Often, I've wondered how it would feel to be her. I can be weakness itself, but in her I see only strength. I can be overwhelmed and afraid but in her I see only boldness. What would that feel like? To be so entire unto yourself?
I see her when she sleeps and her face is soft and innocent. I forget sometimes that she is not old. She has lived through so much. She has battled, has loved, has conquered, has rescued, has lost her way and found it again. I am a child compared to her, though our years belie it.
I worship at her altar. Sometimes what I feel for her is so intense and encompassing I am amazed that my heart has such depths. She'll smile at me or laugh or just raise her brow in query and I'll feel it in every cell, as if a chorus is singing so loudly from within me it'll surely drown our voices. She has become my universe.
And this is wrong. She is a just a woman. With flaws and honor, problems and beauty, mysteries and humor, darkness and light. She doesn't think of herself as I do. She doesn't see the wonders that have made her. She sees her mistakes. She lives to erase her past. She is silent and troubled, always worrying that a lifetime spent in service will not be enough to atone.
She has killed. Without thought, she has killed. Taken the lives of other human beings because they stood in the way of what she wanted. No wonder she can be filled with such turmoil and doubt. She lives while her victims cease to exist. She has stolen them from their families and their futures. How often has she killed? I cannot ask, so instead I look at her, unable to stop.
Her sleeping face holds no answers. The dying embers of a fire untended throw small relief on her features. She sleeps unaware of my scrutiny. She dreams unaware of my questions. She lives unaware of my love.
Often, I've wondered how it would feel to be her. She is innocence and beauty and goodness. Her morality is her strength. She has no darkness, just purity and a wise, old soul. Sometimes, I watch her as she sleeps.
She fights the morning where I embrace it. She drags herself into each day, as if her dreams are so comforting she can't let them go. I cannot wait to leave my dreams behind. They are passion-plays of past deeds and leave me cringing and afraid of the hate inside me. But she... she sleeps with a small smile, as if nothing inside or out can harm her. And perhaps it can't.
But I can. I live in fear that someday the violence in me will erupt and she will be my target. I fear my past galloping up on a charging steed, striking her down to exact the ultimate toll on my soul. I fear that she'll look at me one morning with sleepy eyes and see the secrets that I hide from her. And she will run from me, unwilling to fight for me any longer. I fear.
And this is wrong. Hasn't she proven how much she cares? Hasn't she shown me in a thousand ways that she accepts me as I am for what I am? Hasn't she spoken in endless stories of her admiration for me? Why do I mistrust her? Why do I fear?
Because in all my life, in all my experience, in all my hardship, in all my lust, in all my strength, in all my thoughts I have never known anyone like her. And this thrills me and frightens me and moves me. I told her once that she was my gift. I wonder if she understood the weight of that statement. She has shown me the path to the redemption of my soul. Does she know what she has done for me? Will she stay with me?
Her sleeping face holds no answers. The young flames of a newborn fire don't illuminate her thoughts. She sleeps unaware of my scrutiny. She dreams unaware of my questions. She lives unaware of my love.
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