Every time. Every damn time I try, I always end up at this point. This destructive force that seems to rule over me has more plans ahead for me. I know not what they are. I know not whether they’ll come to pass. All I know is all my attempts to subvert it have always been in vain.
It comes down on me like tons of trains every single time it senses any level of happiness within me. It loathes the thought of a smile on my face, or a feeling of joy or love. Is it penance for my past sins? Was what I did decades ago that severe and insulting to the Universe that it cursed me so? I won’t say I was young and reckless. That’s an old excuse. I was in the right frame of mind. I knew what I was doing. Of course I did, my IQ that had been tested before then proves it. Yet I couldn’t predict the effect it would have on my future, my present.
My elders always told me “Son, you have to respect the forces of nature. What you wish for and what you think about should not be so vile as to provoke her forces. The Universe is always listening and watching” I would laugh in their faces. Their old, wrinkled sullen faces. Faces that had been through the thick of life and her lessons. Faces that I always looked down upon for my knowledge of things, scientific knowledge, made me prideful and arrogant. Until the event.
We were running around in the farm within the thick covering of foliage and fruit trees, playfully of course for we were young. Sorry, seems I ended up indirectly saying I was young after all. Anyway, she wanted me to catch up to her. Her jet-black hair flowing in the wind as she ran. Her laughter filled the air as I chased her. Pretending to be the big bad wolf and her little red, I chased her all around the farm until we hit the riverbed.
Let’s swim she said, as she dove in the shallow water. I stood for a while watching her play in the water, mesmerized by the scene. Then the other one woke up. The dark one. He looked at the scene and only saw an opportunity. He moved forward. I tried to stop him but I had no control over my body. I tried to shout to her to run but only a deep unnerving laugh came forth.
The water was lukewarm as the high-noon sun had warmed it up a bit. The current was slow and peaceful. Her hair flowed with it. Her brown skin glowed as the sun hit her face beneath the surface. She had a peaceful look. Like she was asleep. My hands were shaking. My body slightly trembled. I could hear a laugh, though it sounded far away. It took a while to notice the laugh was mine.
Then he showed up. The problem solver. Always with a solution. He didn’t even flinch as he hit her temple with a rock, and let her go. Floating in the water, carried away with the current. We watched her go downstream and down the waterfall. ‘Let nature care for her. She’ll be preserved as should be right?’ he asked. I couldn’t answer him still. In a sense I was fascinated. I had just witnessed the end of a life. The disembodiment of a soul. The end and beginning of a cycle. All by my hand…
Dear Future Son,
Hey there kiddo this is 2016 me writing to future you reading this right now. How are you doing? Having a nice life? God I hope you are, otherwise I’ve failed in one of my main missions in life. I could tell you about the others, but I’ll have a little fun and not tell you right now. Maybe after you read this letter.
Well you might ask me why I wrote this to you at this date and time (19th February 2016, approx. 1951hrs) and to be honest I’m not so sure myself. It could be mysterious forces at work, you know divine deities and such (I won’t mention which specific ones because I will leave the choice of what path to follow to you, although I will teach you about all of them).
I could talk to you about my awesome years in my 20s in university, or I could advise you on what to do to avoid the pitfalls I found myself in. Awesome 20s it is! Hahaha I kid, I kid. I wouldn’t be a good influence if I did. I bet your mother, my darling wife (whom I’m yet to meet), always tells me to stop joking around all the time even in serious matters like you coming home late and such. Or that time when you hurt yourself playing football and I joked about having a new scar to attract the ladies…
Speaking of, you will find many on your path in life. I have a strong feeling you’ve met some already, because you are my son after all (and the handsome gene in our bloodline is strong). The ladies are a very very very complex and great part of our lives. However, you need to be careful and not just go for the first to come your way. You should also not string any along if you have no intention of having anything serious with them. Son, never play games with a woman’s heart. It always ends badly. Always. I’ve seen many of my close friends lose themselves after things went south with the tons of girls they messed around with.
Apart from that, I also got to talk to you about your studies. Yes, yes, this is the boring part, you’ve heard it dozens of times growing up, and you know what you’re doing and what-not. However I really have to emphasize this son, please put in your all in your education. Pursue what you dream of becoming. An artist, a doctor, a pilot, an engineer, an astronaut, secret IT and Science department guy for the US/Russia/my own island, or the next president. Your path is yours and you will achieve anything you want if you are passionate about it. It’s the same thing my father told me though it was slightly and I mean slightly late. But I still made it. And I know you can too cause you are my son and I believe in you.
