I killed you, and I don’t know why. You were the one person in the world whom I trusted, who trusted me in return. And I violated that love and trust. Violated it in the worst kind of way. By sticking a knife in your chest, while you were still alive, to physically rip your heart out.
They told me it was part of a ceremony, something I was asked to do. We lived in another time then, another world. Literally, because what we called home was right there in the middle of the jungle. They say the soul wanders, that it has to live in different environments, take on different personas. I don’t know how that works, I’m still learning. All I know is that I was there, we both were, and I killed you in the worst possible way.
I can understand killing someone you love in anger. Or by accident. But this was no accident, no reaction to anger. It was deliberate, and it was efficient. I still don’t know how exactly it happened or what my reasoning was, would have been even. I’ve asked so many questions over the years. None of them yielded an answer. Though people had plenty to say.
Here’s what I pieced together based on what I was told. And some of the things that I’ve always felt. We were in the jungle, and we were both priests, indebted forever to the High Priest, our fearless leader. Except that he wasn’t. Oh, he was our leader alright, but he wasn’t fearless. In fact there as so much fear inside him, the only way he could function was to delegate it to someone else. And that someone else is me. You see, I’m an empath, always have been. And as such I will try and mitigate everyone’s pain. But you already know that. You’ve always known that. And you tried to shield me from it. And I thanked you by feeding your heart to the gods.
He was not a good person, our so-called fearless leader, the one who made me sacrifice you to the gods. In fact, he seemed to hate love. His rule was that male priests and female ones should not be together. But you defied that, we both did. He made us work hard for the honor of being part of the elite, serving the gods, but ultimately serving him. You always tried to help then, even though he made you do awful things. Things I don’t even want to try and remember, and things you definitely don’t want to remember and to this day try (in vain) to block. There was an event, something hovering over us. I think it was the eclipse, a significant one. Something that had us all so scared it demanded the ultimate sacrifice. And that’s when he pounced, asking me, of all people, to sacrifice the most precious thing in my life. I’m just thinking now, perhaps there were others, other priestesses. If there were, I don’t remember any of them. But it’s true you only tend to see your own tragedy, feel your own pain.
I chose you. Decided to offer you up to the gods. And for what? To ensure that the sun would rise another day? That we were safe for another month? I’ve tried to justify it in so many different ways, so many times. They say we considered it an honor, for the killer – the priest(ess) – as well as the victim. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. I know because a few years ago I saw you remember it, and there was pain in your eyes, honest to God pain, even after so many centuries, nine to be exact. And fear. Though I didn’t recognize it as fear back then. I didn’t remember the life in the jungle, because I’d blocked it. All I saw was my fear, a fear I didn’t understand but felt nonetheless.
A very kind lady connected to the high priest in this life, the mother of his childhood friend, told me that I had to kill you precisely because we’d been lovers in too many incarnations to try an unravel. I had to mitigate the pain of you and me constantly engaging in doomed love every time we came back to Earth. But I don’t buy it. It can’t just be that, though I’m sure it factored in as well. My other thought was that given our culture, in which being sacrificed automatically gave you a permanent spot in our version of paradise, I wanted to give it to you because the end of the world was nigh. That makes a bit more sense. As your life taker I would have been guaranteed a spot there as well. Which would turn this whole mess into the ultimate love story of love surviving even in death.
It still doesn’t make any sense. I still see myself as a terrible, terrible person. I have no explanation for the horrible crime I committed. And maybe I never will. And so my soul is doomed to roam this planet in eternity, searching for absolution where I can never find any.