She had no identity and he had too many.
They met by what they believed was chance’s manipulation, on the day marking the apex of their individual frustrations with the lives they’d been leading for more years than they cared to count. With everyday that passed for those years to grow, life’s value became synonymous with a deeper low.
She’d gotten lost while taking a pensive stroll and he’d been late for a meeting at the workplace he hated so, when their distractedness caused them to collide. Several awkward apologies and a few embarrassed smiles later, over poring over finance papers he chose to view something of a lovelier kind; while she agreed to engage in something other than arguing with the sadists in her mind.
They agreed to have a conversation. And everything that followed, would somehow change them
She had no courage and he had no conscience.
Her ego had been methodically floored since all she was ever shown were her exaggerated flaws. No effort made sense and every achievement was worthless, viewed through the prism of perceived insignificance. The only smiles she ever saw were on the television, and the only warmth she ever felt was by the stove in the kitchen. She longed to give speech to her distress but when no one would listen, her hopes for rescue grew less.
She had no haven, believed in no heaven. Perhaps the pain would be easier to bear if it was localized within her mind; but it exceeded that territory and leaped onto her physical being every time she was battered with whatever either of them could find.
Today the man would be the attacker; tomorrow it could be the man’s partner. As it was, they sought to teach their human extensions how to express their evil better. There was nothing to be said, there was nothing that could be done. The blood she’d lost had stamped her rejection as final, so there was also nowhere to run…
His responsibilities were numerous; his resentments enabled his shoulders magnetize frost. He was grown before he’d been certain he was living, and his future decided before his debut wailing. Hopes and dreams weren’t his to fondle, and weaknesses or rest were rights of only the ignorant or idle. Obviously he was neither – as confirmed by his wealth and influence – so to hell with being human; preferences, rest, intimacy, and every other such nonsense.
Although he’d acquired plenty, he didn’t own much. He had no right to personal purposes or dreams, so his life could hardly be used to achieve the likes of such. All the living who filled his space – and whom he considered tragic wastes of it – often stressed this point on. ‘All’ referred to each individual who’d willingly paid to rob him of moments past and those to come. ‘All’ being a number of pompous potbellies whose loss he’d never mourn. However, for the joy of manipulating, he learned to become all things to all men; if he were going to be so inconsiderately abused, he’d have to return the favor to them.
He geared himself to run on empty. The void was his engine and his existence became an uninspiring contraption. All the ground covered he’d never once considered progress, and each step up the rungs of the social ladder, took him farther from his hopes of ever belonging to a reality that was slightly better. Therefore, he chose to personify unpleasant; brutal, unscrupulous, unforgiving, and unrepentant. But in all honesty, his ruthlessness was a mere façade beneath which lay hidden, an aching loneliness.
She was true, and his heart sung.
He sat right there, waiting for her to prove his convictions wrong. But she failed him. He tried furiously to taint all he was witnessing with even a drop of negativity but even that wasn’t working. The almost unrealistic inexperience she possessed left him in wonder and he struggled to believe that for the entire period of their engagement, she’d eagerly bought every account he’d sold her; not once considering he may just be a pathological liar. Starved so severely of everything akin to humanity was she that any random expression of its characteristics would suffice to fill the gap she was missing. Including words from people like him.
It was pathetic to watch.
The fact that the only thing familiar to her was pain also angered him very much. With no filter to her personality, she made the perfect picture of kindness. In every expression, gesticulation, and from the emotions she wore on her sleeve, he observed in shock self-worship’s absence. So although every so often he’d glance at his wristwatch, the whole time he was only dreading the moment this interaction would be rounded up. Because the moment they parted ways, his first experience of breathing would quickly become a memory. In less time than there is in an instant, he’d resume drowning. Drowning in his hate, hating to drown the hurt; and with the addition of these waves of feeling washing over him suddenly, well the drowning was likely to be worse. But the worst feeling nagging the heart he’d just become aware of was that he couldn’t immediately end all her suffering; and shortly cruelty would wear off the light that danced in her eyes after their second cup of coffee.
He was strong, and her hopes lifted.
