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Letting Go

by Joseph Walker 5 days ago in future

A Chapter of my upcoming Book "Utopia"

Letting Go

What you are about to read is one chapter of many in my upcoming book "Utopia." It is a futuristic book about a girl in the future playing a game/simulation based on the life of a 36 year man trying to find his way in life and love during the pandemic in 2020.

It is a book about overcoming fear, self love, and forgiveness.

Please consider a tip in order for help me cover the editing and publishing costs of what I hope to be an inspiring and magical book!



Zelda watched as the cursor flashed on her screen. This was it. The moment she was dreading. Ali knew. He figured it out. It took him 36 years, but he figured it out. And it was time to let go.

Tears filled Zelda's eyes as she read over the options for the 1000th time.

1) Sabotage Ali's life

2) Kill Ali

3) Set Ali free

Two out of three options would lead Ali to her in the future.

Option one would ruin his life so much that he would want to kill himself in pure shame and self-pity.

Option two was clear cut; Let the rats that infested the old white house chew through the wiring, setting off a water heater explosion that would take out Ali, his three dogs, and anyone within a 1/2 mile radius.

Or option three; the only option that resulted in her losing Ali's love to Kiersten. A girl she swore she would never lose Ali to.

She had already successfully sabotaged Ali's relationships with Kira, Mercy, Macy, Beth, Mary, Bree, Vanessa, Jessica, Kat, both Sarah's, Sylvia, Mari, Anabelle, Jo, Amanda, Katie, Lana, both Melissa's, Janette, June, and Sidnee.

Undefeated. A perfect 23-0. Zelda sabotaged each and every relationship so beautifully, so perfectly, that each one made Ali out to look like the bad guy.

"If only they all knew how perfect he really was," Zelda thought out loud as she took a sip of wine. "They'd all want him back."

The thought made her feel a sudden wave of guilt. The alcohol wasn't helping.

Zelda threw the remote on the ground and started to uncontrollably sob.

"THIS WASN'T SUPPOSED TO BE HOW THIS WENT!" she screamed, throwing her wine glass against the wall.

From down the hall, Marsha heard the shattering glass and ran to her daughter's room.

"Zelda?" she asked, attempting to open the locked door. " Let me in Zelda, right now! Please!"

"GO AWAY! I don't want to talk about it...."

"Option three Zelda. Pick option three."

The words coming from her mother's hushed tone stopped Zelda in her tear tracks. She sat up in her bed and wiped them away.

"How did she know?" Zelda thought pulling herself from the sheets.

"I know it's hard baby girl, but you have to let him go. I'll be in my room if you need me." Marsha turned and walked back down the hall, disappearing into the space and closing the door behind her.

The door inched towards the threshold and stopped before fully closing.

Walking over to the projector screen, a stray glass shard caught her foot, sending a stream of blood onto the floor.

"Son of a bitch!" exclaimed Zelda as she grabbed her foot and fell hard to the floor. She grabbed a random towel lying on the floor and pushed it against her throbbing foot. "Figures."

With another towel, she mopped up the blood on the floor. After wiping it clean, she got up and limped to the drawer of her desk.

From the recesses of the drawer, Zelda pulled the small metal box with the butterfly on the lid. Upon opening it, she looked inside and pulled out a large bandage with a "Hello Kitty" logo on it. She then proceeded to open the packaging and carefully place the Band-Aid on her foot over the small cut.

Thinking twice, Zelda retracted the bandage and pulled the shard from her foot, tossing it into the waste bin. From across the room, the Intui-tablet displayed the description of what landed inside the bin.

Glass shard, wine glass, Merlot, 2042, Napa Valley.

Zelda glanced quickly at the tablet an impressively scoffed at how Intuitive the tablet truly was.

"Technology," she said aloud, rolling her eyes.

Zelda then picked herself up off the floor and limped over to the bedroom door, tossing both towels over her shoulder.

"These are ruined," she thought as both towels landed perfectly in the trash bin.

