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Forgive Us

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The alien creature stood in front of me.  So unhuman is its figure, I can not describe it with words.

“You have two choices, one will destroy your world, the other will save it.”  It said.

“Does your planet deserve to live?” 

I ponder that question for what seems like an eternity. I could save it, and no change would be made.  The good would go about their day, ignorant of the evil until it strikes.
Or I could end it all, the pain, the sorrow, the fear . . .  and the joy.

I sit there, contemplating whether or not to save the world, trying not to cry.  To any other person, the decision would be obvious. But to a person who has lost all faith in humanity, the decision is less clear.

Why me?  Why ask me of all people this question?

I wonder what my daughter would’ve done?
What would my wife tell me to do?

Memories flash in my mind, bringing about the feelings of anger, sorrow, and regret.
They were beautiful,  I loved them both.  I remember how beautiful my wife was as she walked down the aisle. I remember the smiling face on my young daughter as she walked up to me, holding a handmade card that read : “I love you, Daddy!” A tear escapes and rolls down my cheek.  If only I had spent more time with them!

The man who killed them… I remember him so clearly. He looked defensive, as though it was their fault for being hit and killed by a reckless driver.  He was charged with Involuntary manslaughter, and was imprisoned for eleven months.  As he left that courtroom, he gave me such a wretched look, I couldn’t help but give him some pity.  He was just a young adult, barely eighteen.  Yet I could not find it in me to forgive him.

“I hadn’t seen them!”  He had said.

“You were driving too fast… stop making useless excuses!”

No, please, stop thinking

“Hurry and make your decision,”  the thing says, interrupting my thoughts.

“The world deserves to die!”  I scream.

“Are you sure about this?”
Suddenly, I remember the last words of my wife as she lay dying on the hospital bed.  “Forgive him, James.  Hope is more important than any grudge…”

How could I forget her dying wish?

“Wait.. no, I change my mind.”

“Very well, your planet will be spared.”

Suddenly, I find myself home once more, sitting on the couch in my spacious living room.  The house feels like sorrow and loneliness.

I will fulfill your dying wish. I promise.

With that thought, the house seems to visibly brighten.

I smile slightly.

Was this all a dream?  I hope it was… yeah, hope.  Hope is what I need to forgive, hope that he feels sorry for what he did, hope that my family is proud of me, hope that I can continue to live life despite the death of the people I loved most, hope that I can forgive.

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