I think I’ve gone on too long in this letter so let me try and end it here. If I do get another chance I will write another letter to you and give you more life cheat codes. Hmm, am I still a gamer in future? If I put down my keyboard because of work and life stuff do me a favor: challenge me on any weekend when you see me feeling down and stressed (cause I know work will stress me out). Let’s have a fun time and some laughs when you win and I jest that you cheated or “I’m too old for this”
Most importantly son, never be afraid of me. You can tell me anything that’s disturbing you or any thoughts that might make you question some things. You can always come to me for anything.
I love you son, do take care. I hope you are protecting your sister from other boys in the hood, and helping her when she’s in trouble and I’m not around. Family always comes first. Remember that.
Until another time Son.
Your loving Father.
This is weird, I know, even for me. I have never done anything like this, writing a letter to you. But I thought that it’s about time I did. I have a few reasons why I am doing this right now. The main one being that I want to thank you. I know I usually do sometimes in little ways, mostly after a material gain, but this time it’s different. This time, it’s immaterial. It’s for all the major things you did for me.
I want to thank you for always being there for me. You are always the source of my strength when I am down and my guiding light when I am lost. Growing up some of the time I used to see you as this towering embodiment of fear that I couldn’t get past and always found it hard to connect with you. It took a really long while for me to realize that the wall of fear that I saw when I looked at you or when I was in your presence was actually the colossal amount of respect and admiration that I have for you. You are my hero and in a way my rival.
Let me explain the last part. The rival part. I don’t mean it in a villainous kind of way, but more in a friendly kind of way. You are everything I aspire to be: confident, ambitious, intelligent, a caring and understanding father, and fearless of your potential. I mean, you were at your peak and still broke through it and reached beyond. That, that is what makes me want to rival you. Because I do not just want to be like you, I want to be better than you, and make you the proudest father in every iteration of the universe, parallel or naught. I see the shadow you cast over us, your sons. I see the failure of the others to recognize the opportunity to cast shadows of their own. I see the effort you put into making us realize our own potential at surpassing you, and I see the disappointment on your face when it seems that we are a lost cause.
Fear not Father, for I will surpass you. I will cast my own shadow beside yours and prove that I am my father’s son. Even though I already know that I am and you still love us all equally despite our flaws. I will still aim to be better. A better man, a better person. A better son.
So thank you again. For being there for me, for guiding me along the right path especially if a stray away from it, for giving my life a purpose, and for being the best Father in the universe.
I’m leaving the University soon, and I shall make my mark on this world.
Like you made yours.
Your ever loving son…
He came to visit me again last night, bearing all sorts of gifts and pleasantries to appeal to my reason. He always knows where to find me. They all do, on the cliff overlooking the ocean below, raging waves hitting the shore and cliff face as the night breeze cools me off. He’s a tenacious one I’ll admit. Almost makes me want to give in to his offers. Last night he felt a little different though. His gaze was distant, his walk distracted and his aura desperate. I watched him drag forth his miserable existence towards me. He just got here a few weeks ago, but in all my years he is the only one who’s come to me more times in a week.
“Today I have a different offer. I now know I can’t change your mind on the last hundred proposals, but this one, I know you cannot for the soul of me say no to,” he starts. “Okay, Murtzal. Go on. Tell me what could possibly make me accept this time?” He sits beside me, lays the gifts at my feet and looks at his hands. He looks at me, his eyes filled with desperation. He looks away, takes a deep breath and speaks. His words sound like a train running over a wild animal, an antelope maybe, as they leave his foul lips.
I look at him as he speaks. My body contorts and my breath feels short as I laugh at his preposterous proposal. Sure it is tempting. But unbelievable. He stops mid-way knowing he has failed, as he has hundreds of times before. I stop laughing. Composing myself, I stand up and turn to him. I place my hand on his shoulder and walk him towards the cliff edge. “Murtzal, you have really reached far and deep to come up with that offer, haven’t you?”
“Look at the vast ocean, see how she forms her waves and feel her rage as she hits the shores. She keeps at it and has been at it for her entire lifetime. Her actions bring both serenity and death yet the decision belongs to us and the humans. Do you understand where I’m going with this?” He didn’t answer. So I continued.
“Your actions determined your fate and that cannot be changed. So instead of trying to find a way out, how about you come to me tomorrow night and I will give you a counter offer?”
With that I sent him off. He left with hope in his eyes. Huh. Hope. A thing that doesn’t exist in our world. I take one more deep breath of the ocean air and awake in my mortal vessel. Tonight he will come again. Tonight the angel Murtzal will give me a counter offer, but he forgets who I am. He forgets I’m the Devil. The angel from my dreams makes great offers… but tonight I will make him an offer he cannot refuse…
I look at the calendar. It’s been over 6 months now and yet I still find myself going back. What’s that now? The 6th time? And still it seems I haven’t learned anything. I keep relapsing and here I am again, thinking maybe this time it could work. Maybe this time I could get through and finally earn my place. Maybe if I stop doing what I usually do, wait…no I already tried that the third time. But what if I do it that way with a few changes here and there? Surely I must succeed?
