A/N: Thank you for clicking on this story. It is the second addition to my Tributes to Simba collection, which is not to be read in any particular order. It is a one-shot told from Simba's point of view (this is the first thing I've ever written in first person btw), and I hope you enjoy. I do not own The Lion King! Anything that is not italicized is spoken dialouge.
Going Back: A Tribute to Simba
"She's wrong. I can't go back, what'd it prove anyway, it wouldn't change anything. You can't change the past!"
What right does Nala have just showing up, telling me that my place is back at Pride Rock? She doesn't know what I've been through... what I've done. She wouldn't understand, she would hate me if she knew...
A red-maned lion appears in my mind, his words are kind and gentle as he reassures me, that no matter what, he will always be guiding me.
But I am alone now, my unforgivable sin separating me from all that is good.
I was just a cub, I-I didn't know, it was an accident.
Suddenly, a deep rage boils over inside, my father shouldn't have died, it should have been me. Now, he's gone and I am alone.
"You said you'd always be there for me!" I shout to the stars, knowing that they are blind and deaf to my pleas for help and mercy, like they have always been since the day my father died.
"But you're not. It's because of me. It's my fault, it's my fault."
A suffocating guilt envelops me, it's icy finger gripping my heart, all I have the strength to do is cry.
Nala doesn't understand, I can't go back. How can I return to the kingdom of my father, whom I destroyed? How can I ask his subject's submission when I took their beloved king away from them? How can I look my mother in the eye, now that I've ripped her from her one true love? How can I ask Nala to forgive me when I abandoned her, and took away the only father figure either one of us knew? How can I take my father's place, when I am the one who took his life?
As I'm sitting in the field under the blanket of stars, and contemplating, a strange short of chanting fills the air. Looking up in irritation, I see that it's some baboon- like creature bouncing in an acacia tree.
With guilt and sadness churning in my stomach, I walk off into the night, hoping to find solitude, the only thing someone like me deserves.
The jungle is silent except for the peaceful hum of the crickets. After fleeing the Pridelands, I'd spent my days goofing off with Timon and Pumbaa. As a cub, I'd thought they had life completely figured out. They raised me and taught how to enjoy living while you're alive. Now that I'm older, I've realized how naive they both are, but I cherish them, and even envy them for their carefree natures. During the days, when I'm hanging and joking around with my best friends, I can escape from the guilt that seems to shadow me, no matter where I am. But at night, I find myself sneaking away from the snoring forms of the meerkcat and warthog, and remembering back on the days I'd spent exploring with Nala, or being doted upon by my mother and the other lionesses; but most of all I remember the times I'd spent with my father, and the fateful day of the stampede.
I plopped down on a log that has fallen over a clear spring. My eyes find my reflection in the water, and I'm amazed at how much I look like him. Same golden pelt, same amber eyes, same flaming red mane. As a cub, all I ever wanted to be was a king just like him. I remember practicing for hours trying to imitate his thunderous roar and commanding presence, giving Nala plenty of ammunition to tease me with. Funny how you can look so much like someone, and be so different. I will never be the lion my father was.
Suddenly, there's a splash in the water, disrupting my thoughts and distorting my reflection. Hearing the odd chanting-like noise, I turn and see the source is the same animal, this time it's swinging on the limbs of a baobab tree. Rolling my eyes in irritation, I finally speak to the creature.
"C'mon will you cut it out?" Annoyance dripping in my voice.
"Can't cut it out, it grow right back!" the eccentric creature giggled.
Sighing, I got up from my place on the log, but much to my annoyance he began to follow me. Great, not only has it been the most draining day, but now I have this deranged baboon following me.
"Creeping little monkey. Will ya' stop following me? Who are you?" I ask rather sharply.
"De question is who are you?" There's something about this mysterious being that seems oddly familiar, and the way he asks the question, it's almost like he can read my mind.
"I thought I knew...now I'm not so sure." I say dejectedly. The truth is I don't know who I am anymore, sure my name is Simba, but am I really still him?
To my surprise the baboon reaches over and pulls my head to him and whispers in my ear,
"Well, I know who you are, come here, it's a secret."
My heart starts to race, could he really know who I am? Is that why he seems so familiar?
"Asante sana, squash banana, wewe nugu, mimi hapana."
My irritation returns as I realize that this mandrill is definitely deranged and he knows nothing about me, oddly, though it's a relief that he is unaware of my past, something inside me feels...disappointed. Though its not enough to sway my annoyance.
"Uhh, enough already, what is that supposed to even mean anyway?"
"It means you are a baboon, and I'm not." he giggled with manic laughter.
Yep, definitely insane.
"I think you're a little confused." I say, turning away from him, hoping for some peace. Suddenly he appears in front of me, and pressing his finger against my nose says,
"Wrong I'm not de one who's confused, you don't even know who you are."
Just to prove my point to him, I sarcastically reply as I walk away again,
"Oh and I suppose you know."
"Sure do, you're Mufasa's boy."
Hearing him say my father's name, my head whips around to face the mandrill. I'm so shocked that I can't talk, all I can do is open my mouth in surprise.
