Monday, November 29, 2010

Human Heart

I fell for this glassy eyed girl once. She was mysterious, and everyone stayed away from her. But it intrigued me, like a moth to a flame. She always had headphones on. She will never initiate a conversation with you. But she will engage with you when you talk to her, just like any ordinary person would. But she’ll gaze into the distance, like she is preoccupied with the world’s burden.

And her smile. She smiles as if she was happy for you but harbour all the sadness for herself.

Her hair was ethereal, long and wispy, like a permanent breeze going through her hair, emitting the sweet smell of her perfume.

And no one ever knew where she was from. She did not go to the same school as us, but there wasn’t any other school in town. After class, you can see her walking past the school gates. But no one knows where to or where from. No one really bothered to know I would think. Those who tried to follow her, will fail to track her. Some were brave enough to ask, but they never got an answer. I guess that is why no one bothers, and everyone stayed away.

I was so allured to her.

I finally, after months and months of collecting scraps of courage, just enough to get the words, “Hi,” out of my mouth.

“Hi,” she replied, smiling at me.

Clearly I didn’t think past that. She waved me goodbye as she walked pass me, with a giggle.

It was another week before I had enough courage to approach her again. This time, it went smoother. I didn’t want to pry in the beginning, so we just chatted about the latest movies, or pop songs. I would like to think we bonded, got to know each other. We didn’t talk about her past, despite me revealing my family, my childhood and my aspirations. I never knew where it was going, but she whispered to be once, that she enjoyed chatting to me.

It went on for weeks. The more we talked, the more mysterious she became. Instead of telling me her past, she shared her dreams, bringing me into her fantasy world of princesses and dragons and knights in shining armour. She was different from any girl I’ve dated.

Finally, one day, I tried asking her why she always had headphones on. She smiled again, her ever sad smile. She told me that it was her song, a song that keeps her strong, keeps her going. I’ve heard ‘favourite songs’ before, but the way she described it, her song was her life – passionate, if any good word fits. I really wanted to know what this song was, or what the lyrics said, but I was contempt with her answer.

The other burning question was where she was going. Again, she just smiled and whispered into my ear, that it was a secret, and that she could not tell me anything. It was something that I should not know about. Naturally, it just made me more curious. I’ve always tried to follow her beyond the end of the road, but she would always stop me. The more I pressed on, the faster she disappears around the corner. In the end, she made me promise that I must not follow her anymore.

But my curiosity took the better of me. I didn’t meet up with her that day. Instead, I hid in the bushes where I would always lose her. She didn’t see me. And so I followed her. Followed her through the park, into the forrest… up to a small little house. Awaiting for her at the door was a tall figure in black. The twilight sky cast a heavy shadow, and I could not make out his face, but the man was clean shaven with sharp features. I could not see his eyes hiding behind a hood.

She went into the house and the door locked behind her. I heard the man talking. I could not make out the words, but I felt frightened by them. I feared for her safety. Was this what she goes through every day? I had to go closer.

The words became clearer. The words were spoken in fear itself. "In the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ... It is he who commands you... It is he who flung you from the gates of Heaven to the depths of Hell... Be gone from this creature of God... Be gone... In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit... In the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ... It is he who commands you... It is he who flung you from the gates of Heaven..."

This doesn’t seem right.

Then I saw her.

She was standing in the middle of her room, arms stretched out in a cross, in the centre of strange markings on the floor. Her eyes were closed, but she was looking around, angrily. In the corner of the room behind her, the cloaked man was curled up in a corner, with a bible and cross in his hands. He was chanting the words over and over again, "In the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ...”

I clearly did not know what was going on, and I probably shouldn’t have barged into the room.

The girl looked at me, with her eyes still closed, her gaze fixed onto my eyes. She smiled, but this time, it was not sad. It was happy… happy but evil. The smile turned to laughter.

She opened her eyes.

And it was not the glassy eyes that I looked into before. Well, one of them wasn’t. It was dark. I don’t know if there was an eye, but it felt like a chasm. It felt like all hope was being sucked out of me, the more I looked into the dark eye. I tried to look at her other, gentler, hopeful eye, but I couldn’t.

I was frozen. I couldn’t move. I blacked out.

And I dreamt.

I dreamt I was a knight, rescuing a princess guarded by a sleeping dragon. The princess came up to me, and whispered to me, telling me everything I wanted to know.

My princess was a chosen vessel. She had to bear the burden of a demon; a demon that would have caused the destruction of the world if not contained. No man made structure was able to contain such an evil spirit, such that they had to use a human. Only the human heart was strong enough to fight the demon to keep it at bay. However, the heart only had that many beats in it, and it only had the stamina to keep it for a day.

The "In the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ...” mantra weakens the demon, so that the heart could continue on for longer. And that was the song she would have to listen to every day, every hour, every second of her beating heart.

They also figured a way to release the demon once a day, allowing the heart to replenish itself and build the strength to fight the demon again for another day. So that the chosen vessel could continue living. Living a near normal life by going through this ritual every day.

And that was what I stumbled upon.

She told me that I messed things up. She was sad that it happened, but it cannot be reversed. For the first time, I saw her frown.

I didn't know how long I was out for. Everything looked like a blur, I felt glassy eyed. I felt like the worst was over, and the nightmare had ended. I felt calm, finally. Can't feel any worry or burden anymore.

...but something was amiss...

... I can't feel any worry...

...I can't feel...

...Why can't I feel anything...

...What's that sound...

...I hear something... droning... like a broken record... like permanent headphones on...

...oh no...

"In the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ... It is he who commands you... It is he who flung you from the gates of Heaven to the depths of Hell... Be gone from this creature of God... Be gone... In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit... In the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ... It is he who commands you... It is he who flung you from the gates of Heaven..."

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