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Helen Down’s Journal
A letter to my daughter:
I have only two days to live. Other people wouldn’t be able to see that. The sun rises and sets, but I know that it all boils down to two days. You shouldn’t know the day you die. I used to live my days, Now I live for only one. I call that day tomorrow. This forever day is all the gray time leading up until then. Today started the moment that Cabel left. I’ve watched my daughter grow up in this one day. And when tomorrow comes nothing that happened today will matter. Those moments decide my fate. According to Cabel, I can choose to change my fate right now, but my nature has chosen between the two paths so there’s really no option at all.
Darling, keep an open mind, as you always have, and remember that you are as special as I have always tried to treat you. You remind me so much of your father. I try and picture you all grown up, but here you are next to me, and you look so small. Tonight as I got you ready for bed you pulled on your old red and flannel nightgown with the ribbon neck and plush heart on the front. And we knelt by your bed to say your prayers, just as we do every night. Do you still remember it, my princess?
Dear lord, I ask for little but hope for much. Smooth the paths we enter on, guide the ones we take. Love will ensure we find the future we shape. Let it be the peace we seek.
Your sweet voice says the words dutifully, but I wonder if you know how much faith I put into the prayer I designed after your father left.
I am a mouse in the maze of my mind. I know where I need to be, but the solution is hidden in the twists and turns. My want is so basic: I want to see my love again. And I’ve chosen to pay the price no matter how high. I am foreordained to die. It almost doesn’t matter, because that prophesy is accompanied with the knowledge that he will be there. I chose this. Cabel wanted me to continue as if I didn’t know my hypothesis was flawed. His insight cleared my vision, and there is no going back once you have knowledge.
In a world of possibilities surely there is a possibility where I live to be with my lover. He has seen me die. If it goes this way, then at least I will get to see him again. And when he sees me, it will be without censure. He won’t know that I’ve disobeyed him.
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