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autumnbreeze*six

i feel like i'm terrible inside

leading her on this wild chase

but maybe things will be alright

if i manage to get to home base

~

For some reason, I'm running. I don't even know why, but I can't seem to make myself stop. It's like my legs and my anxiety are taking over my common sense and making me do something against my will. I mean - I honestly love to run, but I think that I should be stopping right now.

I vaguely remember sitting by the river, feeling like an idiot. How could I have been so stupid? Why am I so stupid? I should've just told her, I guess - but that would make me feel worse. And the way she looks at me - full of loathing and hate - just makes me want to run away from her as soon as I recognize her dappled pelt and hazel eyes.

But I spend my time circling through the forest, running silently over the leaves that crunch loudly under Owlmoon's paws. I just keep running - that seems like the only thing I'm capable of doing right now. My paws are starting to hurt, but I'm unable to stop. And when I finally manage to, my paws are aching. I know that I should keep going - I don't want to feel Owlmoon's wrath. I'm a coward - I admit it. I'm scared. Scared of rejection. Scared of sadness. Scared of the sorrow that follows the waves of anger that fill someone. Scared of the thought of losing the best friend - friend who knows my secrets, the friend who I know and love dearly.

I wander around, jumping on the leaves that fall to the ground, and climbing small pine trees so I can look to see if Owlmoon is close by. I need to find a way to get away - to leave this place and leave everyone in peace. I find myself at the bottom of a large oak tree. The leaves blur the color of the tree as I climb up stealthily. When I get to a sturdy branch, I look around, my ears perked. If Owlmoon sees me... I don't even know what I'd do. I'd probably run away with no goodbyes.

But, then again, there would be no point in a goodbye - no one would miss me. I wouldn't be something big in the midst of the Clan - no one would notice. I close my eyes, trying to imagine someone who would miss me. It's blank for a few moments, before two faces pop up.

A cream-colored tom, with sparkling eyes, and a lovely she-cat with blue eyes: Windrunner and Duskshimmer. A wave of calmness washes over me, and I feel a small smile take over my face.

It's weird for me to think that someone would miss me - I guess it sounds stupid, but it feels reassuring to me. That someone will remember who I am, who I was before I ran away. But I'll be forgotten - everyone is, at one point. Sadly, I've forgotten my own mother.

I know what she looked like - she walks in my dreams, but I've forgotten the best details. The feel of her against me. The love that mothers have - I've gotten my love from Snake instead. I've forgotten her scent. She's there, but not in the middle of things - and soon, I'll probably forget her completely. And then she'll be gone. And so will I. Soon, I'll be forgotten by them - the ones I've come to love. I close my eyes again, and images flash before me. Snake, Pipes, and Owlmoon. Racing with Skymist. Laughing with Roseblossom and Swanheart. Hunting with Windrunner. Talking by the river with Duskshimmer. Owlmoon and I, having late night chats in the Wildflower Meadow. Good times, were they not? I feel the tears starting to come, faster than I can hold them back. They're falling now, fast. They're letting go of their life... and just being free. I wish I could have that feeling - to just let go, and have all my misconceptions and problems wash away. I wish I could just be free - happy again. I wish -

"Boo." A voice whispers behind me. I stiffen before turning around slowly. I meet a pair of hazel eyes. It's Owlmoon. Her deep gaze is filled with sorrow... sorrow? No, it couldn't be. Owlmoon hates me. What was with all those dark looks that I've endured over the past few moons?

"O-Owlmoon?" I whisper, trying to find a way to escape. I'm about twenty feet in the air - not a good distance to fall. I would probably break my bones if I did that. "Autumn, listen. I-" I quickly drop down a branch. "Autumnbreeze, wait!" She wails, almost helplessly. I try to push the thoughts away. She couldn't be "helpless", or "worried" about me. It was probably Skymist... or maybe it wasn't. I don't know, and honestly, I don't really care. The fact that Owlmoon is there makes me nervous. I need to find a way out.

"Autumn, please." Owlmoon bounds onto my branch soundlessly.

"You don't have to do this, you know." I see Owlmoon wince at my cold tone. I feel a twinge of guilt, but I push it away.

"Yes, Autumn, I do." I quickly drop down another branch.

"Autumn, stop." I freeze and turn to meet her gaze. "Let me explain."

"There's no need Owlmoon. I already know what you're going to say - I've gotten a good example the past two moons." I'm about thirteen feet up in the air now. Taking a deep breath, I jump off my branch, and I crouch into a ball, rolling to keep the impact of the ground from hurting me.

"It doesn't matter, Owl." I say, starting to run. "It doesn't matter anymore." I whisper.

