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Beyond Measure

by Gabrielle Everett

                         We know this much

                         Death is an evil;

                         We have the gods'

                         word for it; they too

                         would die if death

                         were a good thing


Ephiny, I want you to have my right of caste.

I...I won't need it anymore...

And though she protested and refused, I said it anyway.

Relief flooded me, easing the pain that washed me

Should I be this relieved...I don't know

I am taking an easy way out - a coward's way

Regardless, what's done is done - I no longer have to

Bear witness to man's inhumanity to man

     Are you happy with this choice, Gabrielle?

     Will you be able to bear the constant, consistent pain

     That she will feel because of her loss, her sorrow, her heartarche?

     In the Elysian Fields we hear much.  Can you make this choice?

Choice, Marcus?  What choice had I?

I have followed since we met.  And now

It will be easier for her - not having a tag-a-long

Not having to always worry, always protect me.

It is better this way.

     You kid yourself, Gabrielle.  In a moment of weakness, you kid yourself.

     We each have a profound influence upon each other.

     Regardless of how little we value ourselves, others value us beyond measure

     She started on the path of redemption, but you keep her there when she would falter.

     No matter the relief you feel, you will be haunted

     As I am haunted, even here in Paradise, by the thoughts

     Of the Living; by the remorse of the Living; by the joy of the Living.

     You have a choice because you are simply hovering on the edge

          ...And because she loves you more

     Go back, Gabrielle.  You've unfinished business.

     Paradise is wonderful, but not before your

     Life's mission is complete

     Can't you hear her calling you?

"Don't leave me!  Don't leave me!  Wake up!  Wake up!"

     Tell our beloved I think of her always

I went back...

And she kissed my forehead and held me tight

I saw the tears and felt the warmth

Yes...I chose

Marcus was right:  this is where I belong.

Gabrielle Everett


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