“Thank you boy.” Rauk sighted as the child placed a new bowl of water on his bedside table. The boy remained silent, gave him one last glance with his big eyes and ran off. The children were all scared of him. The fear of the unknown is hard to subside in a society like this where he was the only one of his kind. Even after more than 40 years, most people didn’t dare to get near him, let alone speak to him.
He heard the child’s light feet clatter away on the white rock, the sound bouncing of the unregular walls of the natural stone. Their whole city was carved out in the limestone that made up a large majority of the natural swirling coastline. Over time the sea had carved out those tall vertical white cliffs, resulting in a spectacular aggregation of caves, hallways and platforms. The people had carved this city for hundreds of years, using the natural shapes in their advantage. It was a complex set of houses, community places, small harbours, religious places, schools and many more. At some points, the city was 5 levels high, with the highest points looking far over the horizon. Every aspect of life was connected to the sea. Small boats went forth and between all places.
Rauk sank back in his pillow and closed his eyes again. Even now he could still see the reflections of the light blue seawater in the inside of the room. At least the heat couldn’t creep in. It seemed almost a lifetime ago that he arrived in this land. And in a sense, it was, for his old life had been so vastly different that it almost felt like a rebirth when he was washed upon the shore under the old watchhouse. He still had no idea how far the storm had swept him back then. There had been no sign of his broken ship, nor of his crew. All had been lost within his soul.
Then he saw her eyes again. Those big brown eyes with a hint of grey right around the iris. She had been hunting him for the past 40 years. His only regret in his long life. Mia. He adopted her when she was 3 years old, wandering aimlessly through the dirty cold harbour streets of his home town. He had closed his rough hands around her tiny fingers and given her a home. She had been 14 when she saw his ship sail off once more, never to be seen again. He could have gone back. No one would have stopped him from sailing off, trying to find home. But somehow, he didn’t.
In the midst of his reveries, footsteps approached. Rauk smiled as he opened his eyes again. “Regrets are pointless now my friend.” The other man said while rewetting the cloth on Rauk’s forehead with the fresh water. “Now are you ready for your last dream?”
The two men looked each other in the eye. They looked so vastly different, but their souls were much alike. It was him that convinced Rauk so long ago to become a priest in their strange religion. Over time he had embraced it. For his friend had been right, Rauk had always been a talented dreamer. As a priest he had guided uncountable people in their dreams, of which numerous last passages. For in dreams one could choose their outer appearance. No one had been scared of him during his practices, it had given a purpose to his new life.
Now it was time for his own last passage. He closed his eyes. Not fear. No, he had no fear. Together the two men wandered through the green fields, until one of them could no longer follow.
If you go forward from the right intention, every regret is a lesson. Go and live.