Here I was. One of the most important days of my life. In Italy, the place I had always dreamed of going. Not for the architecture, not for the food, but for this. To be standing, here, on these very steps. I have to make a choice. Will I go back home, be with my true family? Or should I stay here, with her, never to go back. However, I had a third choice. To go away, with nobody but myself. I could be my own company. Start over. Meet someone new! A particular quote stuck out in my mind: “Being solitary is being alone well: being alone luxuriously immersed in doings of your own choice, aware of the fullness of your won presence rather than of the absence of others. Because solitude is an achievement.” Alas, time is slipping away. I must choose. Surely not my family, for they are glad to be rid of me. I can’t stay here, in a place unfamiliar, with someone who I cannot trust. But that means I would have to go – alone – to somewhere different. Yes, I must do that. I’ve made my decision. Now, I must tell her.
I can’t. I told her, and she begged. I told her, and she was crying, at my feet, for me to stay. How can I ever leave someone like her behind? I must take her with me. But then, what would be the point of leaving? I know she is only doing this for herself, but maybe it’s for me. Maybe she knows that I can’t be alone. So I will stay here. Away from my family, away from unfamiliar land. Although this is terra incognita, I can learn it with her.
But my family. True, they are glad for me to be gone. Perhaps, I can join with them still, and lead a life with them. I really can’t leave them. I’ll just bring her with. Although, they will not be happy with her. No, I can’t take her with. If I do that, I could lose the trust and compassion of my family and her. So it’s decided. I can’t be with either of them. I will go alone. To a place unknown.
It’s done. The time is coming. I’ve made my choice.
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