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“When you feel defensive, examine what you fear”

“When you feel defensive, examine what you fear” and “Generosity and perfection are your everlasting goals”.

Looking out at the hazy horizon, my breath stuttered and my chest tightened. The lookout is still ablaze on my left, but my eyes have become unseeing, my body unresponsive. This wasn’t how this was supposed to go. Everything had been planned! I had everything set to perfection, but it’s gone! They ruined it! The fingers of my right hand twitched as they felt the urge to curl into themselves until the nails were digging into my palms.

The smoke on the horizon was fading, but my ears were still ringing. The blast rocked the bunker, but it also rocked the foundation of hope I had planned for so long to build. It was still a seedling, still growing and maturing. No one had felt safe. No one had felt hope. Not in a long time.

I had plans!

I had trusted them!

…I was wrong.

Eyes still glazed, my hearing suddenly popped back into sound and my head burst from the onslaught of noise. The were screams and shouts and the rushing of water as the people below me hurried frantically to put out the fires. I wanted to speak out to them. Try to rekindle the feelings of hope that had just started to light. My mouth opened, but my voice did not make it past my throat. My lips moved in comforting words mechanically, but they could not form what was needed most. The only sound to make it past my teeth was a sob and then a hysterical laugh.

My arms slowly moved as my hands came to clutch in front of my stomach. My face molded into a psychotic smile as the laugh lingered a little longer. Knees weakening, I slowly lowered myself to a squat, eyes still on the horizon. It was clearing up quickly and the frantic sounds below have lowered into a murmur.

They were dead. They were gone.

But it’s all their fault!

I felt a light touch on my shoulder, but I slapped it away before it could do its job of comfort. There was no point. It was over now. The hope I so desperately clung to was fading fast like the smoke on the horizon. I didn’t want it to leave, it was the only thing I could hold onto. It was the only thing I had to offer.

But it’s too late.

It’s too late!

The life I had offered was now past the horizon.

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