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The Story Teller and the Stranger
A girl with a broken smile stands in the middle of a room.
Her deep eyes show signs of life, love, and laughter.
They also show pain, regret, and longing.
Eight or nine girls sit around her, a few are standing as well.
They seem enchanted by the girl's easy going nature.
Her humor, her ability to take something so serious and turn it into something very different from serious.
Her ability to share her life ever so casually, unafraid of harsh judgement.
Some girls sit around her slightly envious, others sit around her, not so much.
She tells stories about breaking rules, breaking laws, while the girls sit wide eyed, not so sure how to take it all in.
She orchestrates the talk, conducting it through every turn and wrinkle of conversation.
Every so often laughter explodes from a few girls, every so often a look of pity is shared among the small group.
She lavishes the attention, drinking it in.
The storyteller's eyes shine but behind the mysterious twinkle you can see much more, but only if you are willing to look hard enough, most do not bother too.
The girl in the center, smiling ever so slightly, feels slightly connected to these girls, but still very far away, still painfully different.
One by one each girl surrounding the story teller gets up and leaves.
With every step a girl takes towards the door, the storytellers eyes shine less and less.
Finally she is left alone, no one is left for her to share herself with.
She sits in the room as a somber feeling falls over her.
She no longer basks in the attention of others.
A blanket of ash is placed overhead.
Just as she is ready to surrender to the darkness footsteps cause her to raise her head.
A small girl walks in, she recognizes her from the crowd.
A friend, perhaps.
More accurate, a stranger.
The stranger speaks
Are you proud of yourself?
The storyteller falls silent unsure of the question.
The choices you make?
The tears immediately fill the hollowness in the storytellers eyes.
Is this who you want to be?
The storyteller still refuses to meet the girls eyes, but does speak, with a voice as soft as the sky but as piercing as the lightning it produces.
What choice do I have?
The stranger replies.
You have many choices. When you're telling stories, laughing so casually, do you not know I spy your weakness?
The storyteller cradles her aching head in her hands, the stranger continues.
Those eyes give you away. You're not as strong as you appear. I see the way you feel, I see the sadness, I see this isn't what you want. Is it the attention you seek?
The storytellers tears run hot down her face.
The story teller writhes in pain and quiet loss. The stranger's face empathically fills with pain.
Then what is it you want?
Silence fills the all but empty room.
Every emotion imaginable swirls into a dense mixture, like a storm cloud, which hangs low to ground.
The silence lasts for a few minutes as tears fall.
At last the story tellers looks up the meet the strangers eyes.
I want to be me and want that to be enough.