Project 7: Bible Story Modern Re-Write
(Technically this isn’t really a re-write… it’s more of a musing based off a short passage.)
I Was One of Them
Is Death a desirable companion?
How peacefully the orange sky ignites the clouds. The cool wind taunts me, whistling freely as it passes over the rooftop, singing while I pace the wall restlessly. On the eighteenth floor, above the rest of the world yet still part of that city below, nothing matters except for everything I left behind. These voices continue to scream in my ears even though the sounds of the traffic below feel so far away; the battle rages on even in the peace. Even apart from Them I am still part of it.
How funny that those millions of busy people below can still live on in ignorance even when hundreds of other lives have been ruined.
In my pocket, my phone vibrates for the millionth time. Out of force of habit, I pull it out again… over seventy missed calls from Them, and nearly twenty texts. “Where are you??” “Please come back.” “What are you doing? What did you do?” “Why??”
Why? Why indeed. Why did I leave them? Why have I fallen this low? Why am I the terrible kind of person I told myself I would never become?
Because of step after step. He knew. It wasn’t fake at first; no, I truly wanted to follow him. Amazing things happened wherever he went; miracles, signs, wonders. I could have power too – but also riches, whenever they had their backs turned. A small coin or two shouldn’t have hurt anyone. Should it have? I was one of the chosen; out of all the people in this city, he could have chosen anyone, but he chose me. What more could I want?
Just a little more.
They promised me it would turn out alright. “Tip the government. Christians are forbidden to share the Gospel; it’s for the good of the people.” I told myself they were right, when I knew all along they were wrong. I knew what they really wanted; I thought I knew what I wanted. But then, I used to think I knew a lot of things.
I can still see Them… the ones with whom I’ll never have a place again. In my mind flashes all the trials we went through; the people we met; the miracles we witnessed; the days we spent laughing together, even when I always still felt like an outsider, not because of them, but because of the disbelief inside my own heart.
Will these voices never stop? I betrayed Them. I stabbed Them in the back, tossing Them aside carelessly like the leaves that fall from the trees below. I destroyed that bridge of my own will and knowledge… because of the greed that I disguised even from myself.
Funny that the word “disguise” should resemble “disgust” so much.
Yes, I was one of Them. Yet I left that family, betrayed Them, turned him in for… for what? Money? That I would ever think that could be enough. Nothing on this planet could possibly compensate for the torture I go through now. But didn’t part of me think he might emerge as the kingly figure we all believed he would be? He was the one; he would save us from this hell we’ve lived in ever since the oppressive government went out of control.
Yet the other part of me knew from the beginning that I had handed him in to his death.
Another call. Andrew. Hesitate, then hang up, because I can never face them now. I take one last glance at the phone, then throw it off the edge as hard as I can, watching its small body plummet uncontrollably into a world so much bigger than itself, spinning in a void of death as it has its final fall to the bottom. It has no control over itself. I have no control over myself.
It’s not that I fear their judgment. I only want to escape this trap that has no other way out. These voices plague me regardless of where I turn. What have I done? The voices keep screaming in my ears, pointing their gnarled fingers at me, trying to take me for their own.
Well, take me, then. Let me slip into nothingness. Let me get away from this guilt, this dungeon, this hell on earth. Let my foot move one step, one more last step, closer to the edge; let the wind swallow me; let everything be finished. I have killed the only One that mattered. Let the others tell of my mistake to everyone after them; let them remember Judas, the one who betrayed Jesus with a kiss; let his name be marred forever, let him be known as an unforgivable traitor, as if he was the only human who ever made a mistake that he would regret for the rest of his life.
And let Death take me. That was what he wanted all along.
I was one of them, but now no longer. Death is my companion.