Just how equal are the terms death and destruction? About half the time they go hand and hand. War. War brings death to people. It destroys the material around us and destroys the lives of those who are left in the realm of the living.
And what of the war's participants? Some of them meet their death. Others meet their destruction. But to meet your death, must you always meet your destruction? Is it possible to be the bringer of death and destruction without destroying a small part of yourself?
What did I lose? Obviously not my life, so I have not met death myself. I have shown the door to others. I have shoved them through knowing full well that they will never return. Death is not a path. Death is a destination.
But is destruction the path to death? It can't be. Everything is a path to death because death isn't just a destination. Death is the ultimate destination. No matter what we do, it is unavoidable. And what do we do as children when faced with something forced upon us? We reject it. We try to stay away from it as much as possible. And that's what we continue as adults. We avoid and ignore and fight death, but we all know full well that we shall arrive there eventually.
It takes a truly enlightened person to accept and welcome their fate.
I am not that person.
Do I know anyone like that? I might have known a few, but I will never be certain because I can't ask them.
Destruction is not death's equal. There is no equal to death. While death is a destination, destruction is an act. Destruction can bring death, but death cannot bring destruction. Things, acts, they bring destruction. Destinations cannot bring destruction. But destruction can bring destruction.
I have met destruction.
I have watched the one I love meet death.
But I have not met death, and she never met destruction.
Some may say that the war killed something in each of us, in our souls. But I can't believe that. You can't kill someone's spirit without actually killing them too. I think that you can only destroy a soul. That's what happened to me.
It's hard enough to not know who you are, but when you are thrust into a world in which you no longer even know what you are, how can you expect to remain whole? I was so lost and confused.
I still am lost and confused. I once thought that I would figure everything out over time, but there is some sort of mental barrier. I simply can't make that mental leap. Perhaps the barrier is a giant pile of what was once my mind before it was destroyed and in order for me to move on I have to rebuild my mind with the left over pieces.
That's destruction, isn't it? There are remains. Things can technically be rebuilt, but never in the same way because some things are permanent. Like death, but not like death. Some say that life replaces death. I get it, but I don't really get it. The life elsewhere that seemingly replaces those that are dead, they aren't the same.
The war killed Rachel. No one would ever argue that. But I can't bring myself to say it destroyed her. It changed her, yes. It allowed her to unlock something primal from within herself. Or maybe she didn't change. She must have had it in her the whole time in order for her to be able to do the things she did. I doubt I could have pulled half that stuff off.
When I look at Jake, I don't see the living dead. Cassie says that's what he is, a zombie. She says that Jake is just going through the motions of life. She says Jake breathes eats, sleeps, and even works now. But he isn't dead. His spirit is destroyed.
There has to be something out there that could restore him. Just like there has to be something out there that can restore me. Or maybe that thing that could save us is already dead.
I can't speak for Jake. I can't say that I'll ever know what goes on in his head. I only know what I see. Actions speak louder than words. While I may never forgive him for his final order, I can't be angry at him. A part of me knows that Rachel was strong enough to say no if she wanted. And the other part of me screams back wondering how she could want death? How could someone so in love with life actually want death? Once again, I can't say that I'll ever know what went on in her head.
I know what she wanted. She wanted me. She wanted me to want her the way she wanted me. I'm not sure I accomplished that. I needed her like I needed my wings. But she never wanted to be needed. She wanted to be wanted.
She couldn't seem to take being needed. To be needed was too much for her. It was something I never really understood. For her, want always overruled need. And if something needed to be done, she made it so that she wanted to do it.
I think that is how she avoided destruction.
But not me.
And not Jake.
I don't know about the others. Marco only ever needed himself. He had his stupid little jokes. Ax now had his people. He used to share his thoughts with me about how he wasn't even sure if he could return after spending so much time with us humans. It seems to me he went back just fine. Cassie always had her family and nature to comfort her. Even the loss of Jake wasn't enough to shake her. She seemed to cling to whatever ground she had left after the war managed to destroy some of her morals. For her, the world will always be black and white with only a little bit of grey.
But for me and Jake, the world is all grey. We have lost our ability to see colors. Maybe Jake has been able to move on a bit. Maybe he can see more than just the faded brown stains that never seem to wash away.
Maybe she was right. Maybe it shouldn't be about what I need. Maybe it should all be about what I want.
What do I want anyway?
I wanted freedom. I got it. I have my wings.
I wanted her. Or did I really want her or did I need her?
I think I needed her. I needed her in order to keep connected with humanity. Was she right? How much did I actually want her? How far was I willing to go for her?
I'd like to say I would have given up my wings for her. I'd like to say that I'd have stayed the two hours simply holding her hand. I'd like to say I'd move on and never look back.
But I can't. Because she's not here.
I'm here. Jake's here. Cassie, Marco, Ax, they've left us behind. Jake and I, we can't seem to move forward. We are in the land of grey destruction.
Could it be that when you've had so much destruction that all there is left is death?
Is that what Rachel saw? Is that why she agreed to go? Is that why she wanted to go?
But no, she was never destroyed. She was only changed, evolved in her own manner. She only caused destruction. She never met destruction. She only met death. She met Death and they walked away, hand in hand, through the door of no return.
So what is left for me?
A pit of despair? A wasteland made up of the ruin that was once my mind? Possibly.
I go through the various degrees of torture daily. When I sit on my branch overlooking my meadow, there is little to stop the flow of memories when the prangs of hunger have been satiated. When the hawk mind sleeps, there is nothing to protect poor little Tobias.