No Going Back

“Is that the time?” She squealed. “I gotta run.” Her hands reached out to grab the heavy bag with all her stuff jammed into it – almost. One hand shoves the edge of the folder back into the cavity as the other pulls her jacket on.

I watch. It’s not the first time. It won’t be the last. There’s a defined time-line for her to visit. Twenty-one minutes, and then this process. She leans down to peck at my cheek before she disappears in a swirl of perfume and sweat. And guilt.

So may times I’ve said not to come back, that she doesn’t owe me anything, that I’m not an obligation. But every week, same day, same time, there she is on my doorstep.

I wish she wouldn’t. It’s not her fault. It was never her fault. Nor was it mine. It happened, like so many things in life we have no control over. And that’s the rub, isn’t it?

We have no control over what happens in our life. Never did, never will. And sometimes we need to be reminded of just how that works.

That’s how I think of it – the moment in my life when the cockiness had to be leveled out, cut down, burned off. Brought down, back to Earth, solid.

The day my world ended is the day my life began. There’s no going back now. Whatever it costs, the harder it is, the more easily we learn the lesson. No going back. Can’t undo it.

The only way through it is to move forward, to leave it behind, to choose life.

That’s what I did. That’s what I want her to do, but she holds onto her guilt as if it’s all she’s got left of the old me. And it is, because I don’t live in that world anymore. I am more me than the person she sees. I am free.

She is trapped.

I’d like to set her free, but the one thing, the only thing I discovered in the journey that led here is that we make our own choices about what we believe, about what choices we have.

So, I know I can’t make her choices for her; I can’t tell her how to do it. I can’t set her free with my story.

She has to see it for herself, feel it in her own head, believe it with her own heart. Only then.


Copyright Karel Jaeger 2017.