Anyone who ever kissed in the rain…

Claudia Lucia McKinney - Tutt'Art@ (14)

What’s beyond sadness? she asked me in a pure, innocent voice, almost childlike.

And all I could do was to apologize again and again, in thousand ways. Too little and too late, no matter how hard I tried.

You don’t know what’s beyond sadness, but you still try to cure me?

Oh, I’m no healer, I heard myself saying. I’m just…

You’re just trying to save yourself, Princess?

So I just stood still, quiet and humble, praying that, this time, I’ll be able to really listen.

You apologized for the words you did not listen. For the cuts you did not see. For the prayers you did not say. For the demons you did not fought. Princess, you apologized for things you did not need to apologize, for they were meant to be. 

So now we’re beyond apologies and you are beyond sadness. 


No…not this time. See, you cannot imagine my inner world, but I lived in yours. I walked on the same paths, I tasted the same sweetness, I met the same demons. Do you want to talk about The Shadow?


Princess! This is the first time in years when you are honest with me! Was it worthy…the facade? All the walls and the masks? You love him…

No. I’m not…

Nonsense! Stop hiding behind that notebook of yours, where you write all my answers! Stop it! Two worlds, two souls…one love! One cursed love! He thinks you’re a ghost, you believe he’s a vision! One wrong step and both of your worlds will be destroyed…

Ellie…were you ever in love?

Well, silly girl…ask me if I ever kissed him in the rain…

Ask me if my heart ever grew wings to fly back in time, to keep his memory alive…

Ask me if I ever died for his love…

And you’ll know the answer. Because anyone who ever kissed in the rain knows what’s beyond sadness…

Only you pretend to forget…

But that’s okay and you are forgiven…it’s hard to see through walls…even harder to be a prisoner of your rigid rules about love…

Thank you for talking to me, Ellie.

I would like to visit you from time to time. I’m free…even if they locked me in this psychiatric ward…you’re sad, even if they gave you all the reasons to be happy. Life’s not fair, is it?

(fragment from a real dialogue)



I found the picture at:

Some of them want to use you…

lunatik-710x400The boy took off his mask, as he sat quietly on the edge of the roof, so I was able to take a closer look into his deep brown eyes. His fingers, still holding his mask, were trembling…I took the chance to hold his hand, just like I was already holding his heart – oh, little struggling bird – why do we always chose distance from closeness? Anger from vulnerability…

The boy was sad enough to be honest. The demon mask wasn’t going to protect him, not when loneliness settles in, still, he wouldn’t let it go. His darkness was made of fear, so how do I break the walls without breaking his heart? The answer came quickly, simple and wise.

“Show me the place where you met The Shadow. I need to see it.”

This took me by surprise. Oh, what a foolish thought, to believe I’m in control. Is it my own vulnerability the only guarantee he needs? Will it make him feel safe enough to try…to be human again? There was only one way…

At the distance of a memory, there’s the green field where my heart found love. Here we are, it’s me now, the one trembling. I’m scared of my memories, I’m scared of missing the arms that held me, I want to run away and I want to stay, to hold this boy’s hand, to help him cross the line. Do I still know the way back from this world of shadows, demons and lost souls?

“I needed to see the place, to feel its beauty. This is Love, vibrating in every petal of every flower. It’s you, in every gentle ray of light…”

It’s me without the one I loved so much. I thought I’m just an empty shell that God, in His mercy, filled with faith, hope and a love we call supreme. I was wrong…all my definition about myself are pale and inconsistent, dancing capriciously on the edge of madness. I’m ready to give in…

“Give me your heart, it’s all I need…and I promise…my demon mask will be lost forever. I need the peace I’m sensing within you! You lured me into your marvelous territory, so now I’m an addict. I want what I see in you. I want to devour your serenity, to bathe in your restfulness splendor.”

I see the light in his eyes and I smile. He’s nothing but a child…just like me, just like every lost soul that crossed the line in a desperate search of love.

“I cannot give you my heart, for it doesn’t belong to me, not anymore. And I cannot give you peace. Simply because, what you sensed in me is nothing but the purest reflection of the peace I sensed in you…”

“But this place…your place?”

