Friday, May 17, 2013

"Choices" by July K. Sapphire

      Running. How long can I keep running? I still am young, only twenty-six. I could have had a great life, if our side had won. But we lost. The Dark side has won, and all hope is gone. They are coming after me; I have to make some decisions. But how much longer can I go on like this? Sliding down the stone gray wall, I sink to the floor. Cold, gray stone. Everywhere. So unforgiving. I close my eyes and rest my head on my knees.

       As soon as I close my eyes I see the images. Bodies. Blood. Death. Everywhere. I see our side losing. I see everyone I know, lying dead on the ground. I do not know how long I can go on like this. I am sick, injured, cold, grieving, and I hurt all over. But mostly, I am tired. I am so tired. I have nothing left to give. Suddenly, someone taps my shoulder. Rather politely, actually, which is strange, considering the circumstances. I look up, surprised. It is him.
       But this is not possible. He was thought to have died years ago, not long after he had joined the other side. After he betrayed us all. Now, here he is standing here in front of me. How did he find me? How did he even get in? I have so many questions, but so little time. I have so little time. They will find me soon. But wait, he is one of them. He has found me. So that means that they have found me. He was the one I trusted above anyone else. I am scared, angry, and overwhelmed with grief. I want to ask him a thousand questions. I want to seek comfort in him. I want to hit him. I want to scream at him for leaving, and I want to kill him. I should kill him. But I am too tired. So I just look at him.
       He greets me like he used to, but something seems off. “You do not have much time,” he says. “You need to make your decision soon. Very soon, because they will find you here.” Of course he found me. He knows me better than anyone. I am in our best friend’s basement; I needed a place to regroup before leaving, and seeing as she was just killed, I didn’t think she would mind.  
       “Who have you become? What side are you on?” I ask.
       “Spying is a dangerous game,” he answers darkly, with a haunted look in his eyes.
       His eyes. His sparkling obsidian eyes. I still remember the first time I looked into his eyes. They were intoxicating. I think back to the last time I looked into those eyes. His lips, mere inches from mine. Slipping away, just before he left. I remember waiting up for him that night. I remember being in denial for months after they said he had betrayed us. I remember when I realized that he was not coming back. What am I doing? I will not revisit those memories. I will not think about those things that hurt me so much. I do not have time for this right now.
       I am having trouble focusing. It is probably the sleep deprivation. I force myself to snap back into reality, and find myself staring right into the eyes that have haunted my dreams for years. “What choices do I have?” I say to him. “I have to keep running. I have to spend the rest of my life, however long or short it might be, running. I might have survived, but I am not living. What is left?”
      “I am here to offer you a choice.” He set down a black bag on the ground next me. It was filled with money, enough for me to go far from here and start a new life. Then he offered me a small black vial. “Untraceable,” he said. “You do not have much time. The choice is yours.” And with that, he was gone. My questions vanished; it was all clear now.
       They are coming for me, and he came to warn me. He came to save me. To offer me a choice. The choice between life and death. If I wanted, I could drink the contents of the vial, and end it all. On the other hand, I now have the means to live. I would still be running, but it would be a lot easier than it would have been before. Now, I actually have a chance at a future. I start laughing. There is really only one thing to do. I have made my choice. Closing my eyes, I bring the small vial to my lips.

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