The Intuit-tablet lit back up and quickly started to scroll the description of the blood covered towels.

Towels, two, Beyond Bed and Bath, blood covered, Blood Ty......

Zelda turned off the light to her room before the tablet finished the display, simultaneously putting the tablet into sleep mode. She gingerly made her way down the hall to her mom's room, opening the door slowly as she arrived. Marsha was waiting for her on the bed with a second glass of red wine. She handed her the chalice as she sipped from her own.

"Thanks," Zelda said, taking the glass in her hand and sitting down on the bed.

Marsha looked down at Zelda's foot, then back up at her daughter.

"Did you cut your foot baby?" Marsha asked sarcastically.

Zelda rolled her eyes. "Naturally."

"You going to clean that up?"

"Eventually," Zelda retorted. "Not a priority."

"You know, Ron bought me those glasses for Christmas. I'm not sure he is going to be happy when he finds out you destroyed one of them."

Zelda snickered when she heard her mothers' boyfriend's name. "He'll get over it."

"What is the priority?" Marsha asked again.

Tears started to fill Zelda's eyes again as she mentally pictured Ali sitting at his computer desk, sipping his cucumber water and listening to Lyndsay Sterling on his iPhone.

"So this is odd," started Zelda, changing the subject.

Marsha sighed. "what is that?"

"So, he didn't have the money in his account for the YouTube premium subscription to go through...." she took a sip of her wine. "....and yet, it is playing without ads. Has been all day."

"How do you know it was supposed to go through today?" Marsha asked curiously.

"He got a message about it earlier today. Didn't really think much of it until I noticed no ads played."

"That's interesting," Marsha said as she glanced away, remembering she had paid the bill for him earlier that morning.

Zelda furrowed her eyebrows suspiciously. "Yeah. Interesting."

Zelda finished half her glass of wine. Marsha took the opportunity to circle back to the topic at hand.

"So...what is the priority?" asked Marsha a third time.

"I mean, you said it yourself. How you knew is beyond me, but you said it yourself. "Option three."

Marsha set her glass down on the night stand and took Zelda's hands into her own.

"Now you know how, don't you?"

Zelda shook her head, "no, I really don't"

"I've gone through the simulation myself. Remember?"

"Yeah, but you also said yours has been totally different than mine."

Marsha shrugged. "Yeah, but the baseline lessons are the same."

Zelda finished off the glass and set it next to her mothers'

"Yeah, I guess."

Marsha took a deep breath and started her lecture.

"Look, I'll keep this brief, because I know you are sick of hearing me talk by now."

Zelda nodded in agreement.

"First off, we both know you love him too much to kill him off. That is just stating the obvious. And I know how badly you want to let him go, but can't. That leaves sabotaging, and we also both know you have become an expert at that. What are you, 22-0?"

"23-0, " stated Zelda, matter-of-factly.

"23!? Who was the 23rd!?" Marsha exclaimed.


"Oh yeah, I forgot about July. I'm not sure you did that one on purpose. But sure, 23-0"

"Ok, so what then?"

Marsha looked deeply into her daughter's eyes. "So, maybe, and you aren't going to like me being so blunt; maybe it's time to grow up and pick option three. You have to set him free baby. You have to let him make his own decision about Kiersten."

Zelda sniffled and wiped a tear from her cheek. "yeah."

"You need to face the music here Zelda. I know you love him. I know he is everything you ever wanted in a man, and that is ok. But he isn't real. He is just a video game character. And realistically, you can't 'be' with a video game character. That's not how it works."

"I know momma, it's just, I can't stand seeing him with any of these girls! Not women, girls! And Kiersten hasn't been 100% honest with him about Tony. She lied to him when he told her she shouldn't have been alone that night."

Marsha looked on, knowingly, "what did she tell him?"

"She told him she went straight home from the hospital that night and fell asleep straight away. Then he told her she shouldn't have been alone, and she just shrugged it off."

