Six months later, you find yourself living on the edge of the desert. This is about as much civilization as you can stand. You can still disappear out into the wastes for your solitude if you so desire, but you’re closer in now. Despite being at the edge of the desert, deep down, you sincerely doubt you could return to the world again.
“You’re never going to completely get over this,” Shara told you the night after you scattered Wendy’s ashes. “I don’t say that to curse you or make you a martyr, but you are scarred; both figuratively and literally. They will be with you for the rest of your days.” She paused long enough to give you a gentle kiss upon your brow. “It’s how you cope with your scars that will tell you who you are.”
Six months later, you finally contact Martha and Lawrence MacAleister. They were elated to hear your voice. Five years can be a long time and there was a lot to discuss. The hardest part came when you said you had met someone new.
There was silence. Long and cold. The hatred and blame you had both expected and feared from them all these years seemed but a heartbeat away. You braced for the worst.
“Wendy died, Geoffrey, not you,” Martha said finally, you could feel the smile in her voice. “Get out there and live.”
You find emerging from the desert, from the shadows between alive and dead is not always easy. The road is longer than any you’ve ever traversed and there are still miles to its unseen conclusion. An old song playing on the radio seems to sum it up best during those harder times;
“Spitting out pieces
of my broken heart…
I’m lying in the afterglow
how’d I get this far?”
It’s a question you ask yourself during meditation. You’ve yet to find an answer, but perhaps there isn’t one. Sometimes, the little mysteries are what make life worth living. The greatest mystery of all would maybe be wonder what the future holds, but you were told once there is no future, only possibilities.
A familiar voice humming some arcane tune in an esoteric accent pulls you from your musings. You look up across the front yard to the clothesline. There, silhouetted against the late afternoon sun is a familiar figure, putting out laundry to dry. With a smile, you pull yourself from the front porch chair and start toward her. There may be no future, but you’re quite content with that. Along this long road you’ve found yourself on, the possibilities are endless.