Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: TALKATIVE (09/08/16)
TITLE: Nothing to say
By Ken Grant
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"Why does it hurt so much?"
Life is crushing me and I cannot bear the load. I lay down. I know I am alone, but I still feel strangely exposed. This isn't me. I am proper. I am upright. I have good posture. Yet, now, even kneeling is too much to bear.
"I need your help so much."
My lack is so obvious. The veneer that others see is a lie, but it is my lie and that alone keeps me going. I ward off the world because I am so afraid of what will happen if I allow it in. My innards are boiling.
I am so tired all the time and yet I accomplish so much. Each day is one activity after another. I meet the expectations of everyone but myself. I run, run, run until I collapse into unconsciousness. I rise again and do it one more time. I promise that the next day will be different, but even as I say the words I know they ring so very false.
"Why is there nobody to come to my side?"
I feel so very alone. In the midst of the crowd I feel no real connection. I love my wife and she loves me, but somewhere along the way a wall has come up that neither of us can figure out how to scale. I love my children, but each day I find they are leaving me behind as they grow and change.
"I am empty."
Each day I give more and take in less and less. Life has become an endless string of moments lacking meaning. All around me want so much more than I have available. The pain of coming up short is the real misery.
I open my eyes and turn my head in the direction of the voice.
"Thank you, Antonio."
I stand to my feet and walk quietly onto the stage. The podium seems a million miles away. As I walk I look out at the crowd. They are waiting. They are eager. Their eyes speak loudly to my greatest fear.
"Will I have anything to say?"
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