“You created it, to embrace your own serenity. See, you may not feel ready to cross the line back to the real world, but your heart has already made the step.”

He gave me his demon mask.

“Here it is, use it wisely. You’ll need it because here, more than in real life, some of them will try to use you. To cling to you, to bite the very core of your faith, to imprison your dreams…For they are nothing but hungry for a love they rejected long ago. Please use it while I find my way back to humanity.”

I hugged him tight, wishing him all the love in the world.

Alone, in the place where I met The Shadow, with a heart that loved too much to survive the storm, I threw away the demon mask. Way into the abyss!

For one thing is sure…

As long as I have my angel wings, even broken, even hurt, even lost or misguided…

…this is the only shelter I’ll ever need.



I found the image at:


Blessed be the ones seeking for peace!

7178222_orig-If peace is what you’re seeking, you’re in the worst place possible! So say the words, tell me, once again, how I broke your heart!”

“You never broke my heart, I need you to know this. It was already broken when I met you, beyond repair, beyond second chances. I…”

-Are you done? Is it over? What’s wrong with you, that you’re always punishing yourself, instead of simply moving on? Why do you think I left you? Do you ever ask yourself why?

“Because you got bored, I guess. What seemed to be an innocent game turned into tragedy and resentment. You left when I stopped idolizing you.”

-I left because my simple presence seemed to hurt you. I loved you, but I can’t live my life walking on egg shells with you! I am not your super-hero, I am not all mighty. I cannot heal a lifetime of hurt!

“You are just a shadow. And even now, you’re still hiding your eyes. Are you afraid of me?”

-Yes. You are self-destructive and you don’t value your own life. You’re chasing me, hunting me! You repeat words that hurt me! I destroyed you, I get it, I’m a scum bag, I’m a bastard. I never deserved your love. Happy now? Do you feel revenged?

“I’m not here to get my revenge, God will take care of this for me…I’m here…”


“To forgive you and to set you free. You don’t have to hide anymore. Find the light, walk in the sun, be more than a cheater and a liar. More than a coward.”

He came one step closer and I saw him shaking so violently that I was afraid he might break in pieces. His fragility had something repulsive and frightening at the same time.

-Do you want to see? Is that what you came for? To see my eyes? The real me? 

And I couldn’t resist the temptation. To actually see the eyes of the man I called “shadow” all this time.

I did it. I looked at him.

Some things are not meant to be seen or understood. Some stories are not meant to be told. Some love letters better be burned into eternal flames! For what I saw was not a man. Was not a shadow.

I loved a demon. And he loved me back.

Tears fell on the piece of paper where she wrote one final chapter of her story. Is this how it ends? But she couldn’t answer. Her mind was already lost, chasing voices, dancing with fears and nightmares, crossing the silver bridge, becoming a shadow herself.

And me…and my story…my love and my revenge…my forgiveness and my redemption…

God will take care of them all. For He is my peace…




All credits for the image to–reflections.html




What’s a life worth?

light-in-darkA stranger among us! one shouted and they gathered around me. Wild and restless, with fire in their eyes, they’re more than shadows. The essence of everything we hide, the projection of every restrained reaction, the purest form of dark, set free in a hopeless attempt to feel alive. And once you cross the bridge, you’re there, in their world.

She’s here to find rest! one laughed, knowing for sure that the path is rocky, the road is twisted and the voice is wicked. I cannot lie nor hide that I’m here for a reason and this reason is stronger than my survival instinct. Because one of them holds the key to my tormented heart. I need it back so that I can fix my brokenness.

She has the eyes of a child! one whispered and they all remained silent. Innocence, what a sweet, old fashioned notion! What a powerful weapon in the face of bitterness. It was my shield and my armor when he made the walls crumble down. The one thing that shadows cannot touch, because its essence is divine.

-Don’t listen to them, just give me your hand and rest for a while, here in my arms.

And the shadows disappeared. He told me to imagine a perfect world and he created it for me. Stars in the sky and the gentle touch of the ocean on my bare feet. A gentle wind through my hair and a pure, golden light that never harms my teary eyes.

I can make it last for ever. Our dance, our embrace, our love, I can make them eternal.

