I don’t struggle as the men drag me to the cross. I already know everything will be okay in the end. In fact, I’ve been waiting for this moment my whole life.
Two years ago, I ran in front of my mother’s car. I had no reason to live, unless I enjoyed the hatred of those in my company. The disgust rolled from my family in waves, and all I could think of was the absence of the one passion every human longs for: Love.
I have no memories of love, though I know it wasn’t in absence when I was young. My earliest memory is that of discovering the remnants of my mother’s old photo album. The pages were yellowed, but not worn, so I knew they had been just as alone as I was.
The pages fell out as I lifted a book from our bookshelf. When I first picked up the papers, I thought they were a secret; that only I knew of them. As I looked closer, I saw they contained moments of when I was just a toddler. My mother’s shining smile was the first thing to notice on one photograph. Father’s lips were planted softly on her temple, and his closed eyes told me he was savoring the moment. The emotion in the photo was almost palpable.
And I lay between their bodies in a peaceful rest. I was completely taking advantage of the moment. In that photo, I had no idea that there would be no such situation again. I had no knowledge of anything else. All I knew then was love.
The more I stared at the pages, the more I realized they were planted there on purpose. My mother had remembered my birthday, and her present was a reminder that my disability didn’t allow their love.
Two weeks later, I woke from a coma in a hospital room with a new friend. Lucy claimed she knew just how I felt. She had been mistreated too. She once had been loved too, and she had been cast out from her home and left to thrive in darkness as I.
I trusted Lucy, and I still do. Ever since then, she has been telling me she lives in a better place, somewhere where I will always be in her company when this is over. Lucy hasn’t betrayed me yet, and I doubt she ever will. She came when I needed her most.
The men force my back against the wood and knot a coarse rope around my wrist, securing me to the cross.
Soon you will be in my company.
I smile at the comfort of Lucy, and one of the men recoils in disgust.
"They don’t know me like you do," Lucy whispers.
The other man brings over a small torch, the ones designed for this purpose. Soothing coos erupt in my soul as it ignites.
Her coos do nothing as he lowers the flame at my feet.
For the first time, I question Lucy. Do I really have to die? Why can’t she just visit me here?Why do I have to be the one to sacrifice everything? What has Lucy sacrificed for me?
But I’m already in the dark. All I’ve known is dark. The only years of light I had containing hope have already faded.
Warmth licks my toes, and suddenly all I feel is my scorching flesh, and the first and only thing I voice in my life is a scream.