Turn Yourself to me, and have mercy on me, for I am desolate and afflicted. The troubles of my heart have enlarged; bring me out of my distresses! Psalm 25:16-17
I must be in shock. Melody had stopped breathing hours ago. Her body was freezing cold, yet I didn’t want to extricate my arms around her. Through my tears, she really did appear as if she was sleeping peacefully with her head lying on my lap. Taking a shaky breath, reason took ahold of me. I needed to bury Melody’s body before Prince’s guards find me.
With our hasty escape, I had no tools or the time to dig a proper grave. Mechanically, I began the process of building a pyre. I was grateful for the axe I possessed in my assortment of weaponry to use to cut branches. Memories of the last few days rushed through me…
Melody had just told me about seeking King Elyon and His kingdom, but I was so torn in making a final decision. One day, I ended up in the armory training room somehow. When I entered, a young man was practicing archery. I couldn’t help but be impressed by his skill with the bow and arrow. Naturally, my competitive nature took hold, and I challenged him.
Being considerate, I allowed the stranger to choose the weapon. Not once did he speak, but he put down his bow and arrow and picked up a sword. Internally, I smirked thinking I had a clear advantage with my masterful swordsmanship. Within minutes of sparring, I realized that my opponent was no novice with the blade. It was strange. As the fight continued, my energy seemed to leave me, and my offensive jabs only met air. In contrast, my opponent’s strikes increased with strength and kept me on the defense.
Despite the odds, I persisted to fight simply out of my own pride and determination. I refused to give in, and the fight continued for hours. As hard as I tried to hide it, I was physically and mentally exhausted. My cracks began to show, and my opponent took advantage swiftly and deliberately. In seconds, I was disarmed, and I was staring at an extended blade.
My opponent didn’t budge as he chuckled. “Harper, how long will you continue to fight me? Is it that hard for you to simply surrender?”
Such words would normally infuriate me, but I got distracted. Throughout the battle, I thought that I was seeing my opponent appear gradually older. Now, he actually appeared a decade or so older than I. He dressed as a warrior, but it was nothing like the uniforms of Prince’s men. I eyed him suspiciously, “Who are you?”
“I am the one you desperately tried to capture not too long ago, but it appears that I have finally captured you” he said amusingly.
My eyes widened, and I couldn’t utter a sound at the gravity of the situation. How could this be possible? Despite the ridiculousness of it all, something inside screamed that everything He was telling me was true. With the mental admission, my body suddenly collapsed. I just looked up at him trying to swallow the fear.
He knew everything that I had done wrong. He knew of every betrayal, every scheme, and every wicked thing that I have done. It was all reflected in those timeless eyes. As I warily eyed His sword, I wondered if He was finally going to make me pay for everything that I had done. Whether directly or indirectly, I had done countless things to become King Elyon’s enemy. Despite what Melody said, there was just no way could someone with my past be accepted into King Elyon’s kingdom.
I closed my eyes for the fatal blow, but it never came. As I slowly opened my eyes in confusion, the King had sheathed his sword and bent down to my level. “Killing you was never part of My plan. I have come to present you an opportunity to truly live. It is your choice.”
After encountering His goodness personally, I finally had a change of heart and surrendered my life over to the King. He not only gave me a new lease on life and identity as Harmony, but He also assured me that I could call His name any time and that He would never leave my side…
As I watched Melody’s lifeless body began to burn on the handmade pyre, I couldn’t help but think, “Where are you now, King? Where do I go?” Fear told me to go back to my comfortable habits, yet my feet seemed to move forward away from the pyre, Prince’s castle, and my past. Even though I felt heartbroken, confused, and alone, something pushed me to keep going.
I climbed onto the horse’s saddle and began traversing through the forest. For a second time I surrendered. This time, I surrendered any sense of control. I thought I could plan out everything to my advantage, but that was such a blatant folly on my part. I have no idea what lies ahead on this road. I can only hope that I can find peace.