But there’s always a price when it comes to illusions. My life, my world, my values and my faith. My soul…

-You’re holding on to invisible things, believing in unreachable powers. Yet we’re real. So tell me, who’s the shadow? Aren’t you tired to feel so invisible? What’s a life worth when you dream of warmth in a frozen world?

I suddenly remember my reason. “Give me back the key, please. I need to dream again. I want to love again.”

It’s dark around us and the shadows are back to haunt me. Repeating obsessively the same words, mocking and insulting the things I believe in. Stealing little pieces of light and smashing them into the river of fire. What’s a life worth? What’s your life worth? That you cannot give away? and they shout, they scream, they yaw.

-If I give you the key, will you give away your life? A small price for feeling whole again.

And right there, looking in this yellowed eyes demon, I knew the answer.

I was whole all this time, I was complete. I wandered in dark places, holding the key right in my hands. I thought life’s cruel just because love wasn’t given to me on a silver plate. I fought the wrong battle. Against myself.

Forgive me, Lord, for I didn’t know what I was doing. Betrayed by my own pride, harmed by my own ego, I almost forgot. There’s no human measure for what’s a life’s worth. There’s no human value for a soul. 

Because every life and every soul is worth the paradise itself.



NOTE: I included this post in the “Ellie – the untold story” category because it was part of a dialogue I had with her. The conclusion, thought, was added out of therapeutic purposes.

To take her crown…

In other circumstances I would have notice his black curled hair and the deep brown eyes, his determination and strength, his calm and still firm tone of voice, a voice made to sing rock ballads under starry skies. Not now. Now he’s just a police officer and my eyes are blurry from tears. I’m not being interrogated, they just need me to remember every little detail.

Because Ellie is missing and her final note was addressed to me.

“They said I’m sick, they said I need help. But their normality has no poetry, no castles, no dragons. princesses and heroes. Their reality has no sparks and no adventure. Why would I stay here? Maybe they’re the sick ones, maybe I just awoke to a brand new world: my own. I’m leaving, Princess. You know where to find me, but ssshhhttt…don’t tell them! I’ll be waiting.”

5 years ago

The beautiful woman in front of me seemed like descending from a royal family. Long, elegant fingers holding the cup of tea with a certain elegance. She had a light in her blue eyes, a serenity and still a sadness, the nostalgia of a lost crown…

I just had finished reading the manuscript, a story that kept building itself. A story that came to haunt her. Characters that came to life in her nightmares, talking to her, calling her, asking her to join them in the world of shadows.

Her hands were trembling and she spilled a little tea. I saw her blushing and I hear her apologizing, like she would have comitted a crime. And I was thinking that the only crime is the lack of love in her life.

“It’s because of the medicines they prescribed for my…psychosis. Because I told them that I see shadows and I talk to them. And because of this book I wrote, a cursed book…it has spells on it and…”

She broke into tears.

“What do we need to do, to break the spell, Ellie? How can I help you?”

“The book has no end…writing an end it will break the curse and end the spell. I need your help in writing the end. Please, Princess, will you help me?”

“You call me Princess, why is this?”

She smiled through tears, a childlike smile, like she was bot surprised and happy that I’m finally asking the question.

“I call you Princess because that’s what you are. In the kingdom of feelings and emotions, in your kingdom, you are the kindest princess I ever met. And in my book, you’re also a warrior.”

“What am I fighting for?”

“For your soul, of course. See, once you cross the bridge, once you meet The Shadow, your life becomes a battle after another. You lose sometimes, but you never surrender. You endanger yourself and, sometimes, your loved ones, but you’ll protect them beyond life itself. I gave you powers in these pages, beyond what you ever imagined. But wait…”

“So, am I fighting a shadow? Are we?”

“There’s a charm in being so silly, isn’t it, Princess? You love The Shadow, you love him even in his darkest moments. But the only real danger comes when he starts loving you back. You’ll forget, sometimes, what world you belong to.”

“How do I get to his world? Maybe finding him would help me setting you free and writing an ending to your book.”

“The magic mirror. This one!”

“My laptop?”

“Use it wisely, or you’ll get trapped inside it. Or better not. Forget everything I told you, okay Princess? Don’t fulfill my predictions! Swear to me you’ll never go there, you’ll never find him. Swear!”

