The fight of my life
I consume my guilt. Each bite enlarging the void that filled my life. I hungered for the blind dates with “great guys” that no one else wanted. Just someone, anyone to hold my emptiness, if only for a moment. But I was more damaged than they.
My body rejected everything it devoured. Nothing could fill the chasm that drained quicker than it could be filled. I had considered ending it all out of exhaustion, but my job was not done.
One child remained. Solitary unhappiness, he accepted the bits and pieces thrown his way; never daring to think that the grass might actually be greener elsewhere.
Had I done this? Had my deficiencies ingrained themselves on him? Was he doomed to live out his life, as I had? Why had this curse plagued him? Why couldn’t it end with me?
No, he felt obligated to stay behind to be a martyr for me. Something I had vehemently forbid. But he ignored my pleas to leave and seek out his true destiny as his sibling had. To him, she was an insurgent. She had broken her ties to her family and ran, not walked, away from her enslavement. In his eyes, she was the prodigal daughter who vowed never to return. And he despised her for it.
But it was my doing, my choice that she leave. My daughter was destined to live a life greater than mine, greater than any of us. It was my gift to her. The same gift my son had rejected. Had I instilled this fear in him? I tried to tell him this was wrong, that I was not his obligation, not his responsibility. But he refused to listen and instead, detested his sister for having the courage to walk away. He swore his allegiance to me and I hated myself for it. I knew in my heart that he hated me for the ties that bound him to me, He loved me as most children loved their mother, but it was a love that would destroy him.
I had tried for so long to protect him from the evil of the world, and it was these actions that created the indestructible bond between us. I knew the only way to ensure his safety and survival would be to find a replacement before time ran out.
No one wanted to be his replacement. It was too big, too much responsibility. Too much was at risk for so little return. I searched high and low, but my search was futile, ending all too often with tears and more pain that would overwhelm me.
Too many times I cried for the love I had never felt. For the touch that was so foreign to me. For lips that would never linger on mine. For the death knell that tolled louder each time. But death would not take me, not yet. It encouraged me, but I was too weak, too hopeful that tomorrow just might come.
My solitude lingered on. Its heavy shroud hung like a mantle on my soul. The darkness crept into the corners of my life, blocking out the insignificant specks of light. I knew ultimately it would envelop me. It clung and suffocated. Here there was only darkness, a consummate starless night. The demons lurked in the darkness. Their twisted and perverse evil indelibly marking my soul.
I summoned the courage once again and again, only to be thrust from my pedestal into the gorge. Each time I would try to climb out, I would lose my hold and fall deeper. Skin scraping against the stone, razors ripping through my flesh. I was losing my strength and no prayer, no hymn of redemption rang out for me. This was the damnation I had been warned about. My soul was lost to me. Lost to the grace that created it. Shriveled and withered, a solitary tear traced a trail to the place where love once lived. Like everything else, it sighed and dissipated into the velvet darkness.