By Michael Gene Miller
Copyright © 1994
All rights reserved
In days of old, when men were strong and women were happy, there was a
certain feeling of fulfillment that went hand in hand with love. It was a
feeling of security and contentment. It was a warm feeling, a comfortable
snugness. Life was good. Things were predictable, and everyone knew what they
wanted from life.
As time passed, many of these happy people became bored with the routine
predictability of their lives and began to think of ways to bring some variety
into a now dull and lifeless life. Something had to change. The fire of life
had dwindled and the smoldering ashes had no more warmth to offer. Somehow a
spark must be injected into this quiet and tranquil existence. They wanted
more than simple harmony. They needed more than the life that they had built
had to offer. They felt isolated and alone. No one else knew what they wanted.
They thought no one else cared.
A cinder of a flame would be better than the cold darkness that goes with
the isolation that comes when you escape into a world of dreams and hope for a
perfect life and love. Perfection is a concept, a dream, a wisp of smoke. It
is the sound you think you heard at the other end of the house.
Cindy was very young when she first discovered that life was not what it
seemed to be. She now realized that some people merely go through the motions
of living, doing what others expect, living by the established standards,
conforming to some vague idea created by those who would have you believe that
it would be a better world if only we could all be the same, feeling the same,
believing the same things, wanting the same things, and questioning not the
ideals of those who question not the world they have created for us all.
She could see that people must not only be free to choose the way they
live their lives, but free to decide when that life is no longer acceptable,
free to decide what needs changing, free to change their lives, and free to
change their minds about what needs changing. Cindy liked change. It gave her
a fresh, new feeling; a feeling of control. It felt good.....really good.
Sometimes, when she was in a pensive mood, she would daydream about her
future and what it might hold. Lately she had been daydreaming a lot more than
usual. Maybe she was just getting old enough to look at life through different
eyes, trying to see things that she had not seen before about people and their
ways. Maybe she was just learning how to be a better daydreamer. Maybe she was
Her future was a hazy morning, when things would not appear clearly even
after she wiped the matter from her eyes. Cindy liked to think that she had a
clear vision of what was to come. She could sense that there was change in the
air. Change could be a good thing if applied with a good amount of common
sense and lots of attention to the reasons behind the change. You should never
change something just to be changing it. You need a good reason, and you
should never do anything that will hurt someone else.
As she lay there drifting in and out of her sleepiness, she was overcome
by a feeling of helplessness. It seemed to come out of nowhere, and hit Cindy
like a rock with a note tied to it. She suddenly felt as if she had no control
over her life at all, as if she was being manipulated by some unseen force.
She felt like she was on the verge of panic. She began to realize that her
life was not always under her control. There would be other factors that could
change her life whether she wanted them to or not. This scared her so deeply
it brought on a chill that shook her to the depths of her very soul. It was
almost enough to bring her to tears to think that someone, who did not know
her, did not see her, and did not even care whether she was happy or not,
could rearrange her life to suit another dream. She could not stand the
thought of losing control of her own destiny. Her own dreams alone should be
in control of her future.
Cindy loved life, and she wanted to live. She wanted to sing and dance,
she wanted to fall in love, she wanted to be happy, and she wanted to sit in
the dew-moistened grass and marvel at the colors as the sun rose over the
ocean. She was full of life, and she had her whole life in front of her.
Then there was Patsy.
Patsy not only believed that it was okay to interfere in other lives, she
actually enjoyed doing it. Whenever anything happened, Patsy would immediately
figure out how it was going to affect her, and manipulate it accordingly, so as
to reap the maximum benefit for her own personal gain. Patsy was, in a word,
selfish. She was so self-centered she would kill to advance her own ambitions
if she thought she could get away with it. Patsy was not concerned about
anyone except herself, and she thought she had the right to dictate the
actions of others if it so suited her. She was the personification of
Patsy was also a walking contradiction. She felt that she had the right
to control other people's lives, but she hated even the thought that someone,
especially someone she had not even met, might try to tell her what to do with
her own life. It was a life filled with ambiguities and double standards, but
Patsy never considered that. She was too busy telling people what to do and
complaining about people trying to contol her life decisions to think about
what a hypocrit she was. It never occurred to her that if others do not have
the right to decide what happens to her, then she does not have the right to
decide what happens to another person. Either you can or you cannot. The same
rule must apply to everyone.
Loneliness was something that Patsy tolerated. She was too wrapped up in
her own self-consciousness to wonder why she had no lifelong friends or even
anyone that she trusted completely. She did not see it as loneliness. She saw
it as unappreciated independence. She believed that she was a strong woman, a
woman with a mind of her own, a woman in control of her world, a woman who
made her own decisions and did not need any help from anybody. She thought
that the world was just full of people who wouldn't know a real woman if she
walked up and bit them on the ass. She thought she was a real woman.
Cindy couldn't remember what her first impression had been. She knew
Patsy was a warm person on the inside, but she could tell that Patsy was not a
happy person. She wanted to help somehow, but she decided she would have to
wait until the right time, when they were alone together. She would wait for
one of those times when a look is enough. She would have to speak with her
eyes until the words came to her. There were so many things they needed to
talk about. Cindy knew that they would eventually become best friends. She
could feel that. It was a good feeling.....a warm and pleasant sensation.
When Patsy first heard about Cindy, her first thoughts were ones of deep
concern. She was worried that meeting Cindy would change her life. She was
afraid that her life would be irreparably damaged and, after years of
preparation for her future, she could not allow anyone or anything to enter
her life without thinking first about how it would affect her. Patsy would
always come first. Meeting Cindy would throw a wrench in Patsy's plans, and
that was unacceptable. Cindy had to go.
Cindy never knew what hit her. One minute everything was sunshine, roses,
and wonderfully warm visions of life and things to come. Suddenly her world
was upside down, about to come to an abrupt end. Cindy felt cheated and
betrayed. She had loved her mother and always thought well of her. How could
she have done this? It didn't seem fair. Cindy never had a chance.
As her senses faded, Cindy forgave her mother and decided that God would
take care of her. She could feel herself being drawn through that long tunnel
toward the bright light at the other end. Her heart was pounding, Patsy's
heart was pounding, and Cindy's mind was racing as she tried to grasp what was
happening to her. She wished for life, but she knew that Patsy had control now
and there was nothing anyone could do. Her life was about to end before it
even began. Cindy wanted to at least get a glimpse of the world before she
left it, but she knew that it was not likely that that would happen. They
were, after all, ending her life. Cindy began to cry as the light at the end
of the tunnel stabbed her eyes. She was confused and disoriented. She should
not be here. Someone slapped her. It was cold. The light hurt her eyes, and
she felt wet and vulnerable. She wanted answers, and she wanted them now.
Patsy held her newborn daughter for the first time, and for the first
time in her own life, she felt a love for another person that exceeded the
love she felt for herself. It was a good feeling.....a warm and pleasant
They became best friends.
Life was good.
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