"So she didn't lie. She just didn't tell him all the details. How did you know anyway?"

Zelda shrugged, "Intuition, I guess."

"Ok. But she didn't lie."

"And half-truths are supposed to be ok!?"

Marsha smiled, " All is fair in love and war, love."

Zelda was taken aback. "I am sorry, what?"

"You heard me; all is fair in love and war. It means as long as her intentions were to not hurt his feelings, because she actually cares about him, then it's fair game."

"I mean, I guess."

"Zelda, please don't sit here and pretend you have never withheld information or said you did something with another guy when you really didn't to spare feelings or get a reaction, respectfully."

"Well, yeah, of course I have. Sometimes you have to."

"Exactly. That's what she did. You know she loves him and that Brian is just there to take her mind off Ali. She was sparing his feelings, that's all."

Zelda thought back to the "date" she had Ali tell Kiersten he went on. The verdict was still out on whether or not the ruse worked, as Kiersten failed to text him back the rest of the day. And yet, the idea that it was fair game surprised and intrigued her.

"I guess I can't really be mad then."

Marsha shook her head no. "The fact of the matter is, you have to make this decision before the end of 2020. And by decision, I mean setting him free. If you don't, the simulation will fail you and you will have to start over."

"I wish there was a 4th option. I wish I could let him go, set him free, and yet, still love him."

Marsha threw her hands up in defeat, "who says you can't still love him AND be his wingman at the same time. That is part of the fun baby girl! Trust me, choose option three."

Zelda reached for her glass again, but stopped when she realized it was empty.

"I am going to go get more. You want more?"

Marsha stretched and yawned. " I am good baby. I have a long shift in a few hours, so I am going to get in a quick nap."

Zelda's jaw dropped at this news. "Momma! You work tonight, and you have been drinking!?"

Marsha waved her off, "Its one glass. Call it a sedative. I'll be fine way before I have to go in. Take a chill pill."

"That's actually not a bad idea," Zelda aid, a sly smile on her face.

Marsha rolled her eyes, "It's a figure of speech. You've been drinking. DO NOT take a chill pill."

"Fine," Zelda stated, rising from the bed and headed toward the door. "I won't"

"Good." Marsha yawned again and crawled beneath her comforter. "Turn off the light on your way out."

Zelda flipped the switch to her mother's room and walked out, closing the door behind her.

"I LOVE YOU" Marsha sleepily declared, rolling over and tucking her arm under the pillow. "Option three."

Zelda lowered her head and mumbled "I love you too" under her breath.

Heading back down the hallway, Zelda slowed down, considering another glass of wine, then decided against it. Upon reaching her door, she reached inside and flipped the light back on. She opened the door to her closet and grabbed a broom and dustpan. The sight of Ali smoking a cigarette at his desk caught her attention. She dropped the cleaning tools on her bed, then picked up the remote from the floor. Slumping into her gamer chair, she watched again as the cursor flashed on the screen, the three options staring back at her. With a deep breath and a silent tear, Zelda highlighted the third option and pressed "A." The other two options disappeared, leaving the final option glowing pink with a dialog box underneath.

*Please note this is a major life option and cannot be undone. Quick save is not an option. You will be required to main save to continue.

Confirm or Cancel?

Zelda took another deep breath and highlighted confirm. Releasing her breath, Zelda pressed "A" and watched as Ali put out his cigarette and walked to the window for the 30th time that night.

Peering out the window, Ali watched as a black car sat idly at the nearby stop sign. Ali waited for the car to drive off, but it did not.

"That's odd," he thought watching the car sitting there for what seemed liked an eternity. Finally, a overhead dome light shut off and the car drove away. "Mmmk."

Ali walked past the hot water heater closet and stopped. For a reason he couldn't understand, he backed up a few steps and decided to turn the water temperature back down. Unable to see inside, he ran to retrieve his phone and activated the flashlight app. He pointed the light at the temperature knob and carefully turned it back down to the "hot" setting. It was then that he noticed the debris around the heater and vowed, in that moment, to sweep it out.

