Some people say the future isn't set in stone, while some say it's inevitable.

I used to think the future wasn't set in stone, but as I lay here now – in utter agony, barely breathing, suffocating on my own blood, I begin to reevaluate.

I realize the things I've done, the choices I made that led me up to this point, no matter how small or inconsequential, were all just a series of steps and catalysts leading me up to this very moment.

Where I writhe on the floor in pain.

With the world around me closing in.

While my heart slows to a crawl.

And the blackness threatens to swallow me whole…

I realize my future was – is – inevitable.

But I'm not sad.

I'm not afraid.

When you stare death in the face with nothing left to lose (except just one final thing), your perspective shifts. You find a way to make peace with the end. I made peace with the fact that my life was going to end only seventeen years after I was born, and it makes me realize I only want two things…

To protect.

To avenge.

The epiphany makes me brave.

It makes me strong.

So I force myself to my knees, then to my feet. I'm going to die today, and I will do it standing.

I will do it fighting.