Tyler Murphy

To close ones eyes and see their legacy, to deeply breath your life and live the truth, to have ones heart beat in peace with lost dreams, to stand awake and smile at such sharp losses. One then turns to cry with smiles and face the future.

Cold rain fell fast onto hard concrete streets, like the lost memories that quickly came to my empty thoughts. Yet as time, my feet sledge me down that dismal road. The gray water streaked across; I looked up ahead through this lens to see it seize all the colors and the world acting disgusted stepped back leaving only me. In the storm did all transform into shrouds of gloomy shade.

Lightening sparked the world to life and for a hopeful moment it lit the way teasing me with the future, but in that same flare did thunder come crashing down behind. I glanced back to the dreary street as the past began to strangle me again. The storm spilled over me from above following in my footsteps. I silently understood that today’s despair flowed from back in time.

This world suddenly went spiraling as I shattered natural law and stopped. The steady rhythm of desperate footsteps laid still and the gentle patter of falling rain played a funeral’s tune. The darkness so long at heels began to creep into my soul believing that it had finally died. Despair thought that all men like time, only stopped for death but beauty it forgot brought back belief. I was taught that only the ticking hands of a clock could trace my age but I felt as if a thousand years had dragged by since my heart last beat. I looked down and between the slabs of hard concrete did a single flower riot against the storm. The weather worsened in retaliation as wind and rain started biting harder at my back but it could not reach my mind.

Her pale cream petals were slightly flushed with pink and she consumed my gaze, vanquished all my thoughts, my mind emptied, my heart began to breath. I had long blamed my heart for living in the past but with tranquil passion it suddenly drove me forward. I knelt before beauty as if god himself had risen up. Thunder beat the drums of fury as I suspended my mortality and reached out to hope. My fingertips trembled as I slowly grasped a thing so lovely I never had a right to touch.

The moment gone, time resumed and hell shook the earth with all its pain. Rain now cold as hate turned to ice. My past returned raging a bitter battle over my future. Fate and hope held the hands of all mankind and it was I that had let go. I lurched forward into the hail my footsteps trying to keep pace with my racing heart. I decided I would rather die with fear than live in it. I walked forward with devotion no longer staring at my feet I dared to look fate in the eye, through the gray I searched vainly for my horizon. The path traveled meant more to me than my destination. I refused to parish at the blooded hands of memory. As the storm surged I tucked the trinket of life inside my jacket pocket, and the petals laid before my heart like a shield protecting me against my own inner tempest.

The way was long and hard, and I had almost gone mad. I was forced to take the flower out three times so her beauty could return my sanity. I looked at where I had come and for the first time, it didn’t seem so bad. I stopped reality for the second time in my life as I stood still before the steps. It had destroyed her. The thing I had grown to appreciate and rely on couldn’t take the burden of my sins and wilted at the weight of my past. The storm had half given up but never would it surrender, and rain fell steadily perhaps sensing my moment of weakness. The cream petals had lost their flush and draped upon my hand like death’s shroud. My mind and eyes still could be tricked but never again could my heart. As the beating memory I had always condemned for holding past pains now refused to allow beauty to slip from my being.

The loved flower now gone, still lived; beauty never dies for those who have seen it. The hope and beauty it once held out to me was seized and now held within. I mourned with gratitude but did not despair. I laid it in the earth and never could have guessed such a small thing would start my life again. Although it was lost, her sacrifice gave me a chance to change the world. I wished I only knew my saviors name so I could say good-bye. Suddenly I felt my heart not my mind tease my memory with the first word that caused my new life to begin, “Jasmine.” I buried the shadow of what stilled lived. Perhaps far in the future, the past would return and grow into another hope. With my last grieved breath and bereaved tear, I place my hand over the tiny grave then uttered “Thank you and good-bye Jasmine.”