The Path

I am not scared of the dark anymore, because I understood it. And I have accepted it.

I remember that night when I met the ‘Shadow’. It wasn’t what I had expected when Sarah and I had set our course to Avon after the floods in our village. Avon, as we had heard, was a beautiful village just at the outskirts of Yesidale. Abundant with the gifts of the river North-aisle had been flowing and keeping alive the banks with flora and fauna. Snow Capped mountains surrounded the place and we often imagined, what a sight it would be to behold when cherry blossoms would brood calling the singing birds to perch. This is what my beloved Sarah had imagined how the rest of our lives would be.

I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. I would do anything to suffice the bread on our plates, and roof above our heads. She looked forward to the simple, yet fulfilling life with me. We were supposed to be happy and die with the age’s curse. But ‘Shadow’ took it all away.

On our way to Avon, we stumbled upon a rough path. At the arch of the entrance was written,” Qui mundum habent cor, non morietur“. We could not understand, and Sarah mentioned as she smiled, that it seemed a beautiful thought. Dark it was and the light clouds had taken over the night sky. And Avon was not very far away from where we had stopped to retire for the night. Sarah was a beauty to behold under the full moon.

It was then when I heard the noise of leaves crumbling coming from the forest. The flood had brought the cannibals to the forest for survival which had caused trouble to the dwellers of the area. The sound seemed to approach us as if something was slithering as fast as possible. It was the first instinct that I felt, that some danger was near. At the same time, two poachers lowered with grips snuck upon us from another side. Sarah woke up too and set herself ready to defend us with her sword. Yes, she knew how to fight.

We were surrounded. The slithering shadow was now standing still, and on the other side were the poachers, looking to suffice their primitive instincts. Soon the poachers set themselves loose onto us. Before I could charge my sword on to them, an arrow hit me on the thigh and took away my stance to charge. Sarah’s attention was drawn towards me and she dropped the sword in shock. The poachers fast approached us but somehow, I managed to pierce my sword in the chest of the stronger one with all my might. And in a moment, all was over, when another arrow hit my Sarah in her heart, making her bleed profusely until she dropped unconscious. The man left alive was then chased away by the shadow into the darkness.

All was over. Sarah had left me and I could not believe it. My heart ached as I tried hard to wake her up with all in my power of convincing her to not leave me.

“She is now sleeping. Leave her be.” Spoke the shadow standing behind me.

“She will hear you and understand you, but will not speak to you. Qui mundum habent cor, non morietur” it continued. “It is the blessing in disguise. For the pure heart who dies defending on this path shall never be dead.” I could not believe that Sarah left me, but I could still feel her nearer than before.

I knelt before the shadow as I begged to find a way to wake her up. The shadow replied in a grim voice. “You will never be able to wake her up from her sleep. However, you will be able to live with her memories for eons, for the memories are away the soul remembers and feels the presence of the loved ones around. To keep the memory of Sarah alive, you will have to witness the act of love in death on this path. Every such act of death shall keep your memory with Sarah alive. This is not the first time you have experienced this in this cycle, but it is upon you to decide if it should be your last time.”

“Wait!” I replied, “How do you know if I have been here before? And if you knew that Sarah’s life was in danger, why did you not save her? Is this some kind of cheap thrill you seek to quench your thirst of entertainment? Keeping an eye to watch someone die is the most heartless thing you could do when you know you could have saved them. You would only know if you had the heart.”

“My heart! My heart belonged to her since I saw her for the first time.” Spoke the shadow. “Standing in my thoughts with the cherry blossoms, I see her waiting for me to retire for the day and spend the night breaking bread and loving togetherness in the warmth of simple yet fulfilling life. And now I stay with her in my memories, as her thoughts now give me the warmth. I will do anything for my love, even if it means witnessing the deaths for eternity.”

“Wait, this can’t be,” I replied. “This was my dream. Sarah would often tell this to me. You have been following us for a long time, aren’t you? Else, there could be no way you would know what she wished for, and what we prayed for.”

“Alas, you are still in the dilemma of confusing yourself to be a unique being.” said the shadow. “You have been coming and passing this path for eons now, and have been witnessing as many deaths in love to keep your memories alive.”

“Nos idem sumus.” replied the shadow as it vanished in the thickness of the forest. “You are me! And I am You!”

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