He sits alone, beautiful and still. He is the descending silence of night.
He is deeper than the ink black ocean, more perfect than the star-filled sky.
Though the world is so close around him, he is shielded from it by a shadow of darkness. A protective haze through which everything is dull and muted. Just a warm whisper of a breeze which can easily be ignored. I wonder what pushed him from the real world and made him seek refuge here. I shudder as my mind flicks back through the events that drove me here. His story can't be a happy one.
I watch him from where I stand. Alone in my own dark haze, only vaguely aware of the normal world moving around me. A world of obscene colours and too-loud noise that no one else seems to mind.
As I watch him I grow fond of his rare smiles, of the ring in his lip, and of the red in the bottom of his midnight hair.
I want to reach out and touch him, to make him notice me standing here. He is too far away. Loneliness has not yet driven him to search for others who might be hidden here beside him in the shadows. He is so near and yet so impossibly out of reach.
Longing fills my heart. I want to be with him. To share this shadow world. We could hide away in it where no one would ever find us. The world would carry on and time would move us forward, but we wouldn't even notice. If we shared our darkness, we would never have need of anything else.
I call out to him, needing him to hear me, to look up, to see me, to reach out for me too.
Screaming out my hearts desires, I am unheard across the gulf of uncertainty.
I push back against my darkness, and rejoin the normal world of light. Maybe if I seek him from here, he will see me. My movements catch his eye but he shies away, only ever expecting the outside world to offer him pain.
The normal world is pressing in on me, forcing me to curl in on myself. I walk, hunched against the onslaught like a beggar against the freezing wind. After so long hidden in my protective world of shadows, the colours are more glaring than I remember. The noise is nearly deafening. I can't take it any more. My senses are overwhelmed and I can't focus enough to rebuild the many layers of shadow that I usually to hide behind. However, I can see the