***This one is for the Survivors***

The demon emerged from the shadows. He placed a gentle hand on my shoulder, but he did not force me to turn around. Instead, he sent a shiver down my spine that reminded me of the comfort I felt in his embrace.

Lost in the feeling of floating through time without looking at the clock, drowning in an ocean of nothingness without gasping for air. He dared not whisper a word, lest I remember his name and pull away. Instead, he said nothing, which perpetuated my denial.

He often waited in silence like a predator ready to pounce. Stalking me from the darkest corners of my heart, deceiving me into believing that my need could replace love. He waited for the music to begin before he approached.

I never saw him coming, yet he held my gaze. A black panther in the night moving through the brush with eyes that glowed like stars that were meant to be mine.

I invited him into my arms without saying a word.

A tiny kiss without lips pressed against my skin and bled into my soul. Piercing my temple and destroying my universe all in one instant, yet the seduction took time.

He was patient and he was kind. He held me when the world made me feel worthless.

He lulled me into an uneasy peace until I convinced myself it was safe to let him in, for that is the only way a demon may enter.

And he led me astray, away from the love of my family… beyond the warmth of God’s love. Hell became heaven, and I existed as a tortured soul. There in the darkness where a lie becomes the truth I danced with the devil and made my own music.

The angels came for me, but I turned them away.

My need of the demon eclipsed the light in their eyes.

My want of his presence let me stand idly by as he ushered them beyond my embrace.

My desire to be held by him replaced my love to hold them.

But my angels did not abandon me.

God sent them to me, through me, as a tether to the realm of heaven.

Their perfect love flickered like a candle in the darkness, but no wind existed that was fierce enough to extinguish their light. They danced against the blanket of eternal night and waited for me to return.

I watched them from a distance.

Curious, I approached.

“How did you find me?” I asked.

“We are the light that was lit from your candle, so we are incapable of losing you, because we are of one flame that breathes the same air,” they said.

And that’s when I knew that as a true night cannot exist without stars, a mother cannot live without her children, her angels.

My love for them gave me the strength I never knew I had and intensified the fire in my heart. The light pushed back the shadows and the demon retreated as he shielded his eyes.

He called for me with wordless whispers and empty promises, but I ignored him just the same. He reached out for me, but I did not extend my arm out to him. He fought with me, but he wasn’t fighting for me…and that’s the difference from love.

Though I engaged in a battle I knew not how to fight, I went into a war I was ready to win.

***Dedicated to my friends who inspire me to believe that through their struggles, anything is possible***

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