Steve looked around and noticed the beauty in the details. The glint of the setting sun on the individual blades of grass. The soft rose hues to the wisps of clouds on the horizon. Life was like that. Subtle beauty lining the hard edges of reality.
Back on the same boulder he had visited so many times before he stared down at the neighborhood below. Nothing had changed really. The children were still playing in the cul de sac in the distance at the bottom of the hill. An elderly couple held hands going on the same walk they took daily. But the weather was changing and a cold nip in the air preluded the bleakness to come. Soon it would be very cold. His instincts knew this and so did his heart deep down.
Steve groped beside him until his hand found what it was looking for and he gazed down at his own photo. In it he was just a little boy smiling. So ignorant and happy.
"I'm sorry." He mouthed looking at the boy grinning back at him. That boy didn't know how different his future would become. How much pain he would endure. He felt sorry for the boy in the photo.
If only he knew. Would he still be smiling?
"I remember that boy. So vibrant and alive. The world was a wondrous place to him." A familiar friend said as he sat down next to him and sighed looking out into the distance enjoying the last minutes of light as the sun set.
A tear fell onto the old black and white photo and rolled off. "Who are you today?" Steve asked his companion.
The man ignored the question and asked his own in return. "Have you ever wondered why your life is always the same old pattern? Why you experience what you do?" He said turning towards him.
"Just what I was meant for I suppose." Steve shrugged.
"No you were meant for so much more, once." The man said standing up and pointed towards an object sitting beside Steve. "Is that what your heart wants?"
Steve looked sadly at the object and began to shake. Tears welled up and spilled down his face. "I...I just want to not hurt anymore. I feel tired."
The man's hand fell gently on to his shoulder. "Ah...to end the pattern. I suspected so. Have you seen heaven? Do you know what you want? How it feels?"
Steve sniffled and wiped his nose. "Once. For a time. At least it felt like heaven."
"Indeed it did Steve. And you discovered who you really were then. You experienced love and weren't lonely. The person inside you still exists you know." The voice said softly and more distant this time. Departing.
Steve just nodded. Knowing that, made nothing easier now.
"To answer your question. I am whatever you decide today Steve." The voice said faintly as if it was now just a figment of his imagination.
Steve's shaking hands grasped for the object and felt its cold hardness and looked around at the lengthening shadows in the dying light. The stars were beginning to appear one by one as if welcoming him. Again he took in the beauty of the world and smiled wistfully.
The children played in the street giggling and carefree.
"Kids time to come in soon its getting dark" a woman called from nearby.
The children continued to play unafraid of the coming darkness.
A sharp crack echoed across the neighborhood startling the children who looked towards the grassy hill in the distance confused. But just like the boy in the picture they were too far away to see what had happened or what the sound meant.
This is my entry to the Five Minute Freewrite challenge presented by @mariannewest and the Freewrite Community. The prompt for the challenge was "Pattern" which can be found at the below link.
Thank you for reading.
Photo provided by pixabay.com