There’s nothing I can do, and that’s exactly the problem. If I could, I’d do everything. I’d carry it for you, I’d fall in your place, I’d hold your hand and die with you.
But there’s nothing I can do. sometimes, we have to stand on our own two feet.
You can’t stand up? It’s too heavy? You just want a break?
So do I. So do we all. See, life isn’t the moments where things are perfect, where things are pretty, where things are right. They’re the exception that proves the rule. Life is brutal. Life is hard. Life is clawing our way from one challenge to the next, battling to stay upright.
That’s life: the fight.
We fight against the dark and against the cold, we cling to what we have in the never-ending hope that things will someday, somehow, get better.
You’ve given up hope?
There is no life without hope.
Without hope, there’s just the struggle, the battle, the hard work and the effort and the exhaustion and the pain. Always, the pain.
Hope is like an anaesthetic; it helps to dull the pain. You should try it.
No, not like that. Not in a cheesy, superficial way with a too-bright smile that screams of the cracks underneath. Not even in a joyful way, that makes you dance and leap in spin – although that can be fun, in its time.
No, I mean like this. Quietly, patiently, somewhere deep in your soul. In here. Where there’s nothing else.
There’s nothing else because that’s where hope is supposed to sit. It’s a hope-shaped hole; hope’s all that will fill it up.
I know, I know you’ve tried before. But you have to keep on trying. Hope isn’t a one-time-only thing; it gets used up, like water, like life. You have to replenish, refresh. Here, take this, take my hand. I’ll give you some of mine.
No, it’s okay, I don’t need it. You have it. Yes, I’m sure. It’s okay.
I’ve felt it before, you see. I know what hope looks like. I’ll find it again, even if it takes a while. For now, I’d rather you have it. You need it more than I do. Here, in my hands – see the flames? Flickering orange and red and blue? That’s hope. It’s like a fire.
It’s like a fire, it’s like life; life is a fire. It burns.
But you can’t walk around empty. It’s cold. The fire will warm you, at least. At least if you’re burning you can’t die of cold. I know the heat is hard to handle. I know it makes you feel strange. Don’t cast it aside because of that, though. You’ll get used to it, in time. You will. And then you’ll wonder how you lived without it.
Cold. So cold.
Take the flames. Have them; they’re yours. I was only babysitting them for you. Really, they belong to you.
Take them. Breathe them. Be filled with hope – and life. Life is a struggle, life is a battle – but that’s life. To be human is to fight against it. Rage, rage against the coming of the night. That’s what it means to be human. To be alive.
Be human. Be alive.
Buy Sea Foam and Blood, another story by Amy Laurens about the power of hope.