This is how our love bloomed. How my eyes were opened. He enticed me with his beautiful words.
I want you to close your eyes and picture the world as you see it. All colour, warmth, sound. Now picture a 6ft by 6ft glass box amidst it all. Obvious, but somehow part of the general architecture of the place. The interior is safe and secure from the fury and noise, and allows me a voyeur’s view of the world. Inside, the edge of the knife does not cut me, the jaws of the world do not close around my neck. In a word safety.
But it’s also a little cold, the obsidian walls reflect cruelly back at me, and the warmth of connection is impossible. I watch as others braver than me embrace the world and its gifts; the glow of new love, the full bloom of chances taken. But I in my box cannot be reached, a long forgotten organ screams for freedom, but is heard only by the walls and so its cries echo and fade into comfortable silence.
This is where I live.
Or at least did until recently. As with all the best stories the inciting incident is a girl, we’ll call her the peach (yes I’m serious). Now, I could wax lyrical about freckles, brown eyes and sweet dispositions, but I never was great at poetry and romance not born of strong cider makes me faintly nauseous.
How she personifies all the light, fury and beauty of a world closed to me, a look shatters the glass and the world rushes in. A shard of pure daylight into a long neglected vault, bringing with it the scent of spring and innumerable promise. My soul soars, the very bones that hold me feel lighter, my spine straightens, wrinkles recede. I remember that somewhere within this carefully constructed prison, despite it all, lives a human.
Then comes doubt, like a barely perceptible whisper of chill wind through winter pines. Breathing those fateful words “this isn’t real”.
To love is to surrender. The soldier surrenders knowing that he throws himself upon the mercy of his captor, he lays down his defences and so becomes naked. Do I, like him, plead mercy and step into the terror of uncertainty, the great beyond, the void?
The risks are severe, to fail surely means to fall into a far darker place than the sanctuary of my prison. But the reward! All the colour of the world revealed to me at last!