Forest Life follows Emmett Thompson as he retreats to seclusion in the woods of Paris, Tennessee. After suffering the loss of a loved one, Emmett struggles to sustain the will to live. He must confront his suffering and overcome it, before it permanently destroys him.
“I like the way she dances and I like the way she sings. The way I feel when I watch her dance. I can’t explain that,” I confess. Behind us a family laughs and I hear some children scream. I glance back to see two young boys running through the tide.
“When she dances,” I continue, “it feels like she conquers all my cynicism. I don’t feel dead or empty. I don’t know. I want to be with her despite everything but I can’t let myself. Won’t that mean that Lenai meant nothing to me?”
I stare down at my feet. Something inside me knows that’s not true.
“I think you’re trying to make yourself believe that because you’re afraid. And Emmett, can I tell you something?”
“Of course,” I say.
“You haven’t stopped smiling since I asked you about Maraye.”
“Shit …” I say. I hesitate a moment and then chuckle with him.
“Emmett, I think you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who ever lived who didn’t suffer loss in their lifetime. The price we pay for love is steep but the price we pay for not loving, for locking ourselves away from the world, is much steeper.”
“Well … fuck me …” I reply, kicking the sand and grinning.