I swayed back and forth, unsure what was truth and what was hallucination. I was too tired to discern.
Is that the proper path?
The voice whispered to me, and I squinted sallow eyes. “No.”
Why travel it?
“Because I’m lonely.” I stood back up, brushing sand from me. I huffed and continued forward, leaning so to keep my body going in the direction. Standing straight up would lead me to stopping, dropping to my knees, and passing out. Or weeping. I wasn’t sure which was the bigger need.
Lonely? Even if you are not lonely, the paths you take are stupid. If it is not against My Will, it is simply against better judgment!
A smirk revealed brown teeth. They were not brown from decay, but with my tongue I could feel all the grit building up. I took a sip of water and spat to wash out my mouth. “I will always choose the same option. I will choose it every fucking time. I thank You for all You forced down my throat, but if you do not want me to defy common sense, remove my heart. Remove my soul. Put them aside and consume me with Your Will. Otherwise, just let me make my damned mistakes.”
The village was real. It existed. A small village with a couple dozen families, a few hundred people, and I knew them all by name, and they knew me, and we hated each other. We despised each other. But I couldn’t be happier, because there was a woman who was an exception.
You will be crushed.
“I will be alive.” The people looked at me as if I were mad, and perhaps madness consumed me, but I stood when I finished weeping, the tears cutting a clean trail through my dirty face, and I hobbled towards her hut. My knees ached and my ankles felt as if they would give out. But they kept together, and I stumbled forward until I rapped three times on the door.
The voice of angels replied, “Coming. One moment.”
She opened the door and saw me, and she teared up and brought her hands to her mouth. I laughed, my eyes crescents from bulging cheeks. She remembered, and she looked happy to see me. Until the door shut and I dropped to the floor.
“Please,” I begged, “Let me in. I’m a simple man, and I look only for company.”
“I am sorry for my cruelty. You are a good person. I wish to be here for you.”
Deceiver. This brings only pain.
“I can put it aside. I can just be a friend.”
There are not enough cows and goats in all G’desh to create the heaping pile of shit you are spewing, not in five centuries.
He was right. I didn’t care. The door opened, and that was all that mattered to me.