I had always been the timid one. The person that always sat in the corner nibbling on her biscuit and never said a word. To anyone.
I enjoyed the soft breeze brushing past me, the first rays of morning sunlight bathing on my face. I longed for a time where I could be me, when I didn’t have to hide myself from these people that seem to laugh in my face every time I dared to speak up. Which I never did of course, for I didn’t have the strength to look darkness in the eyes and send it fleeing in the opposite direction.
I would say I was ‘fine,’ or ‘having a great day,’ but I was never fine, and I was never having a great day.
The facts were never woven into my string of words.
I needed someone to confide in, to talk to.
But most of all, I needed someone to believe in.
I’d watched Autumn fall to Winter. I’d seen tiny white snowflakes gently tumbling from the darkened skies, and witnessed the intense heat of the Summer sun. But within all this new life blossoming around me, I was the centrepiece on display, never changing, always fixed in the same position. Still, and unmoving.
Yes, I’d walked on the damp sand of the beaches and swam in the icy waves, but I’d never danced, never sung.
My legs, while just bearing my weight, carried me along the dusty road of life, but my heart never followed. I was a shadow of a memory long gone, of the future, whatever it should bring.
It was on this lonely path I was on, that I’d heard the song of the silent sparrow. It sang no song, but I could hear it’s desperation all the same. There was a longing in its voice, a silent plea for help. Yearning for better days.
Then there were the words.
The words shaped by letters, and the letters shaped by feeling.
‘Hello,’ was a common one. It meant; ‘I acknowledge you.’
‘How are you?’ Was another one. It meant; ‘I wonder how you’re feeling?’
But these words meant nothing to me, for nothing ever said to me could fulfil the hungry desire I had in my heart, like a big, black, empty hole waiting to be filled. Fulfilment never came however, and so I think back to the swallow. The lonely sparrow on the desolate road of life.
I saw him on the opposite side of the river. The waves were lapping the shore, and the breeze brushed past the leafy arms of the trees above me. He shouted something at me, but I looked away. Words meant nothing to me.
He jumped in the river and swam to me.
I turned away, not daring to hope. He reached the shore where I was at and reached out a hand to touch my shoulder. He looked at me through sea blue eyes. I gazed at him with sharp green ones, then looked away, ashamed. He beamed at me with perfect lips, and I replied with a tight smile. “You look lovely when you smile,” he said.
But I did not believe in flattery, so I walked away, out of sight. But he ran after me, his hand landed on my arm. I looked at him quizzically for a moment, trying to find truth in his words. He nudged my side and walked me over to the other side of the hill. He gestured for me to sit down, but the lush grass was damp with rain.
He spread out his jacket so that I could sit. I sat, and he sat beside me, though he sat on the grass.
He pointed out at the brilliant sun setting over the hills, and at the birds chirping merrily, singing a song. A real song.
I had seen a faded dull sun set over a dreary meadow, but I had never seen a sun so full of light and hope explode over the grassy hills like this.
I felt a movement inside me, like my heart was shifting into place. It was a pleasant feeling, and I knew then, in that moment, that he was someone to believe in.
I saw the swallow from the road flutter over beside me. It sang of joys and renewal, of hope and belief. And its words could be heard, even by me.
He gazed at me with compassionate feelings, and I felt for a moment; I could open my eyes.
The clouds began to form, and drops of rain began to fall from the sullen sky. They tumbled down onto my skin, the sudden coldness shocking me back to reality.
The rain poured.
I arose from the jacket on the grass and hurried to my home under the valley. He called out to me, but I didn’t stop, not even to ask his name. The rain kept falling, dripping onto my chestnut hair and leaking through my clothes, hugging them tight to my flesh. My shoes squelched beneath my feet as I ran further and further towards my home, until I tripped. The ground met me as I landed on the rocky path. The world resembled a spinning top, and I lay amidst the dying crimson of the sky, and let my thoughts wander through my empty frame. I felt all life I had left slowly melt away… then an arm encircled my waist, I was being lifted. But my senses were incomplete as I slowly looked around at a world made entirely from darkness.
A blinding light and a piece of loose yarn broke into my vision. He was there, looking down on me as I slowly let my eyes adjust to the light. His jacket was unravelling, leaving a me-sized hole in the center. I closed my eyes and let myself moan.
He touched a hand to my face, and I let the warmth of it sink into me until I was warm all over, a kind of fluttery feeling.
He looked at me with a knowing smile, and I smiled back, not a word spoken between us. After all, words were just words after all, nothing more.
I knew that if I fell, he would catch me, whenever I was in doubt, he would support me.
The hungry desire in my heart had been fulfilled at last. He was someone special, someone to believe in.