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A massive glass wall was descending from the thundering skies that were dark with anger and sadness. Harsh, bitter winds were blowing down with full force, like a smack in the face magnified ten-fold. The blindingly white sand was in an uproar, creating ferocious sand tornadoes and literal rolling dunes. This environment was inhabitable, mean and cruel. No one could possibly step foot in there, much less set up camp.
But, this torturous environment was someone's habitat. It belonged to a girl, a strange girl who had stood ramrod straight in the sand for days, months, maybe even years. The girl's name was Sam, and her hands were tightly wrapped around a picture.
The sharp, pelting sad stung Sam's skin like thousands of relentless wasps that refused to die. The winds puncher her and kicked her, threatening to knock her down but never doing so, mocking in their refusal. The thundering skies beat at her, shaking her brains and imploding her eardrums, making Sam deaf to the world. Yet, she stood clutching the photograph.
She stood absorbing all the pain and hurt, refusing to move like she was stuck in the ground. Sam wasn't numb to it; it burned her, shook her, and caused thousands of loose feelings, unrestrained and unkempt, to war inside her, clashing and twisting her mind into a mess. But Sam was used to it, so she refused to move. It was her comfort zone, her savior in dark days, tugging her through unimaginable times. It reminded her to hold on to her picture.
Sam was standing there, breathing in the strange numbness that filled her with pain yet shielded her from hurt. Suddenly, she felt something changing. The thundering was slowing to a rumble, the harsh winds were dying to an unhappy breeze, the rebellious sands were settling, falling onto her feet.
The weight of the desert sand was covering her feet, weighing them down. It was packing on and trapping her. In a few minutes, she would not be able to move. She would be stuck forever, in a world that was stopping. This inhabitable place that had saved her, protected her and shielded her, was leaving. But, she couldn't leave too. This environment and her picture were all she had left.
Sam opened her eyes, willing the blinding sand to sting them and force them shut. Beyond the descending glass wall, she saw everything that was left, all the things she had forgotten about. Looking at them, Sam felt a sudden urge to join what she had left behind. The glass wall was descending fast, and Sam had to make a decision.
So she ran. She forced her legs out of the heavy sands and ran, ignoring the new kind of pain that came with moving on. She ran as fast as she could, and she dived underneath the wall. She turned around and looked at her home for the past few- days? months? years?- It didn't matter anyway, she wasn't there anymore.
But her picture was. Somewhere along the path she had run, Sam had dropped her photograph, the only thing she had cherished enough to take with her. Sam watched from the other side of the glass as a sudden breeze swept her picture up, taking with it the face of the person she loved, and carried it up to the skies, where it had always belonged. Even from the ground, she could tell that it was slightly crumpled from being held too long.
Sam stood for a long time, staring at her photo, reluctant to let it out of sight. All of a sudden, she realized she could see her picture no matter where she was; or, rather, it could see her. It would always be there, watching after her. Sam would never have to forget.
She turned her back to the glass and started walking back towards everything she had so carelessly left behind. She didn't glance back at the glass wall. She didn't look back at the secret world she had disappeared into for so long. She didn't have too; it would always be there if she needed it.