I met this girl recently. She reminded me a lot about you.
She auditioned for my play. She looked very fragile and shy when she went into the room. Unsure of herself, she timidly sat down in front of me. After introducing herself, I asked her to read the parts she was auditioning for.
She wasn’t spectacular. But the moment she started reading, she transformed into something else. And her eyes were filled with fire. She is an enfant terrible waiting to be unleashed. Although I was very impressed with her reading, I did not give her the part. She was too young. Way too young to play any of the female characters in the play. But when I stared into her eyes, I wasn’t quite sure what I saw. Did I see my reflection, or did I see a faint semblance of you?
The kid—as I call her—is very much wounded in her soul. I do not know her story but I saw the depths of her scars through her eyes. She is half my age but I felt that she has gone through life many times over than I have. Did I see my young self, the enfant terrible, the ambitious, the angry rebel I was when I was young? Or did I see a reflection of your broken soul, your frail spirit, and your bitterness with life in the early days of our relationship?
After our first couple of dates, you bared to me your soul and exposed your woundedness and frailty. Later on, you would tell me that you did it on purpose, to scare me away. You wanted to make sure that I could stand your inner hell. Normally, I would run away. I had my ideal woman and you weren’t her. I never understood myself, why instead of running away, I chased after you.
You were not contented with showing to me the inferno of your soul. You brought me to the underworld. The world you were trying to escape. I was quite sure you did not show me your world to see if I was going to be your Prince Charming—one who would kiss you and save you from the fire-breathing dragon or the curse of the evil witch. You showed it to me so I can run. Because, I realize now, that you did not want to let me go. You’d rather that I leave on my own because of the darkness you have shown me.
But there was that fire in your eyes. The same fire I see in this kid. That fire attracted me. I did not care about the ideal woman. I had to wield that fire. I could not run away. After bringing me to the depths of your own inferno, I escaped, saw the stars, and took you with me.
However, in my attempts at recalling to memory our moments together, I am just now slowly understanding what really happened. I never escaped the depths of the darkness. I was just merely able to lead you out. My soul, was left, lost in the abyss.
This is probably why you spent most of our relationship trying to pull me out. But I refused to be taken away. The fire that attracted me had put a spell on me. It has become the muse of my art.
When I finally got out of the abyss, you were not there anymore to embrace me into the light. I stare at the stars alone.
Now, I look at this kid, and I want to show her the way out so she can behold the stars for herself. I wanted her to learn from our journey so she would not repeat the mistakes I did. So that she would not be seduced by the darkness inside her; so I can guide her. I want to teach her everything I know. I want to mould her into the artist I am now. Somehow, I see also myself in her, my younger self, thirsty for knowledge and eager to behold the spectacle of the night sky. But she is wounded, she is fragile, she is trapped by the darkness inside her. I want to free the artist trapped in her.
I see our story in her eyes. I hope to show her the stars. Of course, not in the same journey that we took—she is just a kid. But I would want her to succeed where I failed.
Maybe in her, I shall find redemption.