She Waits Softly

In her childhood, she was warned it might not last long. The world had enough children as is, what they needed more of was more mature adult citizens. So she was asked to grow up. The world was tired of her supposed immaturity. The generation before needed great successors, for as they were accelerating to age, the young ones were exhorted to adolescence. She had abandoned her childhood and watched it fall to the floor and crumple in on itself, like the soft fabric of a former lover. Indeed, they had been well-fitting times, but now all that the fabric could be used for was wrapping up memories.

It was hard to get used to. Far away from the comforts of childhood, she had stood bare and exposed. She watched the world leer, and take away everything she held precious, values of love, morality, ethics, and absorb them like one giant unclean globule of oil on the surface. Death was spilled along the way. She screamed and begged for help, and none came. Not even death. You’re too young, they still said.

The world didn’t value her innocence. It’s ignorance, they claimed. They thought it was their job to make her aware of specifically all of those things that made the world an unpleasant place to live in. Watch our mistakes with your adult understanding, they said, wanting justification as to the horrible deeds of the world. Still not quite sure of herself as an adult, she watched. Battle, bloodshed, death and abuse colored the new panorama of adulthood in many awful shades. She tried to keep her canvas clean, of all the filth of the world. But it was insidious and so it persisted anyway. These are the ways of the world, said her predecessors. Get used to it.

For a while, she paused and wondered if death indeed was the solution. Death did not come. So, she continued on her journey, understanding that the reason for surviving these trials and tribulations was that she could someday enjoy a great magnificent departure from them. She would have earned the right to die.

Clothed in the sparse remains of what were once lofty and cherished ideals, she now accepted the humble attire of the more mature person. Wisdom was indeed shabby, for without the persisting quality of time, it would not have been so coveted as it now is. Even then, many people do not recognize its true shape. So, it started with one layer, and then as time moved on, she found other grubby bits of value to add to herself and thus the layers grew, until she was well-protected from the cold and dark. Though she felt prepared for Death, it did not come.

The other aspects of the world caught up with her as well. Fortune and wealth changed her clothes back to cheap imitations of childhood. Lovers, or people who had attempted to be them, had come as well and shown her to respect and value not just her emotional vulnerability, but also her corporeal being. For the body was a carrier of the soul, and required it’s own needs to be met just as much did the yearning lost soul. Fortune changed sides way too often for her liking and love was as transient as the soft satin blouse that appeared to be there but did not actually cover her. The world proceeded to sully them both and she was once again, left with the grey scraps of nothing. Her heart ached intolerably. Once again, she asked Death to appear and claim her. But not yet, whispered the cast off identities. Not just yet.

Then she wore huddled under the grey shades of responsibility. She was expected to tell of a younger generation of what the world comprised of. Responsibility cut into her, deep and heavy, expecting her to continue the very same cycle of which she had been a victim. They chipped into the wisdom of her time, expecting more from her than she could provide with no hope whatsoever with reciprocity. Thus she waited for death to come, relieving her of her duties. But it did not come. Probably, she hadn’t suffered enough. Probably she wasn’t courageous enough to deserve death.

Now a frail woman, she shrank within the physical body she had successfully called her own. Fragile to the extent that even her skin refused to clothe her properly, she smiled. Soon, it would be time. Shadows of death leaped and jumped around her. She watched its offspring play, and the adults mislead. Come to me, she asked, as though t was the same forgotten lover who had once adored her.

Yet the shadows gleefully played beyond her reach. Patience is the final skin, my dear. The world echoed with Death’s opinions. Not just yet. Almost there, but not just yet. Thus she waits softly, hoping for the reunion with her final lover, a creature who’s perpetual fear had colored her panorama and yet never quite touched her in the way it was supposed to. In her state of repose, she smiled as time tried to avoid the gap between Death and her. How is that Death was so ashamed of meeting her now?

So, she waits softly. Death understands.


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