Archives for posts with tag: regret

The Man You Could’ve Been comes for us all on our deathbed.

More fearsome than the reaper and made more terrifying by the abyss or hell that often follows them both. The Man You Could’ve Been is the greatest horror our conscious minds can imagine and he is real. He is the stick by which your deeds fall short on God’s measure. He is the once attainable that slipped further and further, first from our grasp, and then, our sight. There is no overtaking him or closing the gap. Only a lifetime’s fall from grace.

When the veil lifts from our eyes and our mouths are closed to this world, The Man You Could’ve Been climbs out of the mirror whence he watched you idle and succumb. He is happier than you, even in the dying light. He is rich in material wealth and spirit. He is purer of soul. He is much greater loved and envied by his peers and angels alike. He is luckier, and blessed all the more for being so.

No man has stood unbroken before The Man He Could’ve Been, nor shall any. Not prophet or king or humble beggar. The Man You Could’ve Been is of divine heavenly spirit – what else could perfection be made of? He is the Ideal. And when you die it is he who ascends on your behalf. For as much as he stands as evidence of your failures, you stand as proof of the hurdles he has overcome.

And the Man You Are weeps at your squandered life and the eternity of hell or the void that is left to you.

In his sleep he could hear her gentle breath, always verging on becoming the quietest snore. As cute as ever, he almost thought, in his sleepy stupor. He being Daryush, he thought. And she being…

His partner, his companion, his mate. She stirred, seeming to sense his hesitation. Daryush reached over to her and sloped a comforting arm across her chest. He moved his head closer to her pillow and drank in the smell of her hair and neck.

I love you.

He tried to fight back against the crashing waves. What was her name? Wave after unrelenting wave. Love had no name, the reply eventually came, and with that he, Daryush, rolled back into his slumber, pulled under the current by her sweetest scents. Through the cool night, enveloped in the mutual warmth, their tangled limbs no longer moved, but for the bobbing up and down of each breath.

First light broke through the curtain weakly, loosening the spell’s effect upon Daryush for a moment. He could see her shape better now, his love’s. He retracted a naked leg and she turned to embrace him. Again he fell. Deeper into her heat. Daryush tried to remember the colour of her eyes as he drifted away once more, forgetting as he did so all the wonderful details of her face that he so professed to love.

And so it went all through the early morning. One would wake in a daze and the other would reel them back in with words of honey, before up could become up and down resolutely stayed down again. Their sweaty entanglement of bones was arranged in a different configuration each time Daryush opened an eye. Where one human began and another ended seemed… open to interpretation.

Seven o’clock. Stay. You don’t need to go. Eight o’clock. There’s no work today. Nine o’clock, ten. Let’s stay like this; together forever. Eleven. Forever. Could we? Could an embrace so warm and loving sustain us for two lifetimes? Would it nourish our bones and fill our bellies or were they, we, delirious?

The high sun burnt through the net curtain and cooked the small bedroom. Daryush was parched. I have to get up now, it’s time. The woman in his arms, the love of his life looked away, despondent. I’ll be back, he promised her.

This might be the last time. Her words hurt his chest because he knew them to be true. Every night his perfect vision of her grew fuzzier, blurrier around the edges. Daryush sat up to an elbow and shook the last of his sleep from his head. Why did you never come for me? Her voice faded away, into a corner of his mind.

And Daryush woke up alone, remembering all at once all the mistakes he had never made and the perfectly empty score-sheet he had to show for it.



Previous part(s):

Daryush I – ghosts that were

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