The only one he let inside

They laughed so hard that everyone turned their heads to see us. I was sad that day and their laugh was the last thing I needed…

-So, you’re really doing it! You’re going to teach to those students! Cre-a-ti-vi-ty! To those people! You know what you’re getting yourself in, right? Right?

-Well…

-She doesn’t know! Oh my…so they tricked you! No one wants that class! And especially about creativity…I think they’re creative enough!

I look at my colleagues, they were still laughing while I was getting blusher and blusher…

-Look, Claudia…we hope you’re letting us assist you…it will be the funniest moment of the week. Remember: don’t speak with the blonde one. Yeah, the one that looks so angelic…

Another ten minutes and I found out about my future students. The ones that everyone avoided. My practice included teaching to various age categories. Now I was going to teach at 23-25 years old students. I was 21 back then. That group of students were exceptionally challenging for…someone like me. Two of them were autistic, one was a former convict, and the blonde one…

He, with his angelic look…he was schizophrenic. Paranoid schizophrenia. And sometimes, when he refused medication, it was difficult to relate with him. And this was an understatement, as I was going to find out on my own.

So, there I was, scared but surprisingly encouraged by their smiles. Yes, I did the old trick…I admitted to them, before starting the class, that I’m nervous…That I really want to create the best impression and that I need them to cope…

And they did! They responded to every creative technique I was presenting. Till one moment…

-So, the next one, is a question with open responses. There is no right or wrong, everything you can think of…just let it flow…then, please read it to us!

The blonde one was the first to raise his hand. He was absent so far, but now…everyone’s eyes were on me…I asked him to read his answers.

-You ask: what would you do if you would be God for one day? I answer: I would kill my parents, I would kill them (pointing at his colleagues), I would torture and kill them (pointing at my colleagues assisting the class and laughing) and then I would kill myself!

I stopped breathing for a second. Everyone froze. Then I looked in his light-blue eyes. And I used a calm, sweet voice, like talking to a scared child.

-Thank you. I think you were very honest and that’s a rare quality. Don’t you think the same, guys?

The class approved silently.

At the and, I asked them to write a little note with their feed back. Everyone wrote the nicest things I ever read about myself. I was in tears reading…

He came closer.

-I made this for you.

It was a drawing. A portrait. My portrait. I recognized the long blonde hair and the green eyes. But tears? I was smiling all the time during the class…

I tried to took the drawing and he grabbed my hand, holding it tight. His eyes were like two blue blades, looking deep in my eyes. He spoke the words with difficulty…like he was trying to fight them back.

You. I let you inside…tears…oceans of tears. A smile is a mask. People wont see it. I am who I am and I can’t change it. Your mask…is falling. Don’t cry. World doesn’t need us, heroes. Go away now…I can’t stop it anymore.

He almost pushed me. I left and tried to forget. Days, months, years…and here I am. Building a bridge over my ocean of tears. Taking off my masks and learning to be a hero. Not for the world…but for my own destiny.

When you’re too in love to let it go

You broke it…

I was starring at the little pieces of red glass on the floor, the remains of (what it was supposed to be) his heart, a trophy he won at a competition. We were both around 12, on our way to a wonderful vacation by the sea.

-You played with my heart and you broke it!

-I didn’t…it just slipped through my fingers. Your heart was…slippery…

-My heart was perfect! And now it’s broken. I knew I shouldn’t give you my heart! I knew! Why have you asked for it if you knew you can’t take care of it?

-I’ll fix it…I’ll get a special glue and I’ll put the pieces back together again…

-You’re so stupid! There is no such thing as a special glue…I can’t believe I gave it to you!

The guilt overcame my anger so I spoke in a very soft voice…

-I’m not stupid…

-Yes, you are! And spoiled too! It was precious, you know? And unique…

-Look, I would give you my heart, but…

-But you don’t have a heart, right? That’s why you wanted mine! And I told you to be careful, because it’s a precious heart! But nooo…you played with it and now it’s broken!

-It slipped…

I was almost crying.

-And I hope you’ll never win any heart! And you’ll never touch anyone’s heart! And if you’ll ever have yours, I hope someone will play with it till he gets bored and then he’ll smash it to the ground!

