One Moment in Time, Your Life, Your Choice...
John felt as if he had just recovered from a faint. He realized that he was lying down on the ground and he tried to stand up. He looked in front of him in the dark alley, and in the faint light of the moon, he saw the body. A shiver ran down his back, and he wrapped his coat tighter around his body, trying to warm up a bit, but then he realized that it was not cold that he was feeling. Although it was a frozen night, piercing cold, he wasn't feeling the cold at all. On the other hand, he wasn’t feeling warm either. It was as if he were at an ideal temperature that wasn’t causing any sensation to him. He thought it might be because of the shock and he decided not to deal with it anymore. Now that some scattered scenes had started coming back to his mind, he felt that the temperature was not the most important thing he had to think about.
First of all, he had to see what had become of his wound. He brought his hand to the place of his heart, as he was looking for the injury. He remembered that it was somewhere there that he must have been hurt by the other man's knife. Indeed, in the moonlight, he saw that at that point his clothes had a small tear, and there were stains of blood, but they were dry.
He exhaled with a sigh of relief as he realized that although he had felt a very intense pain when the man stabbed him, now the bleeding had stopped; therefore the wound must have been very frivolous. So he could forget this problem at the moment, he would give proper treatment to the knife cut later when he would be alone in his home. His thick clothes seemed to have saved him.
Suddenly he stopped reflecting and wondered how stupid he could be! He was spending his time worrying about a wound that wasn't even hurting him, (how strange that was, he was not feeling any pain at all!) while there was a dead body...
His mind stayed trapped in his last thoughts, so he paused again to process it!
“Indeed, this wound must have been nothing but a scratch, because, by all the shock, the pain has already gone.” he thought.
"What am I doing?... What am I thinking of?..." he whispered with anger as he realized once again that he was worried about a scratch, while a body was lying in front of him!
"Oh God, I wish he is not dead," he said as he was kneeling with hesitation beside the man that was lain on the ground just some feet in front of him.
He couldn't see clearly in the twilight, but he was sure that the stranger's face was covered with fresh blood. A lot of blood! And there was more on the ground beside the man's head. He bent a little more, fearful, trying to discern some signs of life. The stranger was not moving at all, and he wasn't even breathing.
"Oh my God, what have I done? What have I done?" he cried. He covered his face with his hands, and he stayed still, kneeling on the wet ground of the dark alley, beside the body of the stranger, lost in his gloomy thoughts. He was so confused. His mind was seeking to find some light in this terrible darkness. He was trying to explain to himself what had happened, but it was like all his thoughts were blocked by the image of the blood-covered man he had in front of him.
He, who had not hurt a fly so far in his life, now he had in front of him a dead body. Not just any unknown man that he had found dead in this dark alley, but the dead body of a man who was killed by him.
He always said that he would treat all situations with calmness and understanding. He used to declare pompously to his friends that he would prefer to die himself, rather than cause harm to his fellow man. And now a man was lying down in front of him. A man with a broken head and a face that was full of blood. And all had been caused by his hit. By his fist that had been reinforced by his stupid fear.
He had never punched a man with such force before. In fact, he had never hit a man before. But in this cold night, in this dark alley, fear had blurred his mind. Was it the fear of losing his life, or was it for the money he was carrying with him? You see, he had just taken a significant amount of money, a little time ago, when he took this turn. And he was carrying all this money in his wallet. That is why he had chosen to shorten his way home through this dark alley. How stupid he was! This fear, at the sight of a ragged man, holding a knife in his shaking hand, threatening "your money or your life," had made John forget about everything. It had made him forget about his God and all the right things that he believed in, or at least he thought that he believed so far. And he reacted like an animal. He clenched his fist and, with as much power as his fear gave him, struck the face of the other.
Now that his thoughts have started to form a sequence again and the pictures of the entire event returned to his mind, he was sure that this poor man had no intention from the outset to harm him. He knew now, as he remembered his eyes, full of anxiety and fear, sunken from deprivation. Those eyes were staring at him as if they were begging for help rather than making a threat. And the sweat that was glistening on his face was evidence of his agony.
