PrettySubmitted by FALLEN at 2011-01-12 13:03:05 EST
Rating: 1.67 on 14 ratings (14 reviews) (Review this item) (V)
Call Waiting: http://www.ubersite.com/m/125668
Losing My Religion: http://www.ubersite.com/m/125832
Like A Moth To A Flame: http://www.ubersite.com/m/125948
What Dreams may Come: http://www.ubersite.com/m/126851
It’s been a few months since that day I hit him. He didn’t deserve it honestly; I was angry and confused, and so frustrated. These days it seems like all I do is hurt those that are closest to me. He only wanted to help me but why would it be any different with my guardian angel?
I have always seen and spoke to my guardian. For as long as I can remember he was there. It was a pretty unique thing for him as well, he said only two other humans ever saw and conversed with him as I do.
Or did, I should probably say. After letting my anger get the better of me he’s been gone ever since that night.
Alone now more than ever I spend most of my days trying to sort all the things that happened over the past year. I've found losing myself in thought on long walks in the park each day brought me some small amount of relief.
I find a quiet bench to sit on near a large Maple tree. Under its canopy of red and yellow leaves I look back on how I got here.
I was always the one that everyone turned to in their time of need. I was their rock; I was their shoulder to cry on. I felt like it was my place in this world, to be there when people needed someone. For years that responsibility gave me comfort; it gave a purpose to my existence.
I never had that kind of support when I had a problem of my own. Turning to my friends when I needed help would break that illusion of strength they had. As if showing that I could hurt too would make me less able to help them.
So typical, always thinking about everyone else first.
Its how I’ve always been, I guess.
Things change, life happens and priorities shift. After seeing so much hurt, I guess I hardened up. I became cynical and angry at why things were what they were. What was the purpose for all the sadness I saw? I had enough. I screamed, I begged, I pleaded that I wanted to write my own destiny. I didn’t want to be part of some unknown plan for creation, I wanted free will.
Sometimes prayers get answered.
My life was in my hands for the first time. I could feel that my actions counted and that I was in control of my future. I was living for myself for the first time in my life.
And I ruined it.
I sat there for a long time, my eyes carrying the blank, distant stare they have had for a while now. Lost in my own head, I didn’t hear him approach until he was a few feet away. The crunch of his footsteps on the fallen leaves went unnoticed; it was only when he spoke did I snap back to reality.
“Was she pretty?”
My eyes turned towards the voice and the old man from which they came. He was short, in his eighties I would guess by the grey hair. He wore brown corduroys higher than his actual waist in true old man fashion. A blue flannel shirt, light grey jacket, a flat cap completed his look. I half expected a grand child or two in tow with him but he was alone.
“I said was she pretty?” repeating himself. All I could offer in reply was a dazed look on my face.
He took the rolled up newspaper in his right hand and smacked me on the side of my leg.
“C’mon slide over, give an old man some room.”
I did as he asked and he settled on the bench with a slight groan as the stress in his old legs dissipated.
“Listen kiddo, I’ve been around for a long time, and there’s only one thing that can bring that look you’re wearing to a man’s face, and that’s a woman…..”
His voice was old yet still strong. It was calming to hear. I thought I could pick out a faint accent, Jewish? Middle Eastern? I didn’t know, I couldn’t quite place it.
But he was right.
I met her and my life changed in ways I never dreamed possible. She became my everything, and I ruined it. I try to fight the doubts that I could have ever succeeded, refusing to let myself think life is stacked against me. As real as any of my concerns are, they just feel like excuses to me. I want so badly to blame someone else, like I was a victim of a cruel joke to let me think I could do this. But I know the blame is mine.
“...So I’m asking again. Was she pretty?”
“Yes she was…is I mean...beautiful like I’ve never seen before.” I stammered.
“How about her eyes?” he pressed.
“The kind you can get lost in forever.”
“Ah, that’s great. So then why are you so miserable?”
My eyes fell from his “I’m losing her.”
Opening his newspaper he avoided trying to catch my eye, I got the feeling he was trying to not embarrass me.
“That’s a shame kid. What did you do?”
“Nothing” my reply was almost a whisper as I forced out the word.
He eyed me up suspiciously as he put away his paper. Reaching into his pocket he removed a small paper bag of sunflower seeds. Tossing a handful on the ground to the waiting squirrels that gathered as if they were expecting him, he continued.
“Are you SURE you did nothing?”
“No it’s not like that. I mean literally nothing. I didn’t do something, I did nothing. I needed to do this one thing for her, for us, and I just didn’t. It was so simple; it was one of the most important things I ever had to do, to show her how serious I am."
My words began to make little sense to me so I paused to recompose myself.
"There was something I needed to do. The time we spent together seemed endless. I was so happy and lost in those moments; I never focused on what I needed to do next. It started to drive us apart. Now all I can do is watch her drift further and further away. How could I have been so stupid?”
Handing me the bag of seeds, he said.
“Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable.”
I absent mindedly continued feeding the squirrels for him as he stood and stretched his back.
The truth of his words hit me like a fist, yet speaking to this old man was comforting in some way. Realizing that this was the most interaction I’ve had with anyone in a long time, I asked.
“I don’t mean to be rude but, do I know you?”
He responded without turning around to face me.
“Everyone does. You used to know me a lot better, but now? Not so much.”
“You really shook up poor Ramanael you know. After you hit him he came to tell me what had happened. I already knew of course but I let him vent.”
My mind was filled with awe and rage as I realized the identity of this old man. Questions formed in my head and fought each other for position to be spoken first.” How could you let me hurt her like this?" “How could you do this to us?” “Why did you set me up when you knew I would fail?” “Why did you take her from me?” “Why did I make such a stupid mistake?”
Before I could say one thing he turned and sat back down beside me. His appearance didn't change but his presence did.
Though he no longer looked old, he now felt timeless.
“I know you have questions my son, I know you want to know what to do, and you also know I cannot tell you. I gave each one of you your own lives to live. Where you go and what you do is entirely up to you. Yes, there are obstacles and hard choices and consequences to those choices, but you have to make them; you alone. I know your heart is breaking and I feel your pain as if it were my own. It will be alright, love finds a way.”
He placed his hand on my shoulder
“I can tell you this, none of you wants to be sad, and none of you wants to stay angry. Forgiveness is in your nature. You hit one of my angels and you told me to “fuck myself”, and I have forgiven you. She loves you and in time she may forgive you too.”
Silently I stood and handed the bag of seeds back to him.
“I never doubted that she loves me, or that she will somehow forgive me, but I will never be able to forgive myself.”
I snugged my coat against the crisp autumn air and I walked away, leaving him sat on the bench.