The name of the girl was Noelle.
With a swish of her hair she arose from the water, one might even believe she lived there underneath the stars.
But despite all the rumors, Noelle was a simple human, a simple girl with the world in her eyes. Kindness on her hands and intelligence in her brain and determination filled her lips.
Some stared in awe and whispered “there is no way a girl like this can be of this world.” “How can a girl with nothing claim to have no anger?” “she is a phony.” They whispered in jealousy but alas Noelle smiled with grace and responded–
“One can only have anger when there is hatred, sadness comes from memories yet there are happy ones in there too. One can only have happiness when there is joy. Joy is everlasting.”
The truth of the matter is that the citizens were afraid, jealous…uncomfortable. A girl made of visible stick and bones could achieve more than them with just a smile. A girl with medium beauty could be asked of marriage two times a week, a girl in a world of sadness could only smile with joy.
Curiosity was her nature, she wished to jump into the sea and would stand still, Noelle wanted to feel the water across her skin without pushing against it. Noelle, the girl who almost died twice yet jumped again into the stream of terror, gasping for air only to say…“There are little fishes.”
Noelle was a star, a line that could not be crossed. She had protection like a princess, yet had clothes of a slave. Most days I would stare at her and wonder why she was always alone, a girl of intelligence and kindness could not make a single friend, no matter how much she tried.
Noelle scared them, see, children want someone to match their level of understanding, someone alike or someone inarticulate, voiceless, mute. Not someone with light, elegance, intelligence. Noelle realized this and with a sad smile she walked away and whispered, “It wasn’t meant to be.”
Noelle had her fair share of flaws, she was reckless and way too often the beauty's of the city caught her jumping from trees. Too often she walked with cuts on her face and a scar on her finger. To many whispered,
“Ah, there she goes again.”
“oh dear, where is this poor child’s mother?”
“Shhh, didn’t you hear? Her parents are gone. We mustn’t talk about it.”
Noelle was well aware of her parents death, she was well aware of how they died, her curiosity lead her to the answer. She never stopped asking until she received an answer. Noelle was sweet but even the stars could not stop her tears, not the spotted moon, and not even her soft smile. It was the first time anyone had seen her cry, terror filled the streets as some laughed viscously at her,
“She was not an angel, she was a child. With no parents.”
The women laughed at her puffy eyes, the children smiled at her tears and some walked with pity for her in their eyes. One even dared ask…
“How does it feel to have no parents…”
Noelle, the next day, responded…
“Normal. For I have never had, or do not remember the love of a parent so regrettably, I do not know what I am missing.”
“My mother says your parents died a quick easy death…they left without you.” the civilian said in humorous tone.
“I suppose they did, but if my parents are anything like I, if they are strong and wise…to have left me behind, they must have known that I could and would be just fine on my own. Right?”
Even the priests couldn’t understand why she thought the way she did. Noelle came across as dense and unaccepting of her reality. Truth is Noelle was neither, she accepted her fate and realized tears flowed and eventually fell…but that's all they were; tears. Tears fixed nothing so she immediately changed the way she saw her life. Instead of crying for her parents she knew they were in a better place, instead of walking with her head down she realized she was hurting her rear and stood up tall.
Noelle wasn’t dense, no, she was an optimist.
Noelle was top of her classes, she was perfection in the making. Great at everything she touched and when not so great she tried and tried. At heart she knew she could never be perfect at everything but nothing told her not to try. So she would spend nights awake trying her hardest to be everything she wasn’t.
Everyone always saw her perfect sides, they never saw the work…they never saw the sweat, they never saw the tears. They saw her and thought she was born unlucky but had the smarts without trying. Society did not like Noelle because they didn’t understand her, they couldn’t be her. Yet she smiled…and said…
“I believe being you is so much better than being me.”
Noelle was everything and nothing, so many looked up to her yet sometimes everyone remembered her position on the chain of life. Noelle didn’t fit anywhere, sometimes when buying bread shop owners would give her food for free for having a smile worth a hundred gold coins. The poor would say she would never understand their pain, no one ever gave them free food no matter how much they smiled.