She never made any demands, but if she was ever asked, his strength was all she wanted. Although the things that necessitated its build up broke her heart, she was too foreign to affluence and power to offer him any assistance with that. She dared not judge his claimed cruelty because his poorly hidden loneliness was so familiar it nearly bore her name; even though hers’ was rooted in anguished poverty, and his was an offshoot of emptiness centered in fame. They had so much in common, and yet no two persons could differ more. Still to her he was remarkable, especially since he refrained from treating her like the floor.
For all his lofty tales of a bitter man with whom no one could cope, all she saw in him was a frustrated fellow with too many bottled hopes. There was no one to talk to, no one who cared to understand. Tragically, although she did, there was no way she could provide for him a friend. He glanced at his watch again and her heart sunk; reality was returning just when her fantasies nearly had her drunk. What a fool she’d been to imagine this novel experience could offer her change; and even though this encounter was one she’d cherish, it would also remind her of what couldn’t be – again and again. To her that would be the worst torture and regardless of what she desperately longed for, she knew this person sitting across from her could never be her savior. He had his ample demons to fight and hers had already crushed her existence into darkness, so all she determined to do was endlessly wish his would leave before they drove him to madness.
She was quiet and he was brooding.
She felt very uncomfortable walking beside him. All of a sudden he seemed really angry and she couldn’t help but think she must have done something. She started to form a question but it stuck in her throat. She hated to leave with the thought that she’d made herself yet another person he loathed.
The images his mind conjured of her lack of safety were disturbing and briefly the thought came to follow her to where she was returning. It was dashed however, the moment it crossed his mind. If by such behavior she weren’t repulsed or frightened, she’d be likely to conclude his sanity was timed.
Just before they stopped her a taxi, they caught sight of a little lady heading their way and waving. From physical appearance, the little lady couldn’t have been over twelve years old but by the time she got to their side and began speaking, it shocked them that she was so bold! The little lady didn’t delay on small talk and the like, but instead told them both very plainly that she’d been led to give them some advice. She confirmed cluelessness of their identity and what they were going through, but claimed to have a message for them from someone who knew. Before they could look around properly and ask who’d done the leading, the little lady asked them if they were aware that they were in need of saving. He looked at her, and she looked at him; neither could figure out what the little lady was saying and when she noticed this, she offered a story as explanation.
The little one began telling of this King who’d suffered worse things than any human at the hands of the people He loved. They treated him more inhumanely than anyone else, without regard for His heart or worth. They were all lawless and committed heinous crimes for which they’d have had to pay with their lives – that is, if the King hadn’t intervened in time. Eventually, He was brutally killed in their place and ironically, though the King had chosen to put His life on the line, they assumed they’d forcefully taken it at the time.
At his confused look and her sad one, the little lady smiled sweetly and went on.
The King didn’t stay dead however, His father got Him up three days later and after that, all the people could escape their deserved death for their wrongs; but only if they believed the efficacy of and responded in gratitude to the King’s gift of life from then on. The point was, though currently both their lives seemed crammed with emptiness and they probably felt they’d individually witnessed the worst variations of humanity’s selfishness, there could be more to the story than just the pain they were going through; especially since the most relevant story really was that of the King, what He did, and what people could choose to let Him do. Because though people made mistakes the King never made one, and humanity was at its worst when they murdered the only truly perfect individual, in place of millions of guilty ones.
The little lady turned to him and assured him that the satisfaction from repaying people’s insincerity with variations of his, would still not satisfy him nor lead to the fulfillment of his dreams. Plus, the echoes from the void within won’t lessen until he let it get filled by the One whose love was everlasting. To her, the little lady grinned broadly and stated plainly that the King considered her perfect, contrary to what might have been said that left her physically and emotionally battered. However, that perfection could only find its proper expression if she learnt from Him because, after all, He’d been perfect longer than she’d known of her imperfections or the sorrows of failing.
Stepping back, the little lady spoke her summary: the savior for whom she’d been earlier wishing was the King and not he; and he could find an even truer person in the King who’d died to save them both, than in she.
Grinning again, she sauntered off; leaving him and her standing by the road, deep in thought…
Merry Christmas and a hope filled New Year to you.
xxx, Kwiksie. <3