She was so very sorry and it was a self apology that took a very long time to surface.
She went over it in her head, over and over again. Each incident a little worse than the next until the ladder to climb out of the well was removed.
How she had survived she really didn’t understand, save for the presence of her guardian angel who had been with her since birth. A less religious person might question how the angel had fallen down on the job as she took so many drastic turns through hell.
She had no right to be walking amongst the living, enjoying the normalcy of life and the mundane, routine instants that crowded her day.
She remembered late nights wondering aimlessly through streets that became more and more unfamiliar as the substances took root of her brain.
She pictured the small rooms she had sat in for hours, her mind on a perpetual loop of fear, paranoia and worry as the hallucinations surfaced.
She remembered the demons she had faced on those mornings where reality was unavoidable and the doors of truth were pushed open for her to cross their threshold of blame.
How many disgruntled souls had she left in the wake of her destruction, emptying hearts once full of love and converting them to apprehensive receptacles of constant fear?
She perused her inventory of shame, thinking on those moments where she had stripped herself of the cloak of self respect and peddled herself to reach artificial heights of ecstasy with the roller coaster that was her body.
She thought of her kids, beacons of light in an otherwise dark journey, affected by the trajectory of her days in ways she simply couldn’t bring herself to face in the reflection of herself she saw in their eyes.
But here was this mirror and she was looking at herself now with a clarity that had not been present for years. As she applied the makeup to her face, she was trying to enhance her look and not hide the face from the world anymore.
She applied rouge where needed, eyeshadow to highlight the new light in her eyes and just a hint of color to lips that merited to be outlined on her tired face.
She was standing firm in front of this mirror, her shoes tight and planted on the floor beneath her. That floor would be the lowest thing she would ever touch again and she had seen much lower.
As she laughed to herself, applauding her own good fortune and still in awe of the turnaround her life had taken, she saw him behind her and her gaze froze in fear.
There he was dressed in all splendor and ready to entice her to throw all of this progress away. She looked down, closed her eyes and said a silent prayer beckoning for him to go.
As he left, he whispered into her ear words that only she could understand, remnants of their travels through folly together. She knew he would return but for now she had vanquished him again.
Still she knew and so she waited, each day getting a little stronger and each day thinking on him a little less.
That being said, the spirit of Temptation would always be near.