There is a tunnel in the woods, far into the misty green of the north. It was meant for the passage of a train, on tracks that have long since been swallowed by the moss and ferns. They've done their best to obscure the tunnel, too, but it's there for those who know where to look. There are legends in the village nearby, that lovers can make a wish in the tunnel, and it will come true. Occasionally, they seek it out and an intrepid few find it. They pull back the mossy curtains and peer inside, make their wishes and dash away. None want to linger too long. There are other legends about the tunnel, that it is the meeting place for ghosts, especially the ghosts of lovers lost.
Someone approaches the tunnel now, footsteps making no noise in the needles and ferns. He is paler than the sky but more substantial than a spirit. He approaches, cautious but determined. He passes into the dark tunnel and stands in the gloom, searching out the words in the stone. He lightly touches them, as delicately as he would a lover. He knows them all by heart, snippets of poems and words of songs. Anger and passion and love carving into the rock of the walls. He seeks out something new, something to give him hope, to give him purpose. He finds the words at the tunnel's end, a simple line to make him pause.
Would you still come for me?
He closes his eyes and rests his hand upon the words. He imagines he can feel her through them. For years he mourned her. Then for years more, he chased her. Through jungles, deserts, and cities, he'd chased her like a ghost. She never seemed to touch ground, always running. Running from him. He had thought she was dead all those years ago, cold and still in the ground under her stone. He'd traced the words there too, dates that defined him, the years between when she walked the earth, most of them without him. He was disgusted with himself, the years he wasted without before he knew she existed, the months he wasted with his own stupidity. When he finally came to his senses and came back for her, she was already gone. He longed to join her but knew it was futile. She was where he could never touch her again. He decided that it was only fitting that he be forced to wander the world without her.
Then one day, many years later he had caught her scent and thought he had finally gone mad. He welcomed it, hoped to finally slip into a madness where she would still smile at him and he could touch her skin again. He'd chased the scent, knowing he wouldn't find her but embracing the madness slowly sinking in its claws. That was when he saw her, a fleeting glimpse in the mind of a passerby. Then he chased the image, flashes that both pained and sustained him. He couldn't believe the luck that somehow she still existed and his world wasn't buried under the rainy ground. He hoped to catch her-to tell her how wrong he'd been, how much he still loved her, but she ran.
He chased her through the minds of those she passed, never stopping, never pausing for interaction. He wondered if he didn't invent the image to appease himself, but the scent continued drive him mad. He tracked her scent to this place, so close to where it all started. Where he had ended it. That was when he first found the words carved into the stone by hand. He searched the world for her, but always came back to this place, to see the words, to feel them under his fingers. This was the only place she seemed to touch ground.
He reverently fingered the new words and considered their meaning. Was she ready to stop running or did she wish him to stop chasing? After all these years, he still wasn't sure of many things. His judgment had been so wrong that day, so many days where she was concerned. There was only one thing of which he was sure. He sat down on the dirt and ferns. He stared at the words in the wall and became as a statue before them. He sat and waited in the one place he knew she was real. He makes his wish to the words. That she might hear him, as he's heard her. That she'll know that he's finally listening.
There are legends in a village up north, about a tunnel in the woods. They say it was haunted by the ghost of a boy, waiting for the love he left behind. The brave will still go to make their wishes, the truly courageous stepping inside to read the words carved into the walls.
They see a spot on the ground where no lichens grow, as if a stone had once covered it. They sit on the spot and wonder at the meaning of the words on the wall. All around the tunnel there are words, words of passion and sadness and anger, of love and betrayal and forgiveness. They tell no story, at least not to the children who come. Not until the words at the end of the tunnel, in front of the bare spot of ground. The first words seem older, more worn in the rock than those that follow. They read the words together, as if parts finally becoming whole.
Would you still come for me?
She asks me, after the long years I've run
I've chased a ghost and felt her slip through my hands
I've touched these words and felt them without ever grasping their meaning
So though I'll always come for, I'll sit now in the place she seems most real
I'll wait like I know she once waited
And I'll wish for her to come to me
The words give hope to the brave few who dare to go inside the earthen walls. Hope for love, forgiveness, and trust. Hope for faith and wishes coming true. At the end of the tunnel, where the sunlight creeps and makes the moss glow green in the afternoon, there is another set of words. They are small and almost hidden, but if you look, you can see the writing on the wall.
She came for me