Abstracting Realism

October 11, 2010
How does one begin the story of a life? With a thought, a notion, an urge? With a letter, a phrase, a sentence? How does one tell of the sequence of events, which changes two lives forever? A sketch, a story, a verbal retelling of fairy tales?

There once was a girl, she thought of herself as average in every way except one: she could dream. She dreamed of golden seas, of life restoring elixirs, and of an unbreakable, improbable, impossible love. This girl never shared her dreamings with anyone, for they would never understand that, somewhere, perhaps in a fantasyland or far off town, containing only imagination, these things existed. This girl believed that if she kept her dreams from all others, they could never shatter the illusion.

There was once a boy who was average in every sense of the word; he had a tendency to watch the girl. He was there as she imagined things such as orange-winged people, whole invisible towns, and silent songs of beauty. He watched as her large silver eyes took in sunlight, and how they would shine with imagination.

She, caught up in dreaming, never quite saw the boy, or even the abstract realism of the world’s beauty. The boy watched as she spoke to the trees of how they tangled with each other like long-time lovers, and how she thought people should be more like them.

He followed as she hopped, giggling, from one stepping stone to the next. The boy gave a small smile at the first giggle, and it only grew for each of her laughs. She moved in a way that showed she had no clear path, giving many twirls and twisting with each step. He openly trailed her, never hiding when she turned in mid-spin. The boy was simply another part of the background, just another splash of color and sound. He hadn’t tried to speak to her, only looked on as she did seemingly meaningless things, such as feel a glistening spider web that had been victim to the recent rain.

The boy’s dull, blue eyes widened in shock when she spoke to him for the first time; she had asked him if he had seen the meaning of the future pass by recently. He, being very confused, had stuttered out a negative reply, and she had gone back to looking in the bushes for a book she had lost.

After that, he started attempting to talk to her, instead of just following her at a shy distance. She never replied to him, so the boy started listening instead of talking. By listening, the boy learned that her world was not all dreams- there were nightmares as well.

The monstrous, gray clouds would sometimes swell and turn hateful. Bolts of anger would be thrown to the ground, and shadows would darken her vision. The inky black of not knowing filled her vision during these times. When the trees, no longer the lovers of past, threatened the girl with fists of curled black wood, the girl thought of her world full of castles, full of sunlight, of flames that embraced her like a caring mother, and of that elusive, mythical, lasting love. The fear of the darkness, of the shadows lurking behind; those were what the girl feared the most.

Sometimes she would stare longingly at the clouds in long bouts of silence that were so grave, he dared not move from his spot near her. It was as if someone had taken a picture of the scene and replaced life with the still frame.

It was during one of these times when the boy and girl had been standing stock still for nearly an hour, hardly even blinking, the girl broke the silence that even birds strayed from with a single sentence.

“My mother killed herself because I was born.” With that sentence, only eight simple words, the boy knew his presence was not missed. After that point, the boy noticed something about the girl, as she spoke to, and about her dreamings; her smile never quite reached her glowing, silver eyes.

The boy and girl continued on like that for some time, him following her, and her world of perfection overriding the beautiful, but imperfect, one she lived in. At some point, neither were sure when, things changed; he started voicing the wonders of the real world, and she began to see faces and scenery instead of just vivid daydreams on a background of color and noise.

And the first time her abnormal, shining, beautiful, silver eyes met his dull, blue ones, the boy knew he wasn’t just being looked at- he was being seen.

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