~

i feel kinda guilty now

not listening to her like i could've

but she never cared all these moons

like she really should've

~

I don't even know where I'm going. My only goal for the moment is to get away from Owlmoon. I don't want to hear her tell me that she hates me, that there's no point of me being here. That I'm just useless, and not worth having around.

I feel like a coward. I can't even face my own fear - and it's not even a physical threat; it's a mental one. I won't come back with bruises, a broken limb, or even a shredded ear or tail. I'll come back feeling broken. I'll be cracked inside - Owlmoon's friendship is what has kept me going all this time.

When things have gone wrong, I've always had Owlmoon to go to. When Snake got sick with greencough, she was the one who scourged the nearby area for some catmint to cure him. When Pipes got hurt, I was the one Owlmoon went to first, for help. Before she told anyone else. Owlmoon and I used to depend on each other - we watched each others backs, we kept each others secrets... we were the only reason the other stayed there, instead of leaving. We both lost our family, except for a sibling. We both endured the loss more harshly than others. We were both scared of losing everyone else, and each other... but that was before. This is now.

Now, Owlmoon had left us. Snake left afterwards. And I came after Owlmoon, because of Pipes. We were all together at one point, happy inside and out. Just the joy of being together was enough for us.

I just kept running. Trying to run away from the fears that haunt me. Trying to run away from harmless things, because I've turned everything into some sort of threat. I guess you could say I'm running away from myself. Which is basically nothing. I find myself near camp, and as I run through the barrier, I nearly crash into Duskshimmer. "Autumnbreeze!" She exclaims. "Where have you been? They've been looking for you." She points her tail to Skymist, Roseblossom, and Swanheart who are standing together behind her, in a loose formation.

"T-Thank you..." I mutter, averting my gaze from Duskshimmer's. I can feel 4 sets of eyes staring at me, and it feels unnerving. I feel like I should be going, and soon. I need to get away from here before Owlmoon -

Owlmoon. I nearly forgot about her - I don't even know how. I've been running from her this whole time, and I've given her time to catch up to me. "I need to go, Duskshimmer." I mutter, swiftly going around her. I'm about to run when Skymist steps in front of me.

"Autumnbreeze, no." Skymist says firmly. "Skymist, you don't understand. You don't understand what she's done to me, what everything she does has been like for me." I say angrily.

I know that Duskshimmer, Roseblossom, and Swanheart as listening closely, and watching us intently. Before they can stop themselves, the name "Owlmoon?" Duskshimmer just watches us, her eyes bright with curiosity.

"All I get," Skymist growls. "is that you're running away from nothing. Absolutely nothing." I stare at her in horror - I guess I never really thought that Skymist would be like that. She's usually so nice, but rarely ever cavalier. She's not usually this blunt, or this... agonizing.

"You don't know what she did to me, Skymist. She hates me. That's all I know." I say, trying to push past her. That just seems to anger Skymist even more. "If you see how things are from her point of view, then you would understand," she says, her voice low. "how worried she is."

"What about my point of view?" I stop trying to escape. I just stare into her gaze, searching for some sort of reassurance, some sort of agreement. But there's nothing. I see a look of guilt pass over Skymist's face - but it's gone as fast as it came. I knew it - I always knew it in the back at my head - but I never thought it would be true.

"Just leave me alone, Skymist. Let me be. Let me go. Then I can leave you all in peace." I say, and the tears are back. I start to feel more angry than sad - why don't they care? Why can't they care? What do they think of me? Is any of this even worth it?

"Autumnbreeze, I -" Skymist starts, but she's cut off as I run past her, through the middle of camp. "Autumnbreeze, wait!" She calls, but I don't look back. I run into the den, and go straight into my nest.

I just stay in there, letting everything for what seems like forever. I let out my doubts about Owlmoon, and Skymist. I let out my sadness when Owlmoon makes me feel unwanted and left out. I cry out my fears, my dreams. I cry out the sadness of leaving Pipes alone. I cry out the feeling of having Snake leave us to travel. And last of all, I let out my love for them all - the love that has brought this on me. I thought that they were ditching me, I thought that they hated me. But as I look back at what they did - what they've done for me this whole time - it's unnerving. Maybe they do care after all - maybe they don't show it, but maybe they do care. And maybe I've let Owlmoon and Skymist down now. I've let down Roseblossom and Swanheart, the two quiet best friends I've had. I've shown Duskshimmer what I'm really like inside, and that my kindness is just an illusion, a trick.

"Autumnbreeze?" A quiet voice drifts from the den's entrance. Owlmoon stands there, a mess. I give her a small watery smile, and she walks inside. "Owlmoon, I -" but she cuts me off.

"I'm sorry, Autumn."

~

it's been so long since we've had a real talk

all i'm used to now is glares

but something about this seems quite special

as if she really, truly cares

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