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War of Will

Woke up cold this morning. Shook body awake, checked to make sure all the pieces were still there. Arms. Legs. The rest. Headed out to the mountain.
Not much warmer there. Nasty wind rolls down the hill to the west, freezes everything over. Armhairs raising. Goosebumps. Hands on the wall, now. Pull. Up.
Moving.
Haven’t seen her for three days. Haven’t spoken for two.
Climbing sans rope doesn’t provide many options. It’s fun or you die. The choices you’ve got to work with aren’t always the ones you wish you had.
Good way to wake up.

Higher now. Sunlight dribbling over the next mountain down. Not moving as fast as usual.
She was angry. Not sure about what.

Little more moss here than expected. Things grow, no matter how much attention they’re paid. Clouds gathering. Rain tonight.
Every move on this route is stored in muscle memory, every twitch and shift coming automatically. Some clings rubbing smooth. You don’t ditch a rope on unfamiliar climbs. You never free solo anywhere you might fall.
Going through the motions never looked so cool.

Higher now. She’s left before; she came back. No reason to think this will be different. Not this time.
Miss having a belay partner, though.
Not sure what she wanted. Never know.

Higher now. Crux. Muscles tensing all on their own.
Never seen her so angry.

Right leg extends, left arm up. Switch weight to arms, waist swings to the left. Right arm up.
She’ll be back.

Hand smacks the hold, don’t get purchase. Don’t matter. Go again.
She’ll be back. She will.

I really hope she will.