Everything is falling apart. Nothing has any sort of order anymore. It's too surreal. Sometimes I try to convince myself that none of this is actually happening. Perhaps this is an exceedingly long nightmare with no end, but it can't possibly be reality. How long have we even been on this awful island? Has anyone kept count of the days that have passed?
All in all, the scorching frenzied days have not been as bad as the lonely chilling nights. When all is quiet and not a peep is heard. That's what truly makes my skin crawl. Anyway, back to my initial thought, many, if not all, things are in complete turmoil and the very boys on this island have started the chaos. I don't comprehend how any of this happened. It's like exactly what I said earlier on: "Things are breaking up. I don't understand why. We began well; we were happy. And then- ... Then people started getting frightened." And I think that maybe that's the reason. People are frightened and different people have diverse ways to deal with their feelings.
For example, Jack. Jack, apparently, has completely lost his mind and he has created his own group. Doesn't he know that we will never get rescued if we don't work together? Doesn't he know that his motives for splitting the boys up like are so trivial and pointless? I'll bet it doesn't even matter to him if we get saved or not, anyway. All he cares about is his precious hunting. And I've even tried to knock some sense into him. I even said, "I tell you that smoke is more important than the pig, however often you kill one." Nonetheless, Jack wouldn't listen; Jack never listens. I don't think he'll ever listen to me, to one of his choir boys, or even to the little snippets of sanity left in him that his conscience throws at him. It's alright, the whole lot of us is better off without him, anyway. What good has he done for us so far? Besides criticize my ever move, mock poor Piggy, and not to mention, letting the signal fire out the one time we genuinely needed it, that is.
My second problem is that I realized exactly how many boys left my tribe to foolishly join Jack's. And I honestly thought that no one would go with Jack, seeing since when the election for leader was held again, I had won. I suppose I was wrong, though. Because now I see that so many – too many – have abandoned me to follow Jack. Only Samneric, Piggy, a few little ones, and I think Simon (though I currently do not know where he has gone) remain. However, these boys (while I am extremely grateful for their loyalty), are not nearly enough to take care of the affairs that need to be done in order for survival. My small number of followers and I attempted to build a new fire on the beach this time. And we tried to keep the fire going, but we couldn't. There was an inadequate amount of people and it was nearly impossible.
That isn't what scares me the most, though. What truly terrifies me is that a gaping part of me wants to join Jack. I want to leave all signs of civilization behind me and join Jack in his animalistic behavior. Because if they don't care about anything, especially their own rescue from this horrid place, why should I? "We can't keep the fire going. And they don't care... What's more, I don't sometimes." I admitted this to Piggy and the statement in itself troubled the boy half to death. And it terrified me half to death as well because I realized that I wasn't joking or lying. It was the truth and it came from my utterly perplexed heart.
Still, I've tried. Doesn't that count for anything? I've tried dozens of times, telling everyone the crucial importance of rescue. I've tried telling them that we need to build shelters. We need to keep the signal fire lit; for without it we are nothing but doomed. I've told them we need to maintain sanitary conditions. How is it my fault if they refuse to listen? And at this point, I don't know what to do and I hope to God that problem will be able to go away or solve itself. Some leader that makes me, doesn't it? Ralph Miles: the boy too craven to solve issues and only let them conquer him.
I have never been so ashamed of myself in my entire life than I do in this very moment. I'm... I'm – I suddenly notice my hands are shaking like mad and my breathing is quite irregular. All the more demonstrating evidence of my disgrace and proving my guilt. I'm a killer. And yet I want to do is shout it to the world in hopes that once I release the statement into the air it will be argued by others as false.
Last night, Piggy and I took Jack up on his offer and joined him and his choir boys for dinner. That alone, right now, makes me feel ashamed. I gave into my desire and went to visit and join Jack all for a substantial meal. But back to last evening, everything was actually going fine in the beginning. There was a meal, games and laughing. Once I heard the laughter I realized how much I had missed it. I missed being careless. I wanted to put my responsibilities behind me and be what I really was – a kid. I actually thought for a few moments that Jack and I could put our differences aside and unite once again. It was then he and his boys began to reenact one of their barbaric pig hunts. And that was when the trouble began, turning my whole world upside down.
