Thursday, 30 January 2014

The Decision

Life is punctuated by moments such as these.  Cross-roads if you like, where maybes and what-ifs stretch out for miles ahead of you.  And you stand rooted to the spot, at the cross road, looking to the horizon in each direction, searching, desperately trying to catch a glimpse of the ‘right way’ to go.  But the elusive happiness you are chasing is just too far away for you to see.

There’s no one to ask for help at times like this.  Only you can make the decision.  Of course people will have their opinions; they will tell you the should do’s or the ought to’s.  But all that fades into soft white noise when the moment comes.

It’s too hard, you whisper to yourself.  You think about giving up..but you can’t.  Or you try to hand responsibility over to destiny; what will be will be.   But fate doesn’t play ball; it blocks your view, takes down all road signs and drums its fingers while it awaits your decision.

It’s up to you.  You have to decide.

This is where we find Anna.  At one such cross road.  Here, on this crisp, clear winter’s evening standing beneath the gnarled oak tree that is naked but for one tiny leaf glimmering orange in the glow of the streetlight.  The bitter cold pinches her cheeks, making her look flushed.  Yet the blame lies not solely with the weather.

Time slows, at it always does in these moments, and gives her the chance to look back at the road that has brought her here.  It is littered with memories and experiences; each one significant, each one shaping and moulding the person she is now.  The person she is yet to become.

She has long since given up on living a life without regret, for such a life does not exist.  Time was when she would look back on her years fearfully, thinking of the things she hadn’t done, hadn’t said, hadn’t listened to.  But regret is something we chose to feel in the present.  And every decision, every step along our path, comes with a regret of sorts - regret for that which we have done, or for that which we haven’t.  We just have to chose which is the lesser of the two.

So as Anna looks up at the stars that peek from between the silvery moonlit branches, she and she alone must decide the road to take next.  Her eyes smart in the icy wind that blows and sets her hair dancing behind her.  She blinks away full, warm tears, that begin to roll from her eyes, before wiping them from her cheek with a black woolly glove.

Her heart is pounding and she feels intoxicated by the cocktail of excitement and trepidation.  How is it possible that she can yearn for the safety and security of one path, and yet, at the same time, ache with desire for another?

He stands behind her, waiting.  She can feel him without even touching him such is the pull of these two souls on this dark, frosty night.

Slowly she draws her gaze away from the stars, and clocks and pendulums around the world speed up once more, bringing time right again.

She has made her choice.

And as she turns to face her decision, as if it dare not look, the last leaf finally breaks free from the clutches of the branch of the old oak tree and skips away on the breeze into the night.

This post first appeared as a guest post on the lovely Helen's gorgeous blog  All at Sea, as part of her Letters from Another Life series.  Do pop over and take a look.

Linking up with Prose for Thought over at VeViVos

Prose for Thought
Post Comment Love


  1. What IS the choice?? I need to know! I am guessing a lover over a husband.

  2. I loved this when I read it on Helen's blog! It very powerfully puts the reader in Anna's shoes. And I really want to know what the choice is!

  3. I can picture every part of this, you use the words really well. I'd love to know what the choice is. :)

  4. Very intriguing! Want to know more :-)

  5. Really beautiful writing as ever. I'm in awe of anyone who can write fiction. X

  6. Dear white feathered friend, you are such a talent! You have written it so well that I can feel her pain. Indeed, I've stood at crossroads too. Sometimes it takes an age to see if you've gone down the right one, sometimes it feels it is the wrong one for so long. All becomes clear in the end, be it weeks or years to find out as to our choice. She it seems, chose wisely? When will she know? Are you going to let us in?! x

  7. Beautifully written! Visiting from #PoCoLo

  8. Stunningly written, with a light hand, deceiving us all into thinking this was easy to write.....I have been on a very tight crossroads too, really not knowing which option to chose. Wasn't to do with men though! Can't wait to see what's next....S

  9. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. I so want to know what happens next! Stunning writing as ever from you gorgeous. Thank you for linking to Prose for Thought and PoCoLo x

  10. So what is her choice... please tell me please!!! Love the leaf falling at the end, like a nod of agreement, really nice touch. X

  11. No fair hun - I want to know what choice she's made. You're playing with us here. Fab post as usual #prose4t

  12. As always, you leave me wanting to know more!

  13. I need more! You always do this to me! Beautifully written x

  14. Gorgeous piece, as always. I'm beginning to realise a pattern in your writing: you pen an exquisite line on the turning points in relationships....

  15. Always want more - you should so write a book! Beautifully written as ever, just wonderful :)