And I swore, convinced that the medicines will help her get some rest. Convinced that I just witnessed a hallucinating story produced by her illness. I visited her, from time to time, writing my observations in “the magic mirror” meaning my laptop. I was not her therapist, not her psychiatrist, but the only friend she still had. The only family, until she was too weak to get up and tell her story.

The officer had an ironic smile.

“Well, not too weak to fool the nurses and run away. Let us know immediately if she contacts you.”

In other circumstances I would have notice the way he touched my shoulder, leading me to the door. But in this story, there are no princesses and no heroes. Just a missing queen, searching for her lost crown.



Note: In the category “Ellie, the untold story” the names, ages and locations are modified to protect the protagonists.

Note and update: Ellie was found a few hours later. She is safe.

Will you love me ’till the end?

Here we are again, laying on the green, fresh grass, our fingers crossed, our eyes gazed at the blue skies above us. I’m smiling to the fluffy clouds and the sun, the moon with all the stars are smiling back at me…

-I never gave up on you, I kept my promise to wait and I kept you and our love untouched…

I turn to him and I read it in his eyes…He’s honest. He needs to say these words and all I want from him is to keep this beautiful silence. I’m guilty and my guilt has no music, no sound, no rhythm.

-We are meant to be and, no matter how hard you try to deny it, what’s meant to be, will come true in the end. You are my mate, my one and only, from all the human beings ever born into this world. My eternity will be with you.

He drew this perfect picture for me unaware of the fact that I’m not staying. His world will never be my world. It’s a question of faith, a question of destiny. But it feels so peaceful, so safe to just lay here with him and I just wish to hear the passing of the fluffy clouds…

-You come to me when the world you call “real” is tiring your soul. You come here broken, full of painful memories. You run to me every time he pushes you away. But, beloved,…you call me “shadow” when you’re my only reality. And I need you, I can’t breath without you, I wont live without you.

I do it, yes…where else would I go? It’s cold outside, it’s dark and it’s lonely. I didn’t break any promise either, I just crossed a very thin line. He talk about love but…what does he know? Love left me broken, with scars and insecurities. Love blinded and wounded me. No more…

-I pray for the truth to be revealed. For you to look back and to decide where you truly belong. For him to wake up one day without finding you there, in his bed. For us…to embrace, to welcome the end together. My faith guided you to me, back to me. Please, don’t let your faith drive you away…

“I have to go” I whisper and he knows I’m leaving him again. For as long as God allows me to stay strong. Without falling apart…I will come back, I promise we’ll face the end together. The end of Love…

Because there, where he belongs, there’s no light in the darkness. And shadows are dancing on the rhythm of their lost love.

He wants this dance and he dreams of endless nights of passion. He loves me because I’m his only reality. He needs me to be fragile, he needs me to depend on him. I do…from time to time…

“Will you love me ’till the end?”

“The end is so far away, honey, it’s hard to…What’s that? I swear I just saw a shadow near you. And now it’s gone…weird…Anyway, what were you saying?”

“Nothing, really…Nothing.”



I’m burning down my shadows…

You saw yourself through my eyes and you loved it…that image of a strong, loving, bright, handsome man. You saw the hero in you…and you wanted more with every moment…

I was always afraid, you know? Afraid that I’ll say the wrong things, afraid that I’m not good enough. I was wrong. It wasn’t about me, not a single moment. It was all about the fragility of our love. A castle build on quicksand…

And you were honest from the very beginning. “I need to be needed.” I ignored your words, just like I ignored everything that didn’t fit on my perfect picture of the perfect love…

A hopeless love. Falling in and falling out our own fantasies. I needed you, just like you wanted…But our precious moments faded into banality and the fantasy was broken. And it broke my heart along with it.

Please remember our last moment. Please…don’t ever forget what tore us apart. I need you to remember while I need to forget. The touch of your cold hand and your eyes…hungrily searching deep into my soul…and you found…nothing.

“Where once was love, now is just an empty place. And I don’t know what to do. Please, help me…” -my words-

(love me…

hold me…

tell me that you really care…

want me…

fight for us!)

But you just looked away.

And I gave up on us.

