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The Lonely Darkness
It is dark. It is cold. I am cold. There are voices. I am alone. It is dark. I am blind. I am alone.
I crawl on the dirty floor line an animal, feeling around for an escape. Everywhere I hit walls. I am trapped. There are voices. I am alone. They are getting louder. There are footsteps. I am alone.
There is light. It warms my icy skin. There are footsteps. There is pain. It is dark. It is cold. I am alone.
I wait, hungry for the warmth to fall against my skin once more. The pain surges throughout my body. There is no relief. Unrelenting, it burns throughout my body. I do not scream. I do not cry out in pain. I had been silenced. I lie helpless as the crimson life within by body drains and leaves me dying and cold. There is no warmth within me, no person at my side, yet I am surrounded by both. I am dying. I am cold. I am alone.
The icy hands of death take hold of my body, reaching within me and stealing the very breath from my lungs, choking me with a vice-like and inescapable grasp. The hands tear through my flesh and from me rip any remaining bit of warmth, leaving me a withered and lifeless corpse.
I am cold. I am alone. I am dead.
There are voices. I can hear them. They are different. There is light. I can see it. There is warmth. I can feel it. There is a hand upon my cheek and the smell of flowers wafts into my nose.
I open my eyes and am almost blinded by the intense light. I allow it to flood my empty body, to rid me of the cold death within, to bring life to my withered self like water to a wilting rose.
The hand on my cheek moves to my forehead. I turn to the woman sitting at my side. She is crying. I am dead.
To speak and reassure the woman, whoever she happened to be, that there was no reason to cry would have been a blessing, yet I cannot. I am silent. She is alone.
I do not watch from the bed, yet behind her, looking in from the doorway between the little room with a tiny window and an unknown place.
I continue to watch the woman cry. She sobs into her hands and mutters something so soft that I do not hear it. She is alone.
An angel appears at my side. He glows brilliantly, garbed in white and gold with gigantic wings, so pure in color that I almost cannot bear to look at him.
“You have a decision to make,” he says, his voice like a trumpet, yet so very gentle.
“I know,” I reply meekly. I am not silent to him.
“I look back at the unknown place behind me. It is glowing with hope and warmth. I bask in it, so deprived, for weeks on end, that I almost do not remember how it felt. So badly I want to turn and walk with the angel into the light and warmth, yet there is something that holds me back. I look back at the crying woman.
“Why does she cry over me? Who is she?”
“You will not remember, for you are no longer the person who lies upon that bed,” he tells me. “You must decide whether you want to remember…or move on into the light.”
I do not know which I want. I do not know the woman. I do not recognize her face. I recognize the warmth, the light, the voices I hear that were as soft as whispers, yet as loud and as clear as the angel’s voice. I want to go to them, to step into the beyond. The angel left. I am alone. I turn away from the woman. She is alone. The light calls to me, the warmth takes hold of me…but I break its grasp, and step back into the body lying lifelessly on the bed. I was alone. She was alone. We are not alone.