Don’t be fooled!

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Ultimate rush!

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The water was fresh and pure, unadulterated by chemicals and piping. A deep breath of fresh air filled his lungs. He felt… alive! Raising his hands to the sky he yelled for pure joy. It was over.
He began to laugh, a deep-throated laugh that echoed all around him reverberating from the trees and flowers. He began to run free as the breeze, hands brushing the tall grass and leaves. He was free! Where he was he didn’t know only that “life” no longer held him captive. The end had become the beginning. Somewhere doctors fought to bring him back, but his body, old, tired, and riddled with disease no longer responded. He was free!
A touch of sadness tinged his joy. His loved ones, would they understand? Would they see why he couldn’t go back? He’d served his time, done his part, now he was home. He’d wait for them here. They’d come one day when their time was up, when they too had accomplished that for which they went. He wished he could tell them how wonderful it was, how happy he was, but that would distract them. Having seen this, how could they experience joy in their pale earthly lives. He saw the wisdom but was sad to know they’d grieve. Still the sky beckoned him on. In the distance he saw others waiting for him.

“Fine”

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With just one word you have said so much and yet so little…. Wrapped up in those four letters is everything I wanted to hear and yet nothing at all.

You toss it out like throwing pennies to the performer on the street, knowing it’s not all I’m worth but giving you a way out in the immediate.

That one word does not suffice me. It does not tell me what oceans you swim in now. It does not tell me what mountains you have climbed or how far you have yet to go. It does not tell me of your heartache or of your joy. It tells me nothing.

Still, those four letters have told me everything. They have told me that you are sailing the oceans and not drowning. That you have survived the mountain and continue to climb. They have told me that your heartaches are your own and your joy is shared with others. They have told me everything.

But I haven’t stood by your side all these years only to be given the same fleeting smile and handshake you would give a total stranger. I haven’t been the friend that held you when you cried only to now be given the same scraps from your table that you would give to your dog.

And so the next time I stand beside you and see joy dancing in your eyes, the next time I hold your hand and feel the pain trembling therein, the next time we hug and you linger that little bit too long, the next time I ask how are you, please, I beg, allow me the honour of being a friend and give me more than just:

“Fine.”
(Taken from a young friend’s writings.)