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A reminder of my path to strength keeps me awake all night. The cold air against my neck leads to a shivering realization of what I had to give up for a small taste of power. Night after night, my body seeks rest and isolation, and night after night, the images of my dreams become even more vivid. 

I drive myself home tonight under the glowing night skies of summer, and the cold stare of the moon. The silence of the streets echoes louder as I get closer to my home. 

"Isn't this what you wanted?" she asks.

My mind wanders to the abyss, "it isn't what I intended" my mouth replies. 

"This is your accomplishment and it comes with a price, lesser than the work of art and a striking agony in the dark. The strength you found is the strength you'll need. Will you give up all of these for your bare mornings?"

The echoes disappear and now I'm alone with my thoughts. I dare myself to prove her wrong but my mind returns from the abyss with a sigh of relief. When the road comes to end, my consciousness reminds me that the reason for my strength is those who are waiting for me.

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