“WOW. No faith. Absolutely no faith at all.” -your words-

And these words exactly killed the remains of our broken fantasy. Along with my heart. You know…you had every right to blame me. I took away my love. I asked for more when you thought you gave me all of you (you were wrong). I wanted to be about us…more than about you. You had every right to blame me…

But…you had NO RIGHT to talk about faith. Something so precious…on your lips it sounded like a blasphemy. And I blame you for that.

So I took my murdered love along with the faith you claimed you never witnessed in me.

I raised my head and I walked in dignity.

And you desperately followed me. You turned my head so you would look into my eyes for one last time. And you thought (how naive) you’ll see The hero. The savior. The powerful. The wise, strong, handsome and bright.

Oh no…not this time.

This time we’ll face reality, my love. Look. Come on, I dare you. Look deep. See who you are. Face the truth,

my beloved Shadow.

P.S. You’ll never read this letter and I couldn’t care less. I’m burning these memories and I’m facing the light. Be well and be careful…another shadow may need you to need it…

Chasing illusions that you’re longing for…

Her eyes were lost somewhere, far away…in a world I couldn’t see. Not anymore. Her trembling hands were cold, too cold. Too pale.

“She’s already gone…that’s why we called you. Her last words were “Call the princess. Tell her to bring the magic mirror” and then she entered in this catatonic state…We’re losing her. So we thought…considering the connection between you two…”

Sister Isabel was almost crying. I knew how she cares for Eleanor…and the guilt kept growing inside my heart, like a huge shadow. I encouraged her to tell me the story…and now she’s trapped in the same story she created so beautifully…

A story where I’m The Princess…in love with The Shadow. A story of passion. He wants me so he destroys me. He speaks of eternity and serenity and faith but he creates wars inside me. So I fight. The rebel in me finally awakens and I come back home. A hero. A brokenhearted hero…

-I’m here, Eleanor…can you feel me holding your hand?


Was it real or was it just my imagination?

-How do you feel? Sister Isabel told me you don’t want to eat…we’re all so worried…Eleanor…

Magic. Mirror.

That’s how she named my laptop. In a world where technology brings us closer…she felt alienated. She felt unsafe. Knowing that a window to another world can open anytime…

-It’s only me and I miss your stories. I miss your poems. I miss you. We all do…

Shadows. Are. You. Real? Real? Real?

The nurse tells me that she needs rest and she hears. I see tears on her face and it makes my heart ache. She repeats the echos in her mind.


-We’re all real and we all care for you. You are safe. Sister Isabel watched over you every day and I came as soon as she called me. Please tell me how can I help.

Her body suddenly stiffens and I see her fighting. I see her trying to stand. I hear her voice, weakened but still strong.

I had to cross the bridge, Princess. I had to meet the Shadow. I looked into his dark, cold eyes. He looked back and now my soul is frozen. And I’m back but I’m not back. I’m here and I’m there. And he wants you to know. He wants you to feel. You belong to him. We are all shadows…

She shakes her head so violently and her voice is unrecognizable.

No, don’t bring me back. I want to be where silence is stronger than pain. Princess…when you chase your illusions, he knows what you’re really longing for…

To believe the lies and to fall into the deception. And it’s only natural for the shadow that you are. But don’t…We need you to rise. For LOVE.

More of Eleanor’s stories:


Remember me to the one who lives there…

She hugged me so tight, whispering in my ear “I’m so proud of you!” and I had to remember…

…that when you’re visiting someone’s inner world, you need to show kindness and gentleness. And Eleanor’s inner world was full of colors, legends, curses. A former literature teacher who got lost into her own stories…The writer trapped into her own fantasy novel.

She hesitantly took a sit next to me, smiling gloriously…

-I’m so proud of you, Princess! Look at you! Your eyes have that light again!

I’m smiling at her and she’s still holding my hand. I try to sound playful, but I feel sad, for no reason…”What have I done to make you proud?”

-I like when you’re joking like that, Princess! What have you done…you broke the magic mirror…you broke the spell…The Shadow…ssshhhhtttt…he doesn’t own your soul anymore!

My laptop…I forgot it at home. That’s what she calls “magic mirror”. She speaks so fast, words flying from her lips like birds flying to their freedom.

