Endless Journey

Finalist in the 'National Treasures 2022' competition

I stopped. Paused for a moment. Laying before my eyes, the asphalt road was a smooth meandering river, stretching endlessly, a black belt tightened around the waist of Mother Earth. Beseeching the platoons of grey clouds to thunder their anger upon them were the sickly patches of withered grass, impotent and helpless. Despite this, nature’s protruding curves seemed to set a sense of tranquillity upon the land.

I exhaled, continuing forward in the direction of the mountains, which was clothed with the most alluring green. The incessant rhythmic beat from my shoes, coupled with the gasps of air from my desiccated throat was all that could be heard, otherwise utterly silent, except for the soft lullabies whispered from God, in the form of a dry, dusty wind.

Clamp. Clamp. Clamp.

The hypnotic sounds of my sneakers drifted me into the depths of my mind.

Am I ever going to get there? To those mountains? Why am I even here?

Questions plagued my mind, whizzing about through the walls of my brain.

She’s gone. But why? Why do some have to leave before others?

Unconsciously, my abrupt indignation triggered the acceleration of my burdened legs, propelling me faster than ever. The sky spat on the thirsty desert.

What can I do? All I can do is hope, hope for something, anything, to happen. But hope is just a false promise. A lie we tell ourselves about the future.

I was now almost at a full sprint. Hostile clouds had completely conquered the sky, grumbling as they attempt to contain their anger.
Why bother to live life when you have lost everything?

Suddenly, a hard unforgiving bulge from the road had made contact with my left leg, knocking my body onto the stiff obdurate asphalt. A second passed. All was silent.

Then all chaos broke out. Water recklessly burst from their occupants, downpour more vicious than any preceding, vigorously piercing through the ground, crushing the hopes and dreams of everything and anything. Ruthless bolts of lightning threw themselves against the arid terrain, booming sounds from heaven thundering the atmosphere. A guttural howl evaded my lips. Agony sharper than knives, more powerful than punches, washed through my abdomen; crimson red liquid ruptured from my skin, soaking the asphalt.

Amidst the darkness, flashes of memories began to flicker through my brain.

Her hands. Her deep amber eyes. Her body. Her soft lips.

The tears scrolled down my cheeks, undiscernible from the rainwater.

I have nothing. I am nothing. And I don’t know what to do.

I lie there, watching the raging storm unfold. Despondency obstructed me from getting up, pushing, as numbness sets into most of my battered body.

Minutes passed.

“Go out there and live your life, there are far better things ahead than any we leave behind.”

A soft soothing voice echoed through the landscape, so evocative, so tenderly, that all the depressing mess my life was tossed into appeared to vanish into thin air.

It was her.

And I'm okay.

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