The rich were at the top and when they walked their back was straight with elegance. They’re fans worth more than her life would open with beauty, when they walked by, people moved out of the way. While Noelle tripped over her own feet and her clothes were nothing too fancy. When she walked by some would stop and stare then proceed to grab her ear in annoyance…
“Its rude to stare!”
Noelle nodded with a throbbing ear, she was respectable. No matter how much they disrespected her she never once raised her voice at someone older. Yet, many labeled her as disrespectful, discourteous, unmannerly, uncivil and insolent.
The poor elders knew Noelle, they knew she wrapped her hands around their weary old fingers as they walked the street, they knew Noelle broke her bread in half and shared with them when she had nothing. In return they sat her down and taught her about the world, they thought her about their life and she fed off of them…
“The best teachers are the ones who have lived life and are about to leave it…”
Noelle was smarter and wise because of her undying kindness, whether the others realized it or not Noelle’s kindness brought the world to her footsteps.
In the sun she was a beauty, an angel almost everyone adored and envy. She was unnatural and curious yet no one knew what she was at night… No one knew what she spoke off under the stars, no one knew what she told the ripples in the water.
Once I came across her, and I finally deprived myself of the fear inside of me. Noelle gave off a beautiful aura in the moonlight, it was like she was supposed to be there. She stared at the moon with the stars glistening in her eyes, and held her knees up to her chest.
“Hello.” I whispered, she didn’t look at me.
“Why are you staring at the moon, Noelle.”
“It keeps my secrets.” you whispered as your tears started to fall. “The sad ones.”
“You said ‘sadness comes from memories yet there are happy ones in there too.’ Just think of the happy ones.”
You glanced at me with your glossy eye lids, the tears threaten to fall…
“Sadness is temporary but when you continue to push them away they find themselves right in your heart. Though they have always been there. They will always be there.”
“But…sadness is temporary?”
“Yes, sadness is temporary, but so is happiness. Sadness exists when there is happiness, its the circle of life just like you cannot have black without white, one cannot exist without the other. Joy is the only thing in this world that is permanent…you must remember.”
“But…your always happy. Why must you cry, its a beautiful day, a lovely night. You must smile like you always do, or the villagers will make fun of you. You must smile.”
I cried out to her, I only wanted to see her smile like she always did. Noelle the girl with the world in her eyes had eyes filled with the sea. That night she looked at the moon and that was the only thing she wanted. The moon saw her tears and the sea kept them.
Noelle shook your head and the sea seemed to follow…“No…no more smiles.”
Noelle looked up at me for the first time and I saw her, I saw her kindness and her smile, I saw her curiosity and I saw her recklessness. But these were all things I saw before, so I looked a little closer and I saw something no one saw, something we failed to see, something she didn’t want me or anyone to see.
“Because… I am only human.”
Alas, I saw her sadness.
Noelle disappeared that night, I never saw her again. Right under the moon I saw her presence vanish.
That night, I stopped seeing her because my view on her changed. She was someone I looked up too someone I thought had no sadness. She wasn’t an angel.
We saw what we wanted to see, the idea that someone could be so angelic was beautiful to us. Yet we hated to see it, we hated her for being so beautiful and innocent in a world of ugly and sinful.
We were the ugly and sinful, we watched her filled with jealousy but we looked up to her…when humans see things that are alluring we try to take it, and once we realize we can’t have it, we hate it.
We plot to kill it.
Maybe Noelle disappeared because we pushed her away…perhaps we stopped seeing her because she was no longer anything to us…perhaps we killed her.
Some say she was a myth, a spirit from the sea…
Some say she never existed, ‘a made up tale the crazy elders filled us with.’
But I know, I know her secret. Under the moon, Noelle revealed who she was. All the fish in the sea listened carefully and it seemed like the waves stilled.
Noelle was a girl of beauty, curiosity, grace, elegance, kindness, and joy…this was how I saw her, yet she revealed to me that she was only human.
The moon and all the waves knew that, Noelle was only human. We, the humans failed to see it because she was perfect.
We thought she was perfect, we thought she was an angel. So we treated her anyway we wanted too because someone who’s perfect will always be…perfect,
Or...so they say.
Truth is Noelle was not perfect.
No, Noelle was just a girl.
A girl with stars in her eyes.