"Not everything is a contest, my child." Again, and again, her voice resonates in my ears, an irritating crescendo I can't seem to be rid of. Even now, even now when I've left her behind like my past, the mark she has seared remains a fresh imprint in my(more) mind.
The words, they repeat, over and over, just like the way she used to relish it. "You don't have to win. You don't have to do this." I push her voice to the back of my mind and I drown it out. Her voice is consumed like a lone sailboat by the ocean.
What does Mother know anyway? She is convinced the world is full of humanitarians and saints just lying in wait to offer you a helping hand. I have learnt that this is not true. I have learnt that the world is a competition that demands my victory, and within it all the medals that I claim for myself.
Before I face the world, however, I have to face my own demons. Beat them at their own game, contest them and then eradicate them.
And so here I stand, victorious, bloodied knife in my hand and the remains of the adrenaline that had rushed over me before. And there he slumps over, gasping like a fish, gasping for air. With his hand pressed to the gashing wound, he whispers a prayer for a savior that will not come.
From the pleading gaze he sends me as he meekly swallows his last breath, I know I'm a winner.
"Goodbye, father of mine. I guess I've won."
I am proud to tell you, I was thrown off Cross Country Track Team for helping a member of the opposing team cross the finish line. My coach actually laughed as he saw me walk-trotting to the finish line.(more) My jersey stuck to my sweaty torso as I was dragging an injured, limp and equally sweaty competitor to her goal (not mine) - the finish line.
It is not in my nature - this competition characteristic.
But here I am now...
...Words With Friends addict. I play with people I know personally. When in their presence I reiterate how I will annihilate them with my brilliance. No holds bar for me. Yes. I am three hundred points ahead and will not miss an opportunity to be fifty-two points more! Bwa-ha-ha!
And yes, I will give them a side-ways glance from the other side of the room instead of a hardy, "How are you today, Friend." if I am losing.
"I am the beginning of everything; a gift shared among all." She began, the pride as evident in her tone as the steely glint in her eyes. They were a mellow green now. An emerald with its edges chipped gently to form the curves of a smooth stone. Fresh(more) grass just after rain.
"You seem to forget, that I am too, a gift in my own nature." He interrupted, his voice like rough gravel tumbling down a flight of stairs. There was a steady rhythm to it. A sense of predictability.
"But you are the end." Life said, her voice was silky smooth this time. She had him cornered. She had won. Or so she thought.
Death looked at Life sadly. His eyes were a cool liquid grey against her now ruby eyes. The color of passion and love, and blood. Scarlet, scarlet blood.
Unblinking she stared back, and she could feel her lips edge slightly to form the ghost of a smile. He had nothing to say. She thought with glee.
"I am not the end. And neither are you the beginning. What can we say is the end of the start or the start of the end in this matter? We are each a journey of our own. And our titles are merely chapters that mark points in this entire travel. For what would we be without each other? This is no contest. We aren't rivals. We are allies. We give meaning to each other. For what is the beauty of Life without the mystery of Death. What is the color white without the color black and the good without the bad."
"This is no contest." Life repeated numbly. Her eyes were now a paling turquoise, fading cobalt. And with every moment then, her eyes darkened and darkened.