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What We Leave Behind

Updated on February 19, 2017

Survival is a choice. Except, he found that he wasn't the one making the decision.

He had been wandering for what felt like days, and each tree was starting to look quite similar to the last. At this point, he was beginning to miss home. The gentle embrace of the lover who never belonged to him. A soft pitter-patter of his young who never knew to call him father. If only he had followed his instinct that burned through every fiber of his being, urging him to return to the life he used to know.

That life was gone, so with a sunken heart he gathered branches and leaves together to make a nest for the night. As he laid down, he found that he was quite uncomfortable. Twigs pricked into his back, just beginning to dig into his soft skin to leave small marks. It would have to be dealt with, for he no longer felt like moving as the depths of sadness gripped his heart.

A part of him pondered how she was doing. Did she still kiss each of his children good night, or had she disowned them after the abandonment of their father? Perhaps she was beginning to lead them to happy lives. A glorious future. All he had left to do was wonder.

The image of each face of the entirety of what he called his family was still burned in his mind, even if he had never verbally stated them as such. Would they be content with him gone? Did any of them cry? Each of them had walls, leading to strong fronts to pull off with grace. If any of them managed to show sympathy, he would be surprised. Still, would they even acknowledge the legacy he left behind?

It is interesting how much one can regret their pasts, and still feel content that they lived through it. The fact of the matter was that he had lived, and that in itself was something for him to take pride in.

His end was nigh soon, and a part of him knew this even if he couldn't come to accept it. Youth was still vibrant in his features, yet he was wiser than a million false gods. There was no place for him left here, for he had come to know too much. Thus he waited on his death bed, wondering what would take his final breath.

Close his eyes. Breathe in, breathe out. Life was such a fickle thing. Yet in the end it felt like a passing dream.

The last thing in his mind was her. Dashing through the fields, with long white hair flowing behind her. The gentle smile that seemed to light up the world. He could see every detail in her features, right down to the glimmer in her indigo eyes.

Pain slashed through his body, but he didn't bother to open his eyes. He didn't want to know how he died, all he wanted to do was enjoy the final moments. Those lasting memories that flashed before his eyes of happy times were all that he wished to see. Even the natural struggle of his body in an attempt to survive could not distract him.

Feeling the last of his power diminish, he surrendered to the blackness of death that awaited for his arrival. The devil had gone home at last, only to keep the appearance of an angel.


Survival is a choice. Although you're not the only one making the decision. All you can do is enjoy what you have before it's gone.

— Alexis Chantel

© 2017 Alexis Chantel

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