Jack and the others were so caught up in their "play" that they truly started to believe they were hunting. Coincidently, Simon had been crawling out of the bushes at the same time. Well, Jack and the boys were still under the thrall of the pig hunt that they started beating Simon with their sticks, thinking he was the beast. They soon began stabbing him, repeatedly and savagely. Soon poor Simon was dead.
And so this morning I keep wishing I had died with Simon. I'm in complete torment and I can't think of one possible solution to make the pain go away. I'm confused and I'm being torn apart by my own guilt as I keep reliving the scene. And now the words: "Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood!" will forever haunt me. I can't even admit I was there to Samneric. "We left early," we said.
Piggy tries to convince me that we were not part of the murder. We were innocent. The truth is the only innocent person that was ever on this island is now dead. I wish I could agree with Piggy and soothe both our consciences. But I can't. I can't possibly agree with Piggy. He admits to nothing. He says that, "We was on the outside. We never done nothing, we never seen nothing." But we weren't on the outside. We were as 'inside' as Jack, Roger, and Maurice were. I suppose it's true that we weren't the ones whose hands were tainted with the blood of a human being. Nevertheless, it doesn't change what occurred. Well, technically, now that I think about it, Piggy's partly correct. We didn't do anything; but that's the thing, you see. We did nothing to help Simon. We didn't try to stop Jack and the others. We didn't try to scream at the top of our lungs saying that what they were stabbing as if it was an animal was only Simon. Simon, an innocent human boy, was only trying to deliver good news, from the little that I heard. How are any of us ever going to recover from this? What lies can we possibly tell ourselves to justify what was done?
So we didn't try to justify it, we ignored it instead. Piggy, Samneric, and I went around our usual business – trying to maintain the one thing that gave us any hope at all. The signal fire was first and foremost the most important for any chance of rescue. Yet, the fire could not be kept lit. Once again, the lack of people prevented us from getting the right amount of wood, thus once the fire was lit we just let it go dead. I still find it entirely ironic, however, that this fire in which we have invested so much faith in died down when we needed to believe in it most. In essence, our faith died because there were not enough people there to keep it alive. How sardonic and strange!
Subsequently, we eventually gave up on the fire and retreated to our shabby shelters for some sleep, although I don't see how anyone could ever slumber peacefully again. There was one peculiar event that happened that evening that makes it worth remembering. I dreamt that night. I dreamt of home, which was odd in itself considering I hadn't even really contemplated on home since I reached this island. I swear I saw cars, trains, and bizarre buses! Then there was that cottage in Devon and those wild ponies in Dartmoor. Images flashed across my mind as if I hadn't left home at all. The scenes were soon shattered by Piggy's voice. He was right for waking me up; something was going on. Before I knew it I was in a ferocious combat. Someone came attacking us. It had to be Jack and his boys. What did they want? And then I thought the more appropriate question was 'what did they need'? Then the answer strikes me like lightening: they came for Piggy's glasses. It was the only way to start a fire, after all.
What really surprised me, though, came afterwards with Piggy's reaction. He actually suggested going after Jack and commanding him to return the glasses. Suddenly, mocked, timid Piggy had turned into a fearless warrior. It was such a remarkable and unexpected transformation that I almost laughed. I believe his exact words were: "Look, I'm goin' say, you're stronger than I am and you haven't got asthma. You can see, I'm goin' to say, and with both eyes. But I don't ask for my glasses back, not as a favor. I don't ask you to be a sport, I'll say, not because you're strong, but because what's right's right. Give me my glasses, I'm going to say – you got to!"
I was beyond speechless when Piggy uttered those words but I supported him one hundred percent. I know I shouldn't have because he was going to get hurt. Some part of me knew that but for the first time since I met him he spoke with such passion and courage that I could hardly disagree. So now we are making a journey to confront Jack and to demand Piggy's glasses back. We're bringing the conch, washing ourselves, and combing our hair as a symbol of refinement. I need to show them that civilization still prospers. I need to do this, more than anything else. I need to do this for Piggy's pride and eyes and also for young deceased Simon.