"Don't want to start a fire," he thought as he shut the closet door and switched the flashlight off.

Buttercup followed him into the bathroom and watched as he flexed in the mirror.

"Getting bigger, aren't they girl," Ali bragged.

Buttercup sat down and looked up at her human bending his arm in a curious manner. Ali patted her on the head as she licked his hand. She then stood up and walked back to her spot on the couch next to an already sleeping Lucy and Bruno, sighing loudly as she settled in.

"Yeah, I know girl. Humble myself. Got it," Ali said as he flipped off the light and retreated back to his desk chair. He then began to think about the lottery ticket in his wallet and all the things he wanted to do with the money if he won. His thoughts then began to wonder back to the realization he had earlier in the day during his walk to the smoke shop.

"I've got to finish this book if I am going to get anywhere in life. It's time to stop thinking about what could go wrong and start dreaming of all that could go right. No more fear, no more worries. It is going to be a good 2021."

Finishing her main save, Zelda put the simulation into music mode and played Vanessa Carlton's greatest hits. She then put the simulation into auto mode and let Ali do his thing.

She watched as he started cleaning up his living room in preparation of laying his newly bought area rug.

She smiled, thinking to herself that she indeed made the right choice setting him free.

She skipped ahead to Heroes and Thieves and watched as Ali swayed to the music, taking in the melody and listening to the lyrics. The song was a perfect description of how she felt, how she was feeling. Letting Ali go allowed her the opportunity to finally pursue love in her own time. The upcoming verse was especially important to her, as it let Ali know that though she freed him, she would still be around to guide him on is journey as a spiritual guide and true friend."

"Seems like I'm getting closer somehow. A flicker of peace that I've finally found. Thank you for believing in me now. Cause' I do need it."

"Give me a year or two; and I'll mend my ways and see my mistakes. When I see the truth, and darling trust me, when I can see, I'll be coming back, I'll be coming back!"

Ali assumed the verse was talking about his infatuation with Kiersten.

It couldn't be further from the truth.

Zelda turned off the projector and proceeded to pick up the broom and dustpan to clean up the glass on the floor.

"This is the right thing to do. It is going to be ok," she thought.

Zelda thought of another way to let Ali know she had finally let go. "What other song could I play to let him know," Zelda thought as she swept.

She suddenly remembered an old song by Michelle Branch. "That's it!"

Zelda dropped the broom again and grabbed the remote and switched out of auto mode.

Ali picked up his phone and searched Michelle Branch's greatest hits. Scrolling through the playlist, he found "Goodbye to You" and let it play. Listening to the lyrics, he was briefly disappointed, assuming the Universe was telling him Kiersten was truly saying goodbye.

"Maybe she isn't the one," he thought as he started sorting his mail.

The final lyric caught his attention, for it made him realize though even though she was saying goodbye for now, in time, she would find his way back to him, on her own terms...

"And when the stars fall I will lie awake; you're my shooting star."

The idea swelled his eyes, but it also made him smile.

"It's the right thing to do. It is going to be ok," he thought.

Zelda switched the simulation back to auto mode for the final time. As she dumped the glass into the trash bin, the Intuit-tablet lit up and finished displaying the remainder of the old message before disappearing and starting the new description message.

Zelda eyes widened as she let the dust pan and broom clatter to the floor. It was brief, but she caught the last bit of text before watching it flash away on the tablet screen.

Blood type: Infinity (X) Positive


What you have just read is one chapter of many in my upcoming book "Utopia." It is a futuristic book about a girl in the future playing a game/simulation based on the life of a 36 year man trying to find his way in life and love during the pandemic in 2020.

It is a book about overcoming fear, self love, and forgiveness.

Please consider a tip in order for help me cover the editing and publishing costs of what I hope to be an inspiring and magical book!


Joseph Walker
Joseph Walker
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