Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Anniversary (04/11/05)
TITLE: ANNUAL ANGUISH
By Faithaline Stanislaus
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Gradually the trembling ceased and I lay back, only to sit up a few minutes later, too agitated to lie down. With a resigned sigh, I got out of bed, wrapped my robe around me, and walked over to the window. Pulling back lace curtains, I gazed up at the black sky, in stark contrast to the white, snow-covered ground which was illuminated by a crescent-shaped silver moon. The peaceful landscape silently mocked my inner turmoil. Squinting, I fixed my eyes on the few stars that were visible in the cosmos.
“Are you up there—up in heaven? Can you hear me?” I murmured.
I reached out and opened the window, steeling myself against winter’s frigid fingers.
“When you died on that bitter cold day, something in me died with you,” I cried out. “It’s been five years and I’m still haunted by guilt and despair.” I seemed to have no audience but for the few apathetic shadows outside my window. “All the tears I’ve cried can’t bring you back,” I continued. “What have I done? It’s all my fault. You were innocent; defenseless; you were depending on me to protect you—and I let you down.”
My gaze fell on a few bare-armed birch trees, seemingly holding up their empty hands to the sky as though pleading—like me—for forgiveness.
Dropping my head until my chin rested against my chest, I whispered, “You created my inmost being…knit me together in my mother’s womb…my frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place…your eyes saw my unformed body…all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
I flinched when I heard a deep groan of anguish, then realized that it had come from me.
“They said you were only a clot of flesh, and I believed them. I didn’t realize you were a tiny human being, capable of suffering. You didn’t die with dignity; and I wasn’t allowed to moan—not then.
Now I am weighed down with grief and guilt every winter; year after year. Forgive me, my child, who might have been. Forgive me, God.
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