My Hidden Lives // Prose

142. about choosing the bad apple

jabucica*

There was never any real choice to begin with, only the illusion of it: the illusory freedom I was taught existed, a promise I would be able to make up my mind and pick a future. As if it were an apple hanging above my head, as if I had arms long enough to reach into the sky and say –

–          I pick this.

For many years, the only prayer I knew how to recite before I went to bed was „Someone, please tell me what to do. I’ll do it.“ Then you came, and you did. You said I was good at loving you, in fact, I was the best at it by far. I could make it my life’s calling. I could stop doubting, stop searching for apples in the summer skies or futures in foreign lands. Life paused before my eyes, as if I’d pressed the wrong button on the remote – instead of wanting to fast forward into this promised land of certainty, all I seemed to wish was to rewind.

–          Don’t tell me you’ve changed your mind.

I couldn’t open my mouth to speak for fear of proving I was a liar, even if that’s exactly who I am. Apples started falling to the ground beneath my feet out of nowhere, I didn’t even need to lean in or bend over anymore, they were here for my choosing – juicy, red and sweet.

–          I haven’t.

(There was never any real choice to begin with.)

Between all the apples, I would always pick the one most difficult to reach, the one that falls the farthest from the tree.

Between the two of us, as well, I would always make the more difficult choice. I would always choose me.

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