I started to cry desperately, covering my face so he wont see my tears. He stood there for a while, cursing and talking to himself. Then he looked at me and something changed in him. He came closer.

-I’m sorry I called you stupid and spoiled.

I was too sad to answer, but the change took me by surprise and touched me in a way I never knew it’s possible. So I cried harder.

-Don’t cry, it’s alright…it was just a stupid heart. Not important…a girly thing, I didn’t even liked it…

-No…it was beautiful and precious. I’m so sorry…I…I really didn’t wanted…

-Look, if you want it…even if it’s broken…

-Will you give it to me? All the little pieces?

-Yes, silly! All the little pieces. Who knows, maybe you’ll really find that special glue…

So I wandered through the deep dark paths of this labyrinth, searching for it. And I fixed every broken heart I’ve met on my way. And I lost mine on the process…

But the little red pieces are still shining. Even if, when I try to touch them, they cut through my skin, leaving me bleeding…I’m still putting them back together, praying for a miracle.

Tonight eternity’s an open door

-Going to the underground is anything but safe… 

I looked back a little anxious but his calm and gentle voice and the deep blue in his eyes were enough to reassure me that I’m safe. He had blonde hair and a white shirt. And the friendliest smile I ever saw. I smiled back.

-I never liked it either, but I’m meeting a few friends. Actually, my friend Anna asked me to meet her here, she said something about a journey…

-Well, Claudia…then you’re in the wrong place. Here is the end of the line. But, of course, it’s all about your choice. Your free choice.

-It can’t be. Anna told me…Wait! You know my name! How…

I heard Anna’s voice and I ran to hug her. I looked back for a moment, he was gone.

-Anna, you look great! Like you’re 20 all over again!

-I feel like I’m 20! And you…you look terrified. What happen?

Anna’s bright smile calmed me immediately.  I knew I sound crazy, but I told her anyway.

-It was a guy, right there, now he’s gone. And he knew my name, I freaked out…

She started to laugh.

-Ohhh…sweetie, now you’re acting like you’re 20! You know how guys are…Just ignore him, he must be another idiot hanging around here. Okay, time to go. I’ll introduce you to my friends once we get in that train. Go, get your ticket, we only have two minutes left!

As I was waiting to buy my ticket, I noticed that my wallet was missing.

-How embarrassing, it looks like I forgot my money. I’m so sorry, Anna…

-No worries, I’ll buy you a ticket.

A strange man with a very serious voice stopped us. He was tall and looked very old.

-What are you doing? You cannot buy her a ticket, it’s against the rules. She’s not supposed to…and you know it.

Anna interrupted him. I was surprised to see her acting so impolite.

-Damn…then I’ll give her my ticket. We’ll switch places.

-Are you out of your mind?

The old man was shouting at her.

-She’s not supposed to get into that train. She doesn’t have a ticket. Stop trying to break the law. It’s not her turn.

-No, it’s not. It wasn’t mine either, was it?!

I felt a cold shiver. The train was coming, a bright light and the doors were open.

-Anna, I…

-Just listen to me. You can still come with us…you just jump when he doesn’t look…

-I don’t know, Anna, I don’t feel like going anymore…and it’s so cold in here…

-Don’t be like that…we’re friends, right? We’re going to a party. Remember, you called me because you were feeling so lonely and no one cared for you. I care. My friends too…Just jump, don’t look down and jump. No one will miss you anyway! You can’t go home, there’s no way back from here.

Tears were rolling down my face and I suddenly realized.

-I don’t want to leave. I want to stay and find my way out of the darkness. This is my free choice.

The train vanished.

-You’re safe now, it’s alright.

I found myself in his arms, crying like never before.

-I’m so sorry, I shouldn’t had…I’m so terribly sorry…

-Hey…don’t cry…you’ll be alright. People are waiting for you at home. They miss you so much…here is nothing for you. Go back.

-And you…you…will I ever see you again?

He smiled, wiping away my tears.

-I’ll be waiting for you on the other side…

-Shhhtthhh…it’s just a nightmare…

I didn’t recognized him first. He looked scared, telling me he thought I’m dead, seeing me so pale, so cold and barely breathing. I tried to make a joke, but started to cry.

