The Crossroads

October 10, 2010
I stood at the crossroads, and I looked in all directions. A dark shadow loomed over on way, and it intrigued me. How could all the ways be covered in sunshine while only one was covered in cloud? I thought. I looked at the other three ways. One had a smooth straight road, one had many apple trees on each side of the road, and the other had many rocks and hills. Beside each gate was a small sign explaining the road. So I walked over to the straight road and read the sign.

“The Safe Road:
This road is the easiest. It is safe and has a safe ending.
No amount of words could make this road interesting.”

Definitely a bore, I thought. I walked over to the road with the apple trees next. The sign was nicely decorated with elaborate letters and pleasing colors.

“The Road to Success:
This road is surprising. It holds many ‘wonderful treats’ for the journeyer.
Many a successful person has travelled this road.
The ending may not be completely satisfactory, but the journey is invigorating.”

The quotes around “wonderful treats” scare me a bit. There were only two roads left: the bumpy one and the dark one. The bumpy road was next in my progression. It’s sign was simple with black ink and factual type. It read as follows:

“The Road of Happy Endings:
This road is difficult. You will fall many times and feel completely alone.
This road is special because you will never be alone.
You will face many trials, but you will still have a very satisfying and rewarding journey.
The end of this road is the most fantastic. It is the most rewarding.
This is the only road with many detours back to the other roads.”

Interesting. This road offers second chances. But after you re-choose, I don’t think you can come back. The dark road was all that was left. I was suddenly filled with a great anticipation about the words of its sign. I don’t know why, but I think I had already chosen this road. It’s as if the road called to me. There was something in its creepy moonlight, twisted tree branches, and dark clouds that called to me. I approached its sign gingerly, hesitating to prolong the moment. When I finally reached the sign, I was instantly impressed with the profundity of its words.
“The Untitled Road:
This road is dark. This road is the most difficult. This road has no help it seems.
This road it full of dangers. This road is marked with broken hearts and broken dreams.
This road has no ending. This road is a discordant plea. This road has only periodic roads back to the Road of Happy Endings. If you choose this road good luck, you will need it.

Wow. This road was the road for me. As a true adventurer, I felt I could brave it. If I really needed to help, I’d just shimmy up to the Road of Happy Endings. Despite my excitement and self-reliance, I felt something nagging in the back of my mind. I felt something tugging on my heart and my consciousness, but I ignored it. I pulled my bag onto my shoulders a little tighter, and I started down the biggest mistake of my life.

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