Here is the promised second part. I would like to focus your attention to my newest professional article. For those that feel like reading, please take a look at all my other writings. Thank you. Enjoy.
Sean was taking a shower when he started to remember a moment from his childhood. He was playing football for a local club and his team was winning. He himself had made a few wonderful passes and even went for a shot. He was satisfied. However, during the half-time the coach approached and asked him to rest for the remainder of the match.
“But why,” he started to protest, “weren’t you watching how well I was playing??? George was only able to score because of my pass!!!”
“Sean, you seem tactically important because you have more experience than anyone else. But your technique is appalling. People that have trained a fraction of your time can do a great deal better. Now, sit, there are twenty other players on this team and frankly, most are better. From tomorrow I am moving you to the beginners’ session to re-learn the basics.”
Sean’s coach stuck to his word – Sean was forced to train with people that had never touched a football before, let alone kicked it. Yet, there were some good ones but nothing comparable to his skills, he thought. He felt like a god among mortals, a God who wished, purely for his own entertainment, to learn a human skill. Not that he couldn’t easily acquire it through his potent powers, it is just that he had maxed his own route of development and was now going for something else. As the exercises rolled, “the god” saw himself breathing heavily, panting from exhaustion and struggling like everyone else. He was average, not showing signs of superiority in anything, but feeling special, feeling different. And his technique was improving. After a few weeks’ time he went to play with his peers again. The boy stood in the middle of the field, paralysed by how good everybody was – his appreciation of their abilities had increased through all the practice and he had lost what previously gave him strength to play on their level – Confidence. Since then Cooper decided never to play football again…
Having finished his shower, Sean entered his room and found Ayisha there, patiently waiting with a basket in her hands.
“Let’s say I ignore the breaking and entering part, can you please turn around so I can put some clothes on?”
“Yes…I came to talk about yesterday and I thought you wouldn’t lock your room if you were going far away so I entered. I haven’t touched anything… Sean, why did you behave like that yesterday?”
“Like you own me, like I am a readymade meal you will pick up form the shelf. ‘Cause I am not, Cooper, I am not.”
“Ayisha, I merely touched your face and looked at it. Don’t make it sound like a big deal.”
“Sean, your voice is shaking. Don’t try to simplify your actions, neither you nor I is stupid enough for that. You grabbed my face as if I were you toy.”
“Indeed, that you are not. You are a sweet wallflower, waiting to be handpicked by a Mr. Right or Mr. Handsome, whichever you choose.” Without a moment’s hesitation, Ayisha rose and slapped him with all she had.
“Tell me I am wrong! Come on, do it!”
“You have never been so mistaken in your life, Sean Cooper.”
“Am I now… Then, what does mean for you – you who have chosen the life of solitude not because of preference but because of a lack of choice; You who have chosen to be a fleeting being, an evanescence again out of a lack of choice; YOU who has so dearly longed for company that you would pounce at the slightest opportunity…”
His rising tone had reached its peak and a seemingly endless abyss of silence followed.
“You are wrong…You are wrong… You are so, totally messed up! I have never seen anyone … so fundamentally flawed. You have nothing, you are hollow. A shadow…”
A faint reply, “I know”, was all she got back. Sean finished dressing up and lied down on his bed.
“I have never denied any of that. And still, it is not easy for me to admit it… My incisive words, true or not, usually keep people at a safe distance away… Why haven’t you left already?”
“The meaning I attached to ‘wrong’ was more … ‘I hope you are wrong’ than ‘You are definitely wrong.”
“I am sorry about yesterday… I didn’t mean to be so rash, brisk and … emotional. I really want to apologize; I will not let my emotions control again.”
“Sean … please… I was really frightened by your smile, it sent shivers down my spine.”
A moment of silence.
“So the action itself did not disturb you?”
Another moment of deafening silence.
“Not in its entirety, no…”
The third and penultimate silence.
“Then, can I try at it again, this time with all the humility and grace I can muster?”
Surprisingly, the last lapse in the conversation was quite short.
“If you would like to.”
Sean stood up from his bed and slowly walked to where Ayisha was standing. He stopped so close to her that they could sense each other’s breathing and put a hand around her neck. In a slow voice he began:
“All day I have been pondering, tormenting myself about yesterday. I thought, as you have said, that I was fatally flawed, fundamentally wrong in my understanding of life. But thankfully, it seems I made only a slight error and in general I am right. Yes, you do belong to me, yes, you are at an arm’s length. You are my toy, Ayisha Butterfill, a stoic loner who tasted companionship and abandoned her stoicism.”
Cooper walked away but decided it was not enough and continued:
“You have, deep inside, chosen this humiliation over the anguish of solitude. Nothing I say or do can push you away.”
But Ayisha was not listening; rather she was crying, sobbing, falling apart endless second after endless second. She did not reply to his words, she didn’t even pick up her bag, Miss Butterfill simply walked out the door like a ghost, an apparition that could no longer scare and was retiring. And the door behind her closed faintly, gently.