But something happened, something unexpected and unexplainable. I don’t know exactly what happened, when it happened or why it happened. Whatever it was, it sent this boy into a very dark place.
For a time, I accompanied him in that dark place, but not because I wanted to be there. I had an obligation to him and myself, I thought. I had no idea how we got there in the first place. Things happened so fast. I don’t recall entering willfully, but I must have. All I knew for certain was that I didn’t like or enjoy the dark.
For too long it seemed, I endured the darkness and its shadows and fought daily to get us both out of there. But each time I tried to pull us into the light, the boy dragged us deeper into the darkness. The deeper we got, the less light I could see. We got so deep, I forgot what the light looked like and how it felt.
I was resigned to the darkness. I found myself as empty and as hollow as the dark place I desperately wanted to leave. I became a shadow of my former self.
But one night, I had a dream about the light. I felt its warmth and glow and joy. I missed the light so much. I hadn’t felt those things in so long. I needed those things and knew I would die if I didn’t escape the darkness. I didn’t want to die.
So I started climbing out of the darkness, first with small steps. But the boy kept pulling me back. He held tightly to my heels for awhile. But I refused to give up. I kicked long and hard until he finally let go.
Even without him holding on to me physically, I struggled. I had to take larger steps, and I soon found myself clawing and scratching my way to the surface. There were so many times I wanted to give up. My arms grew tired, my back ached, my memory kept going back to the boy I loved. I’d slip in these moments; my focus was compromised. Days and weeks and sometimes months of progress were lost with each little slip. But I kept remembering that dream and how warm and joyful the light was.
I kept moving forward, closer to the light and never looking back. Once the warm glow of the light hit me, my thoughts returned to the boy still in that dark place. I wanted desperately to share the joy I was feeling with him.
But my efforts were in vain.
My voice just echoed and bounced around the darkness driving the boy mad and just confusing him more as to why I chose to leave him behind. The darkness had eroded any inkling of the light inside the boy. He saw me perched above with the light shining on my back as just a shadow, dark and distant. To the boy, I appeared no better than the darkness in which he lived.
So in the end, the boy chose the darkness and its dancing shadows. I accepted his choice and eventually realized that no words, deeds or wishes would have convinced the boy that the wasted life he was living was unnecessary. He chose to hide behind false pride, ego and selfishness. He was a shadow and lacked the necessary trust to follow me and eventually join me as equals in the light.
And the final release, the ripping apart of the last heart string that connected me to him, was bittersweet but much more sweet than bitter, because it’s so lovely in the light.
Never underestimate the power of the darkness and the consuming shadows it casts.
Life is in the light. Death is in the darkness. You have a choice.
(image source: http://pinterest.com/pin/512636370053886530/)