There was a story that I wrote once upon a time. It told of things that you would never see in this life; things that you would want to but that your mind wouldn’t be able to grasp unless you were a part of that world in which it was written. A story with love and sorrow and laughter and tears of joy and pain. A story where the villain becomes the hero and the hero was really the evil in the piece all along. A story where black and white allowed for the shades of gray in between. But the manuscript was lost a long time ago, in a fire or a flood or some other natural disaster, and now can never be recreated. Pity.
I don’t believe in love because it only winds up hurting in the end. You stand there with all of your platitudes and your declarations, but what you never say is that love hurts. It’s hard and obsessive and it gives other people this power over you that they would never have otherwise. And the worst is that you do it willingly. You give them that power and you hope that they wont hurt you, knowing all the while that that is exactly what they are going to do. And then when you’ve opened yourself and allowed them to make you bleed, they leave.
You stare at them for what seems like hours, but is probably only minutes, no, seconds. Seconds of agony and pain and hate and they don’t even notice. They are too wrapped up in each other. And when they finally do look at you, when he looks at you, he expects you to just smile and be the same person you were hours or minutes or seconds ago. Before you walked in and saw them kissing-kissing after he promised you that it was over; that the two of them would never be again-and the world that you were so sure of fell to pieces around your feet.
He knows. They think that he doesn’t because he makes no mention of it, of all the little things that add up to tell him the truth which he has been denying so long. He sees the way that they smile at each other when they think that he isn’t looking; the way that they stand just a little too close together and let their gaze linger a little longer than is necessary. He knows that they’ve gotten careless, that they believe themselves safe and so are trying less and less to hide it. But they aren’t safe; not really. He is deadly when crossed and they have betrayed him in the worst way. It wont be forgiven. They might have forgotten what he can do with his knives, but after ten minutes alone with him, he’s sure they’ll remember.
They told her that it was in her power to make the choice. That they couldn’t force her one way or the other. It wasn’t their way. But they made sure that she knew what it would mean for her if she made the wrong one. It wasn’t something that people talked about; the ostracizing of those who had done wrong in their eyes. It was just something that happened, and every woman knew the price for this sin was to be shunned. But what could she do, she wondered, when the sin was forced upon her by the very one who protested it so vehemently? How was she to turn him away when he had the power to destroy her if she did?
It isn’t raining the day of the funeral. No one is much surprised, and yet they are. Things are never like what movies make them out to be, but if anyone deserved rain on their funeral, it was him. Him with his pretty green eyes and black hair and a smile that lit up a room. The little boy who’d hardly gotten past his sixth birthday when he decided that he was old enough to cross the street without his parents holding his hand and stepped right in front of an oncoming truck. The guy-little more than a kid himself, actually. Sixteen and newly licensed-who hit him had tried to stop; but the truth was that he hardly had time to realize the kid was in the road before they connected, the dull thud of the boy’s little body hitting the front of the car a nice little soundtrack to his nightmares. The parents wanted him locked up, of course. They needed to put the blame on someone, to stop heaping it on themselves. The guy got parole. Involuntary manslaughter. It’ll follow him around the rest of his life. But not so successfully or so loudly as that dull thud against the truck.
The little boy’s mother sobs; and there are whispers of how much she really misses the boy and how much of it is an act. His father stands next to her, stone faced, not offering any comfort to his grieving wife. Voices almost too low to hear, the other attendees tell each other the story: they’ve been having problems for about three months now; she suspected that he was cheating. They’d been arguing when that poor kid had decided to try crossing the street on his own. Arguing, and not paying attention to where their kid was or what he was doing. It’s guilt that’s making her cry so heavily, now, they say, staring at her with hard eyes. Guilt because she knows that if the two of them hadn’t been so busy in their own lives, their kid would still be breathing. And him? He never wanted the child in the first place. The kid was a trap that she used to keep him with her always, and now that the boy’s gone it wont be long until the father is, too. Unless of course she manages to trap him again. Such a shame, though, they murmer as they cook inside of their clothes-proper funeral attire, of course, all black-such a shame, that that sweet little boy had to go the way he did. So early, when he was so young. The only comfort is that it all happened so fast, he probably didn’t feel it. He probably didn’t feel a thing.