You were 7, I was 8
And it all started from a dare, that’d eventually result in me losing more than I could ever take. It was a winter in 89′ and as kids we had the urge to explore the vast world that lay before us. See our neighbourhood was under constant construction, so the sight of scaffolding was nothing new, but this one, this one caught my eye. It all started from a dare, in which I knew you couldn’t say no to, climb, let’s see how high your will and strength can take you. So you began to reach for the gunmetal grey bars and began your ascent. With each step you took, I closely followed behind, leg by leg, hand by hand as you slowly reached a height I could only dream of reaching, even the birds gazed in awe.
Until you slipped and lost your footing.
It all started from a dare, but now your ascent began to descend and so did my conscience in an uncontainable spiral of guilt infused with denial. As you fell, so did you mothers expectations for you to go to that school for academically gifted children. So did your chances of finding someone you’d eventually love beyond the constraints of time. So did your lifeless body as they lowered you into your final resting place, to then cover you with earth and spring kissed roses.
15 years later, your memory still lingers and the blame is still engraved in the depths of my being, it all started from a dare that my younger self was as naive enough to initiate. And I’m constantly reminded that not everybody took what happened to be purely accidental, last week your family sent a myriad of threats, time clearly doesn’t heal. That could possibly be the reason why I’ve been followed for the past month, revenge for my indecision, a longing for retribution.
It could possibly be the reason my daily walks to work are accompanied by a man in the shadows that is never too far away, but couldn’t be as close. He watches me as I drink my decaffeinated cappuccino in a low grade coffee shop sitting by the second to last table, I hate that stuff anyway. He followed me when my daughter took her first steps, completely bliss of her father’s sins.
Every year he watched as we celebrated life but mourned over death. He watched every year as I added a rose in the vase on the top shelf.
Then I realised that it couldn’t be that hard to tell that the man in the shadows was in fact my conscience itself.