I go on, confidence-filled for the sixth time trying to change an outcome that was predetermined by the cosmos. It starts off well, but of course it does, the ground work was laid many tries ago. Hope sparks up. Yes! Yes! This is it. This is the version of this existence that I want. This is how I wanted things to be…how I wanted us to be. All that remains now is to confirm whether it’s worked or not and to do that I must know how you feel about me, about us.
I ask her. She looks up at me. Her eyes project a gaze filled with pity and imminent heartbreak. She blinks twice slowly, swallows and sits upright. “You’re a great person really…” she starts off, but she needn’t say anymore. I already know how she will finish up her thoughts. Failure. Again. Guess the sixth time’s not the charm. The plan was perfect no flaws at all, but still flawed with one looming aspect: more failure expected from the first failure.
It’s like trying to drink spilt milk, or drinking evaporated water. Trying to do the same thing over and over again expecting different results. Like expecting a 12V battery to suddenly produce 200V. This is the limbo I found myself in.
I want to break free. I need to break free. Before this…this insanity, becomes me. But I know I’ll be back. All it will take is a simple smile, a hearty laugh or a simple embrace. Dammit. Seems even the thought alone is enough. Want to give it a seventh try? It could be different this time…
There’s a lot I want to tell you. A lot I want you to know. A lot that’s being weighing me down. I try sometimes, I swear I do. Severally. On average we can say it’s almost every time I see or talk to you. Each time I try though, the words fail me. A lurking fear befalls me and I all-together abandon the idea of telling you. It’s almost like if I do I will instantly cease to breathe.
“You have a lovely laugh/smile” usually means ‘I love seeing you happy. It’s a beautiful sight and I’d love to be the reason you are always happy’
“You know I care about you right?” translates to ‘I really, really, really care about you much, much more than you know’
“You are one special lady” actually this doesn’t translate to anything. It is as it is. Because you are.
These are some of the things I say or do, each statement with a deeper hidden meaning that I find hard to express.
I won’t lie or deny it. I am a jealous kind of guy. But don’t worry it’s not the crazy kind of jealous, it’s the normal ‘what’s he got that I don’t?’ or ‘I want you to myself’ kind of jealous. Every time I see a guy or a group of them chatting you up and making you laugh your heart out even more than I ever can, I die a little inside. I’d want to run up and tell them not to try anything funny, then I remember you’re a grown lady with your own mind able to make her own decisions and take care of herself. I also remember you know naught of this and that you’re not mine.
I want to run up to you and confess what I feel for you and tell you that you complete my life.
But I haven’t given up yet. Not just yet. I know there’s a lot I have to do to be the man that you need me to be. The man that knows what he wants to be and what he wants to achieve. The Man that can take care of those he cares about and the Man that doesn’t let his fears run his life.
So until then my dear, I bid you adieu.
“Tell her… Tell her… WE have to tell her…” my mind chirps away, distracting my thought process. “No we don’t, now shut up and let me be” I say, knowing all too well it’s in vain. This is the effect she has on me. A simple thought, sight or even note of her voice sends my mind in a wild flurry of taunts and jeers. Taunts and jeers not towards her but towards myself. But somewhere deep within the roar of negativity is a voice of hope. Always saying things like this. Trying to make me do what the rest of me presumes I can’t since most of me is always right.
I try hard to separate myself from the two sides but fail miserably each time I do. I succumb to the taunts and end up on the losing end. A position I’ve been in since my first failure eons back.
Picking myself up from the rubble has been hard because I can’t move. I’m alone with my thoughts. Every once in a while I see a ray of light through the clouds but it vanishes the moment my eyes begin to adjust to its brightness.
She’s the most recent ray I have seen. The second or third, I’m not too sure. Though I know my efforts are in vain I try to force my hands towards her. I feel a little tingle in my fingers, but nothing happens. Her warmth envelopes me, and her light gets brighter. I slowly part my lips “Are you real?” I want to say but no sound nor whisper can I make. I feel her move closer with each passing second. Then as if to tease me she moves farther away hovering in the distance.
I want to break free from my self-made prison, my lifeless inanimate cell and tell her that she’s the only person who can save me from my despair. That I want to pledge my loyalty to her and only her. That I will follow her to the ends of time…but alas, I can’t as my tongue has been destroyed and my vocal cords ripped out. A mummy in a tomb. That’s what I am. A tomb filled with thoughts, rage and hurt….