Convinced that this was a product of the intense heat of the day and exhaustion, I shook my head and went home. I slept with the covers twisted around my feet. Wind whistled through the roughly patched bathroom wall and disturbed my dreams. I grumbled in frustration. I knew I would have to fix that more completely before my landlady returned home. Little bits of wall still fell into the toilet on occasion.
I found myself in the forest again. Sun had cooked the city that day so I had left to go hiking with Ben. We walked in silence for a time and then he wandered off on his own. I trudged up steep winding paths. Branches and vines plucked lightly at my clothing. But I reached a plateau where the ground cover appeared soft and welcoming. There, I sat down in the center of a sunbeam that had broken through the canopy of branching tree limbs. I took a deep breath. Then, I grasped the zipper pull that is concealed underneath my bangs. With my exhale, I pulled back on it and a flurry of little yellow butterflies rushed out. I smiled at the sense of release.
I thought, there will be no little monkeys or trolls here to provoke questions. I heard the trees giggle, a slight fluttering of their leaves in the breeze.