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Dear John | Still Alive

Bare feet on the cliffside wondering how it will all end, the darkness swallows me. Rocks and sticks pierce my skin, as I take another step, but the coldness has taken my will to feel. I dance carelessly along the edge, knowing I have to make a choice, hoping my careless character does it for me instead. I sway and stumble, not even caring if I maintain my footing. Please, God, choose for me.

If resentment was a feeling, it would be cold. It grabs me from the crashing waves below but draws me into the barren fields that righteously lay just steps the other direction. The absence of warmth is noticeable and sends the crescendo of my screams into the ground, as I fall to my knees begging to know how much more of this balancing act I can take. My bones shiver. Which choice isn’t death?

I can’t walk this line much longer. My bloodied and frozen feet refuse to carry me any noticeable distance. Can I just lay here unnoticed until it’s over? Will that prevent a choice? Almost certainly not. The absence of a choice is a choice. Is that how I want this to end? Maybe. Do I want to fall into the waves? Maybe. Do I want to walk into the fields? Maybe.

When the light finally cuts through the darkness, I shield my eyes from its power. The beams cover my face with color and sharp hints of the life I was losing. I try to grab them for stability but fall in pain as warmth begins to revive my body. By breath shortens, my heart races; I have to make it to the light. I feel the rocks and sticks pierce my skin now, but I willfully ignore the pain, as I fight to capture the warmth that has revived me. My body tingles as my coldness wears off and I gasp with hope. I am alive.

I’m still alive.

Leah Hunter


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