-Please tell me everything! About The Shadow…but speak in a low voice…

I can feel her loneliness and the pain is almost physical. I lower my voice “You know how I always need your help with this…”

-Yes, Princess, you forget the details! Luckily they’re locked in here (pointing to her heart) and here (her head). Remember when you came to me with the magic mirror? (I nod) And I told you about the curse…The Shadow makes you fall in love so you’d give away your soul…It was already too late for you, Princess! You were already in love. I saw it in your eyes, I saw your heart teared apart between your prince and The Shadow…

I’m looking down “You told me that my soul is already lost.”

-I did and I was right. You were half here, half there…So, seeing you today, with this light in your eyes…How did you escaped? Was it your prince the one who came looking for you? Did he broke the spell? But more important, Princess…is The Shadow forever gone? Are we safe?

I feel like crying…the true story…that no one knows…

My prince never came after me…so, when I found myself lost and lonely, The Shadow was my only friend. We promised each other eternal love. We said our vows. He made me feel beautiful, even in tears. He called me “soul mate” and I took him with me in every step, in every battle, in every joy…But…he was just a shadow so nothing was real…NOTHING. And I came back by myself. I wasn’t running, I wasn’t walking proudly…I was crawling back to real life…

-Princess? Princess! Why are you so quiet…Are we safe? Are we? Oh MY GOD! Tell me we’re safe!

“We are safe, please don’t worry, I’m just a little tired. Why don’t you show me your newest writings?”

She knows and she pretends she’s tired too. I assure her once again that we are safe.


We’re never truly safe. We’re walking through shadows, falling for ghosts, playing with our own hearts. It only takes one step, one word, one broken heart, one faithless moment…

for him to remember me.

P.S. More about Eleanor and her beautiful metaphors

That’s how you reshape destiny…

The dark will never set her free…

Do you believe in curses? 

I looked at her without a single word. She had a story to tell and so many shadows to overcome. And sometimes, the best way of helping someone, is to listen, really listen to its story. And to ease their way to the light beyond the dark…

She was a young girl searching for her prince, like every girl does, like every girl dreams. Only that her heart was a diamond. Beautiful, very precious and untouchable. With so many faces, all shining differently in the sweet golden light of the summer’s evenings…

She didn’t knew that the mirror was cursed. How would she know? She only knew that this mirror he found in the dark forest was reflecting her most beautiful face. She was always smiling in the mirror. Always dancing. Always telling her secrets…

Did it ever happen to you? To love someone with all your heart even if you have no chance, no real chance to ever feel his arms around you? 

It did, yes. But tell me more about her.

So you know how it feels. She only wanted to feel loved. A diamond, no matter how beautiful it is, it’s still a lonely stone. She wanted more. She needed to be more. And one night she broke into tears, tired of feeling so lost, so isolated, so alone. And in her desperation, she smashed the mirror against the floor.

He was just a shadow and she knew. But she still danced with him. She still chose him. And he took her hand and leaded her to the dark forest. Do you believe in curses?

I believe she felt cursed. I can only imagine the pain and sadness of falling in love with a shadow. Especially a shadow created by a broken mirror…Did she ever came back from the woods?

Oh, she did…But the light in her remained there. The dark will never set her free. And now she’s passing her curse to the next girl searching for a prince. Beware of your mirror…

My mirror? Oh, this is my laptop…see? Here is where I write this story you’re telling me. And people from different parts of the world can read.

You tell your secrets to the cursed mirror. You sing and smile in front of it. There’s no way out now…you’ll never reshape the destiny. The shadow is waiting for you, to lead you into the dark.

I gently took her hand. The tears in her eyes resembled to little diamonds.

It’s alright, I think I know how to reshape destiny…


I closed my laptop. She was shaking her head.

You have a dream in your soul. That’s the key.  And you’ll reshape destiny…because shadows appear only in the pale light of a broken dream. 

I thanked her and, for the first time, I realized how deep and profound was her loneliness. I asked her if she would want me to visit her at the hospital. She smiled for the first time.

And one more thing…Don’t ever turn your heart into a lonely, untouchable stone, no matter how beautiful it seems…