The Road to Joy - Chapter V
Had God created me for pain? He had raised me up and blessed me that I might fall further. Instead of being bruised, I was broken.
"It would have been better if I had not been born!" I cried to God, "Why did You give me a sister, Lord? To break my heart with? And why did You make me prosper so young? To agitate me with? And why oh why did you bring Sarah into my life? To crush my soul with! God, Your ways are cruel against man.
I bowed my head in grief. Crying against my Lord fixed nothing, but made it worse.
My thoughts turned toward Dr. Hamming. Surely there was something he missed. There must have been something He could have done if he. Could he not have been more prepared? I became angry at him, and felt it was partly his fault my sister was dead.
Then I thought of my partner Mr. Greene. Surely he did not have to act so dishonestly. My heart burned against him. He had just thrown more coals into my fire of desolating sorrow.
And lastly I though of Sarah's busy-body great aunt. She was the reason they had gone down to Richmond. She had insisted on December instead of spring. She had insisted, and now my fiancée was dead! I hated her most, for she had caused my life to become worthless. She turned life into wretchedness.
My heart was now full of sorrow and hate, which is never a good combination, as one feeds the other, until both are uncontrollable flames. I felt such turmoil within that I knew not what to do. Finally I realized it was darkening quickly and that with the dark ushered in a fierce cold. I stood up to go home. I was more stable than before, but still weak with sorrow.
As I walked through the streets, the cold soaked through my unfastened coat and chilled me to the bone. I felt pale and frozen, yet it seemed to hardly affect me. The cold seemed to seep into my very mind and it calmed me a bit. My mind was bitterly cold with sorrow, and now my body matched.
My heart was turning cold. My emotions were hardening to stone. My sorrow was fading and in its place appeared indifference. What care did I have for this world around me? Was it not this world that caused me pain?
It started to snow and the air quickly became thick with white flakes. Everyone else in the streets were pulling their coats tighter around them. I continued walking, coat undone, no hat upon my head, snow building up in my hair. I could not feel my ears or nose. The rest of my face was numb. But I was indifferent to it all.
As I arrived at my doorstep Thomas threw open the door and rushed down the steps to my side. He looked horrified, yet spoke not a word. He came to my side as if I needed help to walk up the stairs and get inside. I gave in though, and leaned on him for support.
Suddenly I felt tired. I felt so very tired and worn out. I was now glad of the support as I climbed up the stairs. As I entered, the warmth rushed at me, and I realized how cold I was. I was chilled and frozen. I felt so cold I could hardly move. I was exhausted. My body wanted to fall to the floor and my mind longed for that blissful sleep where it might escape it's troubles.
My heart cried against my indifference, and overthrew its captor. My emotions came rushing out, and it was like I had heard the news of my fiancée's death all over again. My legs became as straw, and I fell upon my knees. I began to weep, my hands and shoulders began to tremble, and my knees became too weak to hold me up. I crumpled onto the ground, weeping without control, sorrowfully, bitterly.
Thomas said nothing. He simply knelt beside me and laid his hand upon my shoulder to comfort me.
As I wept long and hard, the last thing I can remember is crying in my heart to God, "Why? Why oh why have you taken her away God?"
I dreamt I was walking in the streets of Boston. The streets were crowded with people. I pushed my way to the side, where an ally opened into the street.
Then suddenly I saw my sister. She was standing there smiling at me. Her long blond hair pulled back, she was wearing her finest dress. She called out to me, as if excited to see me, "Charles!"
She sounded distant. I, in my excitement, rushed toward her to embrace my dear sister. But I stopped short. She was no longer there. Instead, standing in her place was a ragged, pale figure with no life in her eyes. She was dead; no life to push a breath through her lips. I turned to the crowd to call for help, but when I had turned back, she was gone completely.
I wondered through the streets aimlessly, being jostled by the crowd. Then I stumbled upon a street less crowded, so that there were carriages driving along it. And I noticed a young woman across the street. She was surrounded by little children and she was talking to them and sharing bread with them. They were all smiling and laughing.
Then she turned, and I saw it was my betrothed! I wanted to run to her, but as often happens in dreams I could not. I simply stood there watching her, afraid to even breath lest it blow this dream away. Suddenly a carriage rolled by and when it had passed, so had Sarah. She had disappeared and the children were playing together as if she had never been there. In that moment, what little hope I had left me.
And in that dream the picture of my life was found: despondent, dejected, without hope.
My thoughts troubled my sleep. I seemed to be not fully asleep, controlling my thoughts, yet I was sleeping. Finally I drifted into a deep slumber, forgetting all the pains of life.