(Untitled thoughts of a boy and his shadow)

All through his life, the boy had one companion who never abandoned him; his shadow. His shadow kept him company whilst he faced his ups and downs, danced with him on his good days, comforted him on his bad days. Although he was not always visible to the boy, he was always there, watching over him, day after day, week after week.

However, the boy would often take his shadow for granted. He was a silent friend to the boy, even if the boy didn’t realise. He never asked for anything and never received anything in return for his contributions to the boys life, not even a simple thank you.

See, what the boy didn’t realise is that whilst he could pick and choose other companions to spend his life with, shadows don’t have that choice. They choose their partner at the point of birth and stay with them for life. Furthermore, whilst their partner may forget various aspects of their lives, their shadow will always remember.

This boy and his shadow had gone through many journey’s together and his shadow knew that there were still many more to come. After all, the boy was young and eager to push himself, to see the world, to explore, to create, to develop… to live. And so his shadow was surprised to realise that they boy was scared. That he was feeling

down. This wasn’t like they boys usual bad days though, this was something tormented. Different. It scared his shadow so much because all he wanted was for the boy to be happy in life.

So breaking conventions and bending the rules, the shadow decided to take matters into his own hands and, for the first time since joining with the boy, his shadow left him.  Dazed and confused, the boy looked desperately for his shadow, eventually noticing him creating images in front of him. The boy knew his shadow was trying to tell him something, but without words was finding it difficult to understand.

Feeling irritated, his shadow attempted a last ditch attempt to get through to the boy. Imitating the shape of the boy when he was a child, he tried to move forwards, but his progress was hindered by chains around his wrists and ankles holding him back. However, the boy noticed that with each forced step his shadow seemed to grow taller and the chains slightly longer. Eventually the shadow was fully grown and the chains snapped. Upon being free from the chains that were holding him back, the shadow began to run, but they boy noticed that he wasn’t running anywhere, he was stuck in the same spot, unable to move. Trapped.

At that moment, the shadow tried something new; he jumped. But, instead of landing back on the floor, the shadow continued to rise and soar. He had broken free of the cycle and was headed off into the unknown. But, his shadow wasn’t afraid, he was excited. He moved with a sense of freedom that didn’t exist before and suddenly the boy knew exactly what his shadow was trying to tell him.

When the shadow was restricted by chains, that was the first stage of the boys life. Nourished, cherished, but living under everyone else’s rules. Being educated and told what to do. And as he grew and learnt more about the world, he was offered more responsibilities and more scope in which to do things, which was why the chains grew longer.

When the chains snapped, that was the second stage of the boys life. He had been let go into the world to discover its truths and pitfalls for himself. Bur he was stuck in a rut. Content but never completely happy, always believing that there was supposed to be something more but not quite knowing how to get there.

When his shadow jumped into the air, that was the third stage of the boys life, and he continued to rise and soar because it is that stage which the boy is currently living. What is ahead is unknown, but there is an excitement to face it and whatever else will come his way.

Overwhelmed by this realisation and his shadows kindness, the boy burst into tears. Realising he had broken through to the boy, his shadow returned to him, comforting him once more.

For the boy and his shadow were one and, as such, they were never alone. And whilst the boy will have his good days and his bad ones, his shadow will always be there, looking out for him, ready to remind him of his life’s journey so far.

Because, whilst the boy may often forget, his shadow will always remember.

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