-It’s over, you just had a bad dream. You dreamed Anna again, right?

-Yes…she was alive in my dream. I can’t…

-I know it’s hard to accept…her suicide made no sense.

He was wrong. Every action makes sense, every choice has consequences. Eternal life or eternal guilt. An eternity of love or a journey in the darkness. My free choice. Yours too. Choose wisely and always stay IN love.

And never forget to say a prayer for those who never made it back home…

 

 

 

Love will heal our hearts

I decided that love is beautiful…

I smiled at her, remembering the tears, the long sleepless nights, the dark thoughts. She had that light in her eyes…I took her hand. “I think that’s a wise decision”. She laughed.

And you know, I didn’t wanted to see. It was there, all this time! I mean, how silly was I…to imagine that true love must hurt, other wise is not true. But it wasn’t the hurt or the pain what I was longing for…it was passion. 

I nodded. Passion? Or love?

Is it a matter of choice? Like love is pure and passion is impure? No…I wont fall in this trap again! There is more than black or white…much more! I used to think like that, like there’s only one right choice…remember where it led me this kind of thinking?

Her eyes are bright from the tears. She shows me the marks on her hands.

See? See how stupid I was? Permanent scars…Anyway, that was long ago…

I gently touched her trembling hands. “It was long ago, but it still hurts.”

No! I’m happy! I’m in love…I don’t feel guilty this time…Damn…it hurts! Why? I want a love that wont ever hurt. Happy tears, only happy tears.

She wipes away her tears, forcing herself to smile.

She’s braver than she knows. More beautiful than she sees herself.

She’s an imaginary character, but “she” can be any one of us. Or, maybe, a little voice inside our minds, telling us how “it should” or “it shouldn’t” be love. Accompanied by guilt, pressure and fears. What’s beyond them? Who are we when all the lights are fading into the darkness?

May it be love in our souls…so that our hearts could heal.

Smile into the fear

I saw her again today. Twenty years…but those eyes are unforgettable. The eyes of a predator lurking for a prey. Small eyes, slippery like oil, with the color of dark green water. She looked tired and sad and, normally, I would go to her to say hi…because I know how a smile and a good word can change someone’s day in better. Still, the same old feeling…So, here’s the story.

Z. was my mother’s best friend, so she used to spend a lot of time in our home. her stories were always about guys and how they’re all so inferior and she can’t find a normal decent one…I didn’t quite understood, but my mother seemed to care about her.

I was six when my parents took me to a swimming pool where I was supposed to learn how to swim. The swimming instructor was Z., well, unofficially, but my parents trusted her. I remember standing at the edge of the swimming pool, holding hands in a perfect line: me, Z. and two other girls. Then it happen. The moment when she took my hand in her, I had a cold sensation. And a vision: dark water.

I knew right then that I wont jump. I knew I’ll have the strength to stand, even when an adult and two other children were pulling me into the water. So I did stand. Was it fear? Was it something deeper?

Ten years later, Z. became “a healer”. A spiritual healer. It sounds strange, but in a post-communist society, people were naive enough (and curious enough) to follow and accept the things that seemed beyond normality. My family did, at least.

So, back then, it wasn’t so strange to accept that our home needs a “purifying process”. Still, when Z. started to pronounce her incantations, the same cold sensation made me aware that the “purifying” ritual has nothing pure in it. So I stepped out and told her that what she’s doing has nothing to do with God and our faith. I never told her (or anyone else) about the vision I had. Dark eyes. That’s what I saw in my mind…

I rushed to my room, trying to escape the unsettling feeling. She followed me.

-You’re always so afraid, aren’t you? Look at you, you’re trembling? That’s exactly why we need to continue…

-NO!

-Well, then I’ll leave. But…just know…these fears of yours come from the evil. What will you do with them? Without my help…

I slammed the door and she never came back. At least, not in my presence.

Tears of frustration were running down my cheeks. What will I do with my fears. Back then I didn’t knew what to say. Now, twenty years later, I guess I have my answer.

I will use them wisely. And always follow my inner voice. And my faith.