The baboon gives a little wave, almost as if my confusion is amusing for him,
"Bye." And then he simply disappears.
"Hey wait!" I call as I take off after him.
Finally, I find him sitting in some sort of meditative pose on a rock. While I can't see how he could be so calm and relaxed after such a sprint, the more important question rolls off my tongue.
"You knew my father?"
"Correction, I know your father."
My heart sank, as I encounter yet another creature that I took my father from.
"I hate to tell ya' this, but he died... a long time ago."
"Wrong again, haha! He's alive and I show him to you. You follow old Rafiki, he knows de way!"
My father's alive! How? Is it possible that he survived? Why isn't he at Pride Rock? What did the fall do to him physically?
My heart beat wildly as I contemplated that my father could be crippled or worse? Could he have lost his memory? Will he even remember me? Will he hate me because of what I did to him?
A million different thoughts race through my head as I desperately try to keep up with Rafiki, I guess that's his name. His manic laughter echoes through the grove that he's lead me into, but all I care about is seeing my father.
Suddenly, a hand flies up in my face.
Rafiki signals for me to be quiet and points me to walk through the tall grass he has parted. Taking a deep breath, and swallowing my fear, I descend.
My heart sinks as I look at my reflection, discovering that my father is not there. At first, I thought the baboon was playing some sick kind of joke on me, but then I realize that he is just a deranged old monkey.
"That's not my father, that's just my reflection." I say bitterly. But before I can walk off again, the mandrill points back at the water and says,
"No, look harder."
As I stare back into my image in the water, it begins to distort, revealing the face of my father.
"You see he lives in you." Rafiki says.
Suddenly, the clear pool disappears, and I am once more standing in a field, and a familiar voice speaks my name.
"Father." I say, as a ghostly figure melts away from the clouds.
"Simba, you have forgotten me."
What! No, dad, I think of you all the time.
"No, how could I?" I answer.
"You have forgotten who you are, and so forgotten me."
Forgotten who I am? I haven't forgotten what I did to you.
"Look inside yourself Simba. You are more than what you have become. You must take your place in the Circle of Life."
Dad, how can you ask that of me? After what I did, I'm no king anymore.
"But how can I go back, I'm not who I used to be."
"Remember who you are, you are my son, and the one true king."
My father's words penetrate the guilt that has trapped me in its stone hand for so long. My father is telling me to return, and take my place after him.
"Remember who you are."
With those final haunting words, my father's image begins to dissipate back into the clouds.
"NO! Wait, don't leave me. Father, don't leave me!" I scream as I chase the thundering clouds. But, my father is gone and I am once again, alone.
But a warm breeze circles around me, and I know my father is still with me.
It hit me at that moment, he's always been with me, guiding me, loving me. Even after the unforgivable crime that I committed against him, he reminds me of my destiny as the rightful king, and as his son.
Just then I hear Rafiki approach,
"What was dat, de weather, prrhhh!"
"Yeah, it looks like the winds are changing."
"Ahh, change is good."
As I half-heartedly speak to Rafiki, my heart is torn two ways. I should go back, but how can I face the consequences of what I've done?"
"Yeah, but it's not easy, going back means I'll have to face my past, I've been running from it for so long."
Seems like that's all I have been doing, running from my past, I ran from it the day my father died, to today when I was reunited with Nala. But the question is, do I keep running, or do I go back?
Before I have time to ponder anymore I hear a whiz in the air, and feel a sharp pain impact my head as Rafiki slams his stick on it.
"Oww, jeez, what was that for?!"
"It doesn't matter, it's in de past!" he answers as he gives another one of his maniacal giggles.
"Yeah, but it still hurts." I reply as I look at the blood on my paw.
"Ahh, yes de past can hurt, but de way I see it, you either run from or learn from it."
Then he takes another swing at me, but I expertly dodge it.
"Ahh! You see, now what are you going to do?"
What am I going to do? Thinking back on those lonley nights, on Nala's pleas, on my father's words, I know what I need to do, what I'm going to do. And running away isn't the choice anymore.
"First, I'm gonna take your stick!" Then I grab the crazy baboon's stick and toss it into the air.
Rafiki protests and runs after it, but I'm already setting off.
"Hey, where are you going?"I hear him yell after me.
I'm returning to my father's land, to my childhood home, to my friends and family. I'm going to to meet my destiny, even if that means I have to face the past.
"I'm going back!"
A/N: Well, you know what happens next. I hope you enjoyed this. Everyone knows the plot and dialouge in this scene, my goal was to delve into Simba's mind and explore all the emotions he is going through in these epic moments. The Lion King is an epic story, and Simba is an epic character. Thanks for reading and don't forget to review. Also, don't forget to check out my other stories;
"Heart of a Lioness:Through the Eyes of a Queen"- This is about the first King and Queen of the Pridelands, Mohatu and Jolina, who are the parents of Uru. It is an epic tale of adventure, self-discovery, and great sacrifices.
"The King's Return: A Tribute to Simba"- This is an abstract and metaphorical take on Simba's return, told through the eye's of the Pridelands itself.
Thanks so much for your support! *Nantsingonyama* (The Lion Comes)