Stricken Prologue

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There are moments in life when you know you can’t go back and nothing will ever be the same. Sometimes, they replay on slow motion in your head, simultaneously reminding you of who you once were and how you came to be who you are now.

Sometimes, they eat away at you from the inside, like micro-crystals of poison growing in the back of your mind and seeping into your entire body.

Life can rob you of the things you hold dearest, and no matter how tightly you hold on, it leaves you helpless to watch as caskets are lowered, bridges are burned, and things you once held sacred fade to ashes caught on the wind.

I keep running because there’s no way to get back the things I’ve lost. The people I’ve lost. But there’s still one person who might be worth clinging to. One boy who saved me from my own self-doubt more times than I can fathom. One man who was by my side, his support never faltering, even as life threw the worst at me.

But there’s one big problem.

I haven’t even spoken to him in six years. Life moved on, and I’m terrified to know where it took him. I’m terrified to tell him where it took me.

Now that I’m ready to go back, will there be anything left?

Will he push me away?

Will he even recognize who I am today?

It’s easier to run.

Maybe, just one more time, he’ll let me run away with him.

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