A Battle Lost
By Faran Rafi

August 2008

He sat on the stone, looking at the river gush through the valley. This was his favorite spot. But today he didn't enjoy it. Because today, the scenario was different.

The violet hills had faded to brown, trees had turned into mare skeletons, the fresh water of the river was red, and the sky had become pale.

He looked towards the setting sun, his head hung on his shoulders. He found it difficult to locate the horizon as his vision started to go blur. Tear drop.

Thoughts started pouring in his mind like stones from the mouth of swallows that crushed the pompous army. He wanted to stop, but he had no control over his mind. Guilt combined with hatred and rage to form an emotion that left him nearly lifeless.

He thought about the melancholy that brought despair to his existence. He thought about the ungrateful soldier, who betrayed him and yet remained scornfully arrogant. He thought about his right hand man who promised to not be there in his future. He thought about the army that made him give up. He thought about the throne that he had to leave. He thought about the fate that promised no glory. He thought about the battles that left him weak as a hare.

It took all his strength for him to raise his hands and he prayed. He prayed to Lord for mercy, not upon his soul but upon those who tolerated him.

He screamed, but no one was there to listen to him except a gang of hungry anxious vultures.

His mind started to go numb. His body begged him to give up. For the first time in his life, he started to question himself. How long was this going to carry on? How long was he going to fake it? How many times was he going to apologize? And how long will his soldiers play along?

He had lost the battle, and it was time for the final blow. He took a deep breath, but failed to exhale. His body collapsed on the floor but his eyes kept staring at the sun.

We all live once, but he lived thrice. Each time facing an even greater failure than before.

To the world he may have died a coward. But for his entourage, he died a hero! He died fighting for the right, for what he wanted. He died to keep the secrets safe.

Secrets, that only a few knew. Secrets that formed his major weakness. Secrets that brought him down. Secrets that he could not tell. Secrets, which he must protect.

He realized that sometimes giving up is the best option. But when a battle is lost you donít have any options!

This is life... And each day is a new war!

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