I spent most of the night thinking I hated you. I thought about how you used your time. How you were able to stretch yourself to the extremes for others, commit your time so completely into other things and yet couldn't find a few hours to give to me.
The light of the silvery moon sparkled as I lay beneath the sky listening to Bill’s fabricated recollection of previous events. Although, I’d already received an instrumental testimony on the matter I persuaded his beguile. That’s until little raindrops hit the slope of my nose followed by a downpour. Bill clutched my hand as we found shelter at the neighborhood’s corner store.
The tiny, tarnished bell rang as we opened the door and entered the store. The walls of the store were lined with shelves, holding every snack a kid or in my case, a woman could dream of. A clerk, on her way to the back of the store, noticed us and came to investigate. She gave us a swift smile and sauntered to the back of the store. Squeals and clatters could be heard, but the sounds were nowhere near what would be considered suspicious.
Slowly, we walked pass the shelf of little Debbie cakes and over to the freezer. Bill grabbed a bottle of Dasani and a Pepsi. I shivered as a cold breeze threatened my stance. Tipping over the chip rack I bent over in an attempt to clean my mess when I saw it!
There was a trail of blood leading to the back of the store. Bill must have noticed it, too. He pulled me behind him and acted as my protector. Neither of us spoke a word. We didn’t have to; our eyes did the talking for us. The backdoor of the store opened and shut which was confirmation that the killer had left the building.
Bill hastened to the back of the store. I didn’t want to move but I didn’t want to stay either. After a brief moment of weighing my options I followed swiftly behind and found him examining a discolored male. A few seconds passed before I realized I was holding my breath.
There were writings on the wall; the same writings that Bill had mentioned in what I thought to be a fabricated story. The fancy carving of the letters around the edges was identical to the carvings Bill described. Only the killer himself could be so precise.
Fear shot through my body like an electric shock as I starred at Bill, who was now starring back at me. He tilted his head to the side and studied me. We were that annoying couple who always knew what the other was thinking and finishing off each other’s sentences. I knew he was reading me.
I stood there with my feet glued to the floor and taunted myself. I was acting similar to a character in a Hollywood horror movie. You know the stupid one who gets killed. That was me.
His eyes glistened in delight as if in some twisted way feeding off my fear. My heart was now beating a maximum of one hundred beats per second. I thought I would die from a massive heart attack. Of course that would have been better than being murdered by my fiancé’.
I grabbed hold of a dust mop and gripped it like a McDonald’s big mac. He valiantly approached me, knowing my every weakness.
“Stop!” I yelled as my knees jellied.
He licked which I assumed to be blood off his fingers and laughed the most dreadful laugh. I began to swing the dust mop like a professional baseball player and cheered every time it smashed across his face. He grabbed hold of the dust mop with one hand and a handful of my hair with the other. Within seconds I’d been thrown across the floor, scraping both my knees and elbows.
I staggered to my feet and took crutch on an old antique desk. “Bill, please stop!”
He didn’t respond. He didn’t have to. The look in his eyes guaranteed that I would be his next victim. He towered over me, threatening me with his size. I’d always liked the idea that he was so much bigger than I was but now I was beginning to have second thoughts. He tossed me around the room like a sack of potatoes, mocking me. I wished and prayed for someone to save me- for an Avenger to drop from the sky but all I got was bruises on top of bruises. I begged for him to end his torment, to end my suffering but my agony only seemed to feed his ego. I fought and managed to break free. Paying too much attention to what was in back of me I failed to perceive what was in front of me. I tripped over the discolored body and bashed my head into the wall. After a few minutes of darkness I awoke here. Locked away in hell’s cell trapped with the devil himself.
"Excuse me, could you give me a pair of chopsticks?" I averted my eyes to what had been handed me and realized they had been mismatched. I looked at the crowd in dismay. No point calling out again. Oddly enough, the story of J and KC came to mind in a flash. I should tell it.
We get tests in life. Tests in whether we give up, or become stronger. Tests in love; how far it will stretch. Is it unconditional, or limited? Does it get stronger? Or does it give up? Is it selfless or selfish? Is it empathetic or apathetic and self-absorbed? We get tested in our abilities to feel for others, standing in their shoes. In doing so, we learn about what kind of individuals we are. Are we strong and stand shoulder-to-shoulder, in supporting our fellow man, the way we would like to be helped if we needed them? Or do we back away, letting them fall, kicking them while they are down, because we are weak, yet we call them weak. They are the ones who are strong, because they treat others the way they want to be treated, with unconditional empathy and understanding. And the fact that they get back up on their own, shows how they were always the stronger one. And they would never let anyone else fall like they were allowed to fall and no one helped them get back up.
Do we blame others for our problems? Or do we show a better example by prevailing, and living a better example than they showed us? Do we blame ourselves when we are kicked and bullied? It is not our fault. By showing a better example, and being the kinder person, we show our independence and strength. The others are weak. They need to let us fall and kick us while we are down because that is the only way that they feel powerful, but they are never truly strong, nor independent. They are dependent on our so-called failures. They know not how to create their own successes. They need to be served by others, or to have others fail, so that they can point the finger and say, “Look, they have fallen…They are weak…Look what they have done to me.” What did they do to you? You let go of their arm, not the other way around. And then you spat on them while they were on the ground. That is not power, that is cruelty; lack of conscience. That is a failed test. People, who are like that, will always fail the tests that they are given because they only see a narrow, dark, dimly lit, one-way road ahead of them. One-way roads always come to an end. They have no way of seeing anything else. If something shows up in their peripheral vision, they will not see it, because they only see the narrow path, leading to a dead end. They do not see anything other than their own agenda. They will not see the people who are fallen on the side of the road or the other avenues that branch out in other directions. They will never get anywhere. They will stay on their dead-end road, continuously repeating the same cycles throughout their own lives.
Lack of empathy, lack of conscience, lack of love, will always cause one to fail. The good person will always get back up on their own and become stronger through their suffering. And their hearts will only become warmer and their loving arms, only opening wider, with success abound all around them, including people to share that success with. They passed the greatest test of all: Being abandoned and hurt even more whilst they were already in pain, in mental turmoil and physical anguish, yet lifting themselves up all on their own after. They led the better example, took the wider, better-lit path. And they have ultimate empathy; unconditional love. This will allow them to pass every single test life hands out to them, cycle after cycle, indefinitely.
Which would you rather be? The all-loving leader, like a Deity who always will have their warm arms unconditionally open, or the follower who stands over those who they have kicked down, expecting them to get back up and give them their all-loving embrace? Which one makes more sense? We all must raise the ultimate self-aware life test question to ourselves: Do I have a conscience - or lack thereof?