I ran and hid. It seemed like it was the only thing left to do. I was entirely alone. There was no Piggy to guide me. His life had been taken by ruthless Roger. And so I ran and hid in the thicket. Before that, though, I went to see Samneric, who had been taken hostage by Jack, forced to join Jack's tribe or else they would have to face the consequences. I went to visit the twins and they told me what Jack's intentions for me were. The lunatic wanted to kill me and put my head on a stick! That's insane! What does he think that I am? An animal, just as he saw Simon? No, I am a human being, even though I couldn't say the same for him.
So I hid, hoping they wouldn't find me. It was a bit senseless, though. Deep down I knew I was done for. After all, Jack was there right by my side when we first searched this island. Jack knew every inch of this place. I was right. Jack Merridew was right up my trail and he was getting closer to me with every step he took. And all the choices I was able to think of included: to break the line of boys and run past them, to climb up a tree, or to remain hidden. Another, though out-of-place, familiar phrase also came to me. "You'll get back." Simon had once told me those words. And I now find it uncanny yet sensible that he always emphasized that I would get back. He never mentioned his rescue though.
However, the belief I had in "you'll get back" vanished as soon as I saw the smoke. It was an immense, overwhelming smoke... meant to kill. My God, they were going to burn me and themselves to death! Jack really had lost his mind. And now I was left with tow choices, that both ended with my death. If I stayed in the thicket, I would be burned alive. If I ran out, I would be captured by Jack and slaughtered. I ran out anyway, trying to break the line. I was soon surrounded by the boys, approaching me while firming holding their spears. In addition to this, I was exhausted, my legs ached, and stomach was disintegrating from hunger. Finally, as I collapsed onto the ground, I saw a shelter burn up and I thought it was the end for me.
It wasn't the end. An ironic miracle occurred. I was saved. By an officer who had seen the smoke. Isn't life sometimes so batty? The first fire we've ever built on this island was meant to rescue, but it killed the small boy with the mark on his face. And now the fire that was meant to kill me, rescued me. Now I finally understand. I found myself, suddenly, comprehended the "wearisomeness of this life, where every path was an improvisation and a considerable part of one's waking life was spent watching one's feet." I understand how every move I made determined my life or death. I had to do every right thing in order to reach my goal for survival. Although I failed, I understand that this does not just apply on this island, but in all of life.
The officer continued to ask me some questions. "Any dead bodies?" he asked, full of sarcasm. I replied "Only two". The officer looked at me as if I was insane. He thinks it was all a game... he thinks we were playing. If only that were the truth... wouldn't that be wonderful? Oh God, I'd give anything if for that to be what really happened. I began to reflect on everything that has happened to be on this island. So many things... it's all blurred and twisted images.
Although, a certain part of me is filled with relief, I can't say that I'm 'happy'. I can never be 'happy' after the things I've experienced on this island. And I suddenly remember Piggy. He wanted to go home, to see the signs of civilization. He wanted that more than anything. Poor Piggy, I wish things between us could have been different. I should have listened to him right from the start. I should have been his friend and believed in him the moment we met. I regret all those times I made fun of him like all the others. It was my fault that Piggy is dead. I left him all alone. He was so vulnerable and defenseless. And what do I do? I desert were going to take advantage of Piggy's inability to see. I just didn't believe that they would go that far. To actually kill him, that's just inhumane. I'm sorry, Piggy – I wish I had thought to ask your real name, it feels stupid calling you this. I wish you could've been with me to share this moment.
I take a deep breath. It was a breath of respite to release all my troubles off my shoulders. Then, I foolishly make the mistake of looking around me to the other boys. They look so solemn and remorseful. I quickly glanced back at the sand, feeling the texture through my bleeding, scratched up fingers.
And for the first time since I arrived at this dreadful island, I wept. I wept so bitterly that my whole body shook. I wept for all the suffering that some of these inexperienced little boys endured. I wept for the "end of innocence"; knowing I could never, not even if I lived to be one hundred, return to the small naïve boy that I once was.
And for the first time in my life I cried because I got what I wanted. Allow me to explain, several other times, when I was younger, I cried for a toy or candy that my mum wouldn't get for me. I sobbed because I didn't get what I desired. Now I did. I desperately yearned to go home... and I got my wish. Yet, now I have realized... the price I had to pay was heart-wrenchingly unbearable. And when the officer walked me over to the ship, I paid a farewell in my heart to my prudent, practical friend Piggy, the pure, saintly Simon, and to the childish, stand-on-my-head Ralph I once was.