Today’s prompt asks us to draw inspiration from one word to write a post. To help us along, we were given a small list of words to choose from. So I did. Rather than going on a long-winded post related to that word, however, I decided to frame it as a short bit of prose. Write what you know, and that kind of thing. I’ve chosen to not explicitly state the word, but I think it’s easy to figure out.
Let me tell you about a friend of mine. We’re not close, not really. Though he’s closer to me than I’d like. He drops by for a visit now and again, to check up on me and remind me of days past.
He knows all my secrets. All the words I’ve left unsaid, all the tasks I’ve left unfinished. He keeps track of them all, waiting for just the right moment (or would that be the wrong one?) to bring them up.
I call him a friend, though that’s not accurate. He’s a companion of sorts, but not one with my best interests at heart. He enjoys tormenting me, I think. But he’s hard to get rid of.
“Never look back,” people say. But I can’t help it. Like the hapless Orpheus of myth, I find myself turning to see the road behind me, to see which branching paths I missed exploring. And there he is. Happily pointing them all out and describing the wondrous destinations they would have led me to.
Whenever I doubt myself, whenever my steps falter on the road ahead, and especially when I stumble, he will be there. Not to pick me up, but to remind me of why I fell.
I was wrong. He really is no friend of mine. But some days, he’s all I have.