He was now confident that if he had given this poor man the slightest chance of escape, he would have run away. Not to mention his supposed charity, that so staunchly he supported all his life. If he had acted with a good willing in this challenging situation, and he had given him the money he had, then both of them would have been much happier when they would have left this miserable alley, which now seemed like the road to hell. But he chose the most stupid way to act and so he did not give any chance to the stranger. He decided to attack. For the first time in his life, John had decided to hit another human being! So the other man by instinct struck back with his knife to the heart of his threat. Everything was done instantly. The clenched punch and the blade moved in parallel directions with a short time difference. John felt his punch breaking some bones, and the other felt his knife tearing clothes and flesh before losing his senses, pulling it out with him as he was falling down.
It was so strange how clear, all these scenes in his mind, were now. As if they were happening again, at this time, and as if he were a third person, an observer who was watching from a distance. He tried to take a deep breath to calm down, but he felt that the air did not obey the call of his lungs. He brought his right hand before his eyes and looked at it. It was covered with blood, the blood of the stranger. He mechanically wiped it on his coat. By understanding the futility of this act, he wondered what this move could correct. He turned his face, full of sadness, but also with a strange serenity and looked at the other's motionless body.
"What will I do now? What should I do now? What an idiot like me could do in a situation like this?" he whispered with despair. He broke into tears again. "Oh my God, how I betrayed you! I am so sorry, I am so deeply sorry," he cried out. "What can I do now? How can I undo this terrible error?" He turned his head to the sky and said: "Oh God if I'd had a choice, I would have taken his place. I wish I could be the dead one, and this poor fellow to go away safe and sound. I would give him all my money too. Who knows, it could be the starting point for a new life for him." He made this wish from the bottom of his heart.
With these thoughts in his mind he turned his head back to the poor man and then his thoughts froze. The head of the man moved, and his body too! John saw him shaking his head and then his hands. He raised them up and brought them to his bloody nose. Then the supposed dead man lifted his body slowly and sat up as he was making certain expressions of pain.
John jumped up surprised as he was trying to process what he was seeing!
The stranger was holding his wounded nose with one hand and was leaning on the other as he looked right and left, as if he was searching for something and finally turned his gaze to John's side, staring somewhere between his feet.
A mixed feeling of joy and panic overwhelmed John's mind. Eventually, he had not killed him. His wishes were heard since apparently he had only broken stranger's nose and threw him unconscious. But now he had to leave. In his joy that he had not caused much harm, John realized that he had to run away because he did not know what could happen in this new situation.
Then a thought flashed through his mind. Before he leaves, he could at least give his money to the stranger, to remedy somehow the evil he had caused and mainly to calm his conscience. He hurriedly put his hand in his pocket, but he did not find the wallet where he always put it. He thought that it must have fallen from his pocket during the fight. The moment he was about to look around, he saw the other standing up on his feet. And then he panicked, and all he could think was to turn around and run away as fast as he could. And he did it. He turned around. But he did not take even a single step forward because his mind froze.
As he turned, John saw himself. He saw that his body was lying down on his back, there, on the wet ground of the alley. John lost control and stood still, motionless, astonished, unable to do anything else but to stare his body. He felt that agony was surrounding him and there was no escape anymore. And that was not the last thing he felt.
He felt something like a stream of air penetrating him, and suddenly the man he had previously considered dead, was now standing in front of him. So John was facing the back of the man whom one moment before he had left behind as he had turned around to run away! He stood there shocked watching the man as he was kneeling beside the body on the ground and searching the pockets of his coat.
The stranger found John's wallet, he opened it, and his blood-covered face was lightened by a big smile. He looked around for a moment and then stood up and ran away. He vanished in the dark.
The first thing that came to John's mind was to scream. He opened his mouth, but the only thing that was heard was a weak blow of air!
We all have darkness within. Is there because we have to know it before we decide to choose Light.— Sean Dragon
Vital Choice - Love Can Change Every Mistake
Remember that every moment, difficult or easy, even in your most wrong choices, you still can wish in the name of Love. If your wish has the power of your soul, it will mobilize the mechanisms of the Universe, and they will make it happen in the most right way. And then, like a miracle, Love will change the mistake, leaving the valuable lesson you have to take from the choice you made.
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© 2018 Ioannis Arvanitis