Finding, Falling, by Anne Friedman
We have lost so many. Petals, not people. Time, not friends. But it is all the same. They are the same. Time continues ticking, ticking away, falling softly to the ground, disintegrating slowly. Gone. Lost forever. As each petal falls, so does a person, a friend. They have vanished.
Working together is challenging, impossible when each person has something to gain. Life. Life is what we’d gain. Life is what we’d lose. Or so they told us. It may be true. It may be an incentive for us to complete it. Even with something to gain, how are we supposed to complete it, if we don’t even know what it is.
I’m tired of not knowing. I want, no I need to know. Not just so we can solve and complete and gain life, but so that the weight of the unknown is lifted off of my shoulders, and I can breathe again.
I wait. I wait for the others to stop arguing, yelling, being selfish. I wait for silence, peace. I wait for an opportunity.
I’m losing every chance, every opportunity, every friend. I don’t know what to do. I’m falling like the petals, like time. I’m losing myself. I feel like I’m drowning. I don’t want to be lost, forgotten. I need to focus. I need my best self to solve this.
They’re asking my opinion, my idea. I don’t know. I have no clue. No clue about this or anything. I’m losing my mind; it’s like I’m losing my sanity.
But clarity comes. It can always come when we least think it possible.
The petals, I say. I think they fall, the petals fall whenever we find something, whenever we find a clue to help solve It. We learn, so in turn, we lose. It’s an eye for an eye.
There’s comfort in knowing, in knowing something that could help us. It’s small, but anything small can make a big difference, so the small thing is really a big thing, a big help. It’s relieving. We know something, but like always, when we learn something new, darkness falls...
A petal fell. We lost more, more time, more friends. But we gained something as well. There is false comfort, security in this, at least for me.
I figured it out. I thought I’d be the one gone, lost. I’m relieved that it wasn’t me. But, also, it wasn’t me, it was someone else, it was my fault. They disappeared. They are gone because of me. It’s my fault. My fault. My--
I can’t go down that road. I must not. It only leads to trouble, more problems, and that is not what I need right now, not what we need. We need a solution.
Here is what we found. We must tell you quickly; you must listen. It is imperative that you listen, that you hear what we have to say. We’ll tell it quickly so that you, when it’s your turn, can solve it, so you’ll gain life. We are sacrificing our lives for you. Here is it. This is how you complete it:
[The original message is a highly classified document that is not for public viewing. The following message is a heavily redacted version that has been previously approved.]
No. No, that wasn’t s