A The Last Of Us: Part II Experience

Another night, another nightmare. Another day, another panic attack. Just like her I keep seeing his face, hitting me as lightning bolts that shatter my spirit. The face I see is not the one I used to remember, and its shape is something more brutal and bloody, vehemently violating my soul. Battered, tormented, tortured. Covered in blood, desperately gasping for air. No chance of some last words or a proper goodbye: just one gaze which made us both realise that despite the tragedy that was going on he was telling us he was okay with what was happening and that, somehow, things would have been okay.

He had no idea what his loss would have caused in both of us. An inner rage so terrifying that was ready to burn away everything and everyone around us, including the people that we both learned to care about. We left then, pushed by our unstoppable desire for revenge: Seattle was our goal, with no clue in mind of what was awaiting us. The fierce hate for that person who took the light from our lives was the only reason driving us. Our fury swept away every person blocking our paths, no matter if they were innocent or guilty: the slaughter we unleashed didn’t have time to make a distinction, our rage didn’t allow us to have the time to think straight. The screams of the people we killed, burned, mutilated and cut their throats are still in our minds, just like his moans before we found him bleeding on the floor, on the verge of death.

Nothing seemed to affect us, and all the killing almost felt like a relief for our common pain that was infuriating in our hearts. Until that moment, down into the bowels of damnation itself: one hit, two hits, three and counting. Torture. This time we were the ones doing it, to only end up being even more broken than we already were: but that didn’t stop us, not then, not that easily. Vengeance was always on our mind and maybe we were already too lost in that violent spiral leading us to the very bottom of morality to come back at that point. That’s why we pushed through till that aquarium, and the worst happened once again. We both stained our hands with the blood of a pregnant woman, as we both felt the sickness coming out of our stomachs, choking us from inside. Witnessing the death of another friend that was caught up in our vendetta only made us feel worse. He had died because of us.

Then, everything changed: my perspective changed and I had my eyes open, unlike you, Ellie. Behind that merciless woman who tortured and killed our loved one, there was a person who had lost everything, just like you, just like me: but you… you didn’t know that. The wish of being able to tell you what I was witnessing with my eyes was almost unbearable. If only you had known how much similar you both were, maybe you would have understood, maybe you would have stopped before taking the last step before being able to turn back and leave it all behind. Maybe. But you couldn’t, Ellie. You couldn’t leave everything behind you and keep living a quiet life. Not after what she did to Joel.

Then I find myself here, with shaking hands while I try to kill you, my dear Ellie. I saw you growing up, and now I’m here, or I should say we are here, squeezing our hands around your throat, led by blind rage just as you were: look at what you both did to each other, at what I did to you both. I want to stop this madness, but I can’t: I can’t stop you, Ellie, from shooting Abby with everything you have,and I can’t stop Abby to sneak on you and beating you to death with her bare hands. I feel helpless as you lie on the floor, with blood dripping from your face and nose, as Abby is about to slit Dina’s throat: but that doesn’t happen, in the end. Abby spared you. Abby broke the wheel of violence.

Ellie, it is so painful to watch you so broken inside, even surrounded by a new family and a quiet life. I beg you, Ellie, don’t lose this. Don’t go to Santa Barbara, don’t lose everything once again. Joel wouldn’t want this for you, and so do I. Remember your worst fear, ending up alone? But you can’t leave at peace with yourself if she lives. So we leave Dina and JJ and I am terrified of what will happen, of what your homicidal wrath is going to unleash upon you this time. After a long and hard journey you found her, Ellie, we found her: it doesn’t matter if Abby is flesh-less, eaten away by the sunlight and starvation. She can’t get away with this, you free her just to fight to the death with her, to make your pain leave your tormented body. With your knife we slash what’s left of her skin away, but she fights back: she has someone to protect, now, and that fragile life depends on her. It doesn’t matter if you lose two fingers, Ellie, you overcome her and you are sinking her head into the salty water of the sea, as my finger reluctantly help you to do it, begging you to stop: until you see Joel again. For the first time after his death, he is well and alive in your memory, and maybe you will finally be able to let go the rage, as you let Abby escape.

As you go went back to the farm and I realise you are left alone with yourself and your phantom pain, that your worst fear has become extremely real, I am overwhelmed with feelings. Then, the revelations that finally explains it all: the real reason behind your merciless and mad actions is finally revealed. You were never able to actually forgive Joel, to tell him that you had actually forgiven him, before he was ultimately taken away from you, from us. Now I understand, Ellie, I can see it clearly. We both will never be the same again, after living this together. I hope I will see you again, some day.
To a Part III.

Would it have been better if I stayed?
Swallowed up the regret sad shame,
Given them what’s left of me?
Was it mine to give?
Do I still have it to give?

Can I offer the scraps to you?
Gristle and bone. Chewed up and rotting.
Or will it make them sick;
Corrode their insides, cripple poison them?

I could be in the woods,
Buried for the insects to clean,
Left for the insects to clean,
Until the iron smell is gone,
Until I’m bleached and beautiful brittle;
Ready to display.

Ellie’s Journal

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