lost is gone forever, what is found can only be held onto as long as the currents don't claim it for themselves. Teresa is full of them and empty, nothing more than a pretty vessel. A book with an expensive cover, filled with empty pages. Appearance without substance, truth without belief. She is too rational for belief, too broken for love. Her own strength tears her away and carries her along and she is unable to stay, unable to look, unable to remain. Too strong for her own good, too weak to fight back. She is one and many and everything and nothing.

Thousand rivers flow to the sea.

Everything comes rushing from her like great streams of water. Holding back is impossible, giving in unacceptable but the only chance she has. Teresa never liked just letting herself be carried by the currents and she fights it until salty tears of exhaustion stream down her face and her arms and legs are too heavy to continue moving. Nobody notices her passing by in the blink of an eye. She drifts along, barely conscious, gagging on water and too proud to call for help. Currents change and landscapes and vegetation as the river banks pass her. Her wet clothes are torn and heavy and drag her down. She refuses to let go. Even though life has taught her there is no chance of escape she tries to hold on to the thin branches of trees that reach into the water. She succeeds for seconds until the water carries her further mercilessly.

At length, she grows weary of her travel.

She wonders idly what giving up would feel like. Letting go is no option, she is still carried along without volition. Alone, lost, tired, bruised and exhilarated she drifts along, thousand miles, thousand rivers, thousand years, and she still cannot let go. Like a drowning person she clings to the one thing she knows: that there is an end to her journey, the same way there is an end for everything in the world. She falls asleep sometimes only to wake up gurgling and spitting water, not knowing whether to cry or to curse, to hate or to smile.

Thousand rivers carry her towards her destiny.

And, at the end of the path, there is the ocean. Wide and welcoming, black and golden. Teresa falls into it with a sigh that carries more than just relief. Strong arms wrap around her and pull her into a familiar, warm embrace.

If she is made of rivers, Cassidy is the sea.