She is the Realest Form of Magic
A woman with a troubled past sits alone. Her slender fingers tremble ever so slightly as she lifts her hands to wring them together in her lap. Her eyes dance around, the lines between them etched deeply. Still, when she smiles it stops me in my tracks. Her face is so beautiful and her smile is so bright; yet, it only highlights the sadness in her eyes. My mouth is suddenly dry. I swallow and find it’s not easy to do. She stands on long legs to greet me. As I approach, she shifts her weight from one hip to the other. It’s a subtle movement, but adds to her elegance, I’m not sure she is even aware of the action.
She’s unsteady and unsure, but there is something in the way she crosses her arms across her chest that screams of character. When the smile drops from her face and the creases on her face deepen, it intimidates me.
She sits back down; heavily, full of exhaustion as if she’d taken a brisk walk, rather than a brief greeting with a stranger.
She speaks and her voice is accented. It’s cinnamon-spiced and sweet. I find myself smiling. But just as easily and mysteriously she shifts. Her words are short and choppy now and I am confused. She’s temperamental and she makes no effort to curb it. She carries burdens with her and there is no controlling when one of the rabid truths of her life will assault her mind, her spirit.
Her sick mother who died and left her before she could even know her darkens her soul. Her worthless father who abandoned her as an orphan sours her heart. It was a lifetime ago, but the pain and fear the small girl felt never left the woman. Her silenced childhood as an
outsider in a family’s home, craving love, continues to assault her confidence, trying to tear her down. Her abusive husband, his acid words and iron hands are always in her head and on her skin. Her lost son, forever her baby boy, nothing she can do can bring him home and there is part of her that’s with him; she will never be whole again. Her anger, her pain, her failed loves, her loneliness. Her strength, threatened by illness.
Any joy she feels is fleeting and she doesn’t bother to conceal her feral emotions for my comfort.
Her beliefs have become alive. Such potent power swells in belief; the realest form of magic. She believes so surely that nothing good can come to her life that bad luck trails around her as surely as her shadow, and just as dark. She believes it so completely and with all of her soul that it is true. It is real. And no joy ever lasts because as soon as happiness sets in she prepares for the pain that will undoubtedly follow—and it does. She does not bring it on…in fact she actively tries to avoid it. But it always comes. It doesn’t knock; it slams into her life, crumbling any good intentions as if they never even existed.
How does she go on? She doesn’t have the answer, she just does. And she fights that brilliant smile onto her face as often as she can manage. See, her beauty isn’t only skin deep, it is shining from the center of her. It is all-encompassing and fierce. It is all her children see when they look at her. It’s like an aura: the color of the ocean and the scent of lilies. It’s what she lets you see, if she can help it. It's strength and love. She tries to guard the source of her strength because, ironically, it’s fragile. If it cracks, she knows there will be nothing left, but the pitch black that follows her around, that only she sees.
But I don’t know any of this. I only see a beautiful woman who seems too real, too raw. I fidget as she speaks, her tremors make me nervous, her tumultuous moods leave me reeling, and her laughter is genuine and kind. I feel so small near her, someone who seems so broken, yet so full. I can’t stand to be in the presence of such a woman, of a woman of such immense quality. So I conceive a polite excuse to leave and I cringe when I glimpse the sadness that I cause, but I shiver when I see the steel in her gaze as I turn away. I don’t deserve her; the world doesn't. That is truth. But she doesn’t deserve the loneliness in which she is left either. But that is her truth and that is the way it will remain.