At first, I
found it hard to believe. They told me that writing my story would help, that I
would find it easier to turn over a new leaf once I had seen the events
unfolding in front of me in ink. I was the only one who knew what had happened,
a thought that was constantly haunting me. Usually, at least some people know
of some version of an event that transpired, but this time, it was not the
case. Nobody alive, besides me, had even a remote idea of what happened.
As I stood
by the lake, I realized that they were right. Having the story committed to
paper had released me from the memories. I looked at the stack of paper, its
weight more spiritual than it is physical, and I smiled. Freedom.
With a flick
of my wrist, the stack flew into the air and burst into flame, its ashes caught
by the wind, scattering across the lake a story that will never be told.
started here, and I would never look back. I promised it to myself, and I promised
it to them, when we last exchanged a knowing glance, the realization
that we will never meet too strong to voice, too painful to admit.
would have considered that I owed them a debt. That some sort of action was in
order. It was my duty, after all. But those days were long gone. It was a slow
process, convincing myself of that truth. But this day had officially marked it
as such. My truth.
I looked up
into the skies, at the lazily floating clouds, carried by the autumn wind. It
was the last time that I would allow myself to delve on those memories. To think that something so complicated started
and ended so quickly, it was hard to imagine. A series of events that changed
the course of history without leaving any noticeable imprint within its pages
seemed so impossible, yet that was exactly what happened.
In the last
moments that I was allowed to hate myself for my actions, I wept. My tears were
falling into the lake, mixing with the fresh water and fading away, just like
who I was until that moment. Some nights, I was convinced that I am a monster.
Others, I was certain that I was a martyr. I’m probably neither, but it is hard
to accept without renouncing all my past actions altogether.
As the wind
settled, my mind had calmed down and so have my breathing. I crouched low and
began washing my face. Then I decided that it was not enough. I had read
previously about the ritual of rebirth and knew that priests are usually
present, but it would have to do. I slowly undressed myself, leaving my clothes
in a messy pile, and stepped into the cold water, naked as a newborn baby.
The same way
that this man came into this accursed world, the same way he shall leave, and
in his stead, I will come, better and reborn.