HOPE

We assume that we can attempt, even achieve, a life without emotions influencing our choices and decisions. You find happiness in the smallest things in life. In the people you surround yourself with. The partner you begin to feel in love with. You crave what you desire the most and come to accept what you are given. And as long as you enable one another, you are gifted with a notion of hope, of something better to come.

What if you already had the greatest gift man could receive. And it was trapped inside you. And you are chosen for an amazing cause. One that would set you free. One that you have always desired. One that has its origins, since the beginning of intelligent life.

But what if its basis is wrong. What you be willing to do? Would you change everything you believe in? Would you fight it? Would you be willing to make sacrifices? And when you have lost everything and you realize hope has almost completely faded. Would you give up the only thing left that is real?

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9. Here with me - part 2

Maria doesn’t tell me where we are going but she looks over at Marcus and waves him over.       I turn to look at Erica, “are you ok?” I ask her, she still hasn’t said a word.        She turns around to me, and then raises her hand to my face. It is the second time, this night, someone has done that. She smiles, but her eyes tell a different story.       “What about all of them?” I ask, tilting my head towards the path. “Are they going to be ok? What have you done to them?”        “They will all be fine. When we arrived for you, when we began bringing them up here, we had to make sure you were down there, until this was at full power.” She points to her halo, the circle that has continued to rotate above her head. “They were all going to be up here, as we originally planned, but as we were bringing people up here, you decided to explore!” Maria rolls her eyes, “And then your friends came upstairs and found Amy, we couldn’t really take her then, but we found another use for her, we found her to be the next strongest amongst you. She had a great amount of … your energy … within her and infused with hers we found we could use it, without harming anyone else. So, with her help, I was bought here and the rest of them up here, helped energize this.” She says, pointing up towards the halo again.       “But . . . .” I begin to say, but Maria continues.       “Amy had something in her, something deep inside her and she couldn’t hold that feeling locked inside anymore. She grew weaker, but we couldn’t stop the chain of events. They had to complete. In her mind, we saw a picture, and something she wanted to say to you. We had enough momentum to continue, so we seized the extraction but it was too late. You know what happened after that.” Maria explains.         I gasp, I hadn’t realized, that I had been holding my breath. I stand up and quickly walk away, I am breathing heavier now, the air around us is still warm, but I find it hard to breathe, the air feels so dense. I walk to the corner of the building and I look down from here, into the darkness below. The veil of white mist sits inches from me, the gap between it only big enough for my hand. But I feel a presence next to me, I turn and I see Erica.         She looks at me, and then reaches out and holds my hand, and pulls me close to her, she hugs me lightly then tighter, her grip around my neck, solid. In that embrace, she then begins to cry. I hold her tightly too, and I don’t know what to say. We just remain there for a few minutes until she stops crying and she lightly releases her grip and moves back, still holding my hand.       “You are going aren’t you?” she asks, knowingly.        I reach up to her face, and brush away hair from it. I wipe a teardrop from her cheek, and caress the side of her face, with my fingers, and then I nod slowly.       “Why now? Why tonight? Why after all these days? Why does it have to be tonight?” she asks, her face twisted in a pain.       “I think it has to be tonight, you heard what Maria said.” I reply, as I gently pull her closer to me again.      “Will you come back?” she asks, looking up at me now.      “I don’t know Flowers.” I reply, “I just don’t know.”      “Of all the nights in all my life, why the fuck does it have to be tonight!” she says, and I smile, she hardly ever swears. “Even after all these times we knew each other, it’s like I only just met you! And I want to know more, and it is so unfair, that you should go now.”       I don’t even tell her what I saw in the puzzle! “All this time eh? What the hell were we waiting for? I too wish we had talked more before tonight and  . . . I had held you before tonight.” I reply, looking down at her, in my arms.           Marcus has walked over to us and he stops, waiting for me to acknowledge him. I look up at him and he says, “We should go now. We have a long way to go.” He says and I nod in reply and he turns around, and walks back to Maria.          Erica begins to cry again, and she buries her face in my chest. I hold her there for a few more minutes and we are stuck in this point in time, for what to me will be so precious. She goes quiet and moves back, and she looks at me. I am still holding her hand and I turn her around, so I have my back to the roof, and to the buzz that has developed behind me.          I smile at her, and I pull her close slowly again, and hug her, one last time. And I let go of her hand, slowly, and walk away. I have lost my armor, I feel weak, and vulnerable. She leans back on the wall, and slowly bends her knees and lowers herself to the ground. I walk backwards, slowly, still watching her as she buries her face in her knees, her arms crossed.         I reach Maria and Marcus, and Maria smiles at me, “It will be all right,” she comforts me, and then says, “Erica will be fine, and all those who you leave behind too. Because they will never understand you, they have never seen it your way. They will get over it.” She beckons me closer, and I move close to her, until I too am in the light of the halo, next to her. Marcus moves back and begins to walk towards the path. Maria reaches over and holds my hand.        But I am looking at Erica. All my life, all that has been real to everyone else has always been unreal to me. And I stand here, ready to go, and I realize for the first time, I have been honest with someone, that it wasn’t all a lie. And for the first time it wasn’t something that I had just made up! And as this realization dawns, I see Erica raise her head, slowly, and then look up at me. But, she turns to face Maria and I follow her motion, and I find Maria looking at Erica, and they stare at each other for a while, like they are communicating!        Then Maria turns to me, smiles and asks, “Ready?” And I turn my head to Erica, and she is smiling, and for the first time, it feels so real! Her smile filled with an understanding and content, and she looks happy.  And I smile, because I feel like I understand too! And she was always here with me. And I won’t be afraid again. So, I nod once at her and she nods back, for one last time.

 

“Yes,” I reply to Maria, “let’s do this.” And the circle above me begins to lower, and white light engulfs me, Erica slowly fades away in the distance, I look at her until the fog surrounds me, and then I see white, nothing but white light.

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