I looked at it again, the mountain. The giant colossal form standing in front of me -unwavering and unflinching. Its top piercing the dark night sky and its bottom pressing hard the helpless ground. It extended far in the east and disappeared somewhere in the west, both ends languishing in the dense mist and the dark shadows of the unknown. Can I beat challenges like this of my life?
I stared hard at this monolithic beast, the one mocking me with its size and volume, daring me to try and fail. Then try and fail again. Again and again, try and fail, repeatedly, many times, until I was exhausted, until I was broken and until it had confirmed its supremacy and proved my doubts right.
A swift wind rushed down from the mountain, bringing me out my reverie. It made a rustling sound as it swept through the trees, making me aware of its presence as if it was a living thing, breathing, observing, like a predator, whispering in my ears, the tales of the many mortals who had perished, died trying, in dueling this creature, this brute, with no mercy.
Turn back. Go away. A deep voice hissed in my ears. Turn back. Be sane. Give up this wild fantasy of yours.
But I can’t, I told the voice.
Yes, you can, the voice, almost whispering now, this is just a wild dream. A mistake. There are easy targets. Simpler objectives. Easy paths.
No. I can’t. A faint voice in me still resisted.
Yes, you can. It is easy. Just turn and leave and sleep in the comforts of your soft bed. And it will be nothing but a dream by the time you wake up in the morning.
Maybe, I can, turn back. I thought. I can go back, easily, at this very moment. Nobody will hold me for going back. Yes, a few will mock me, behind my back. May be. May be they’ll say that they knew it, that I won’t be able to do it. But then how does it matter? Eventually everyone will forget. Everyone . . . So, yes can I turn back?
Yes . . . Yes.
Yes, I can . . . but . . . but I won’t
For I will know it, even after years, deep in my heart, that this day, today, I had turned back when I had the choice to go on, to give it a try, to purse my goal, to live my dream; that I gave up on one thing which I had loved for, and aimed at, and believed in; that I was the deserter, the quitter, the one who gave up when I should have went on . . .
. . . and the awareness of this fact will kill me, slowly and gradually, for the rest of my life, like a knife that is dug deep enough to make you bleed, but not deep enough to give you an instant death, rendering me into a body with a life but no soul, a book with pages but no words and a journey with a path but no destination.
And then a faint glow appeared, behind the mountain, as if Sun was finally rising up, giving me hope, giving me purpose. It turned the dark sky first into dreamy grey, then into a mix of orange and purple hue.
The dark cover that had obscured everything was lifted by that light. A path appeared where it was only wild and ruin a moment before. Darkness ebbed and retreated both from outsides and from within my mind. And I took a stance to walk ahead like a bird getting ready to take flight towards a destination thousand miles away, ready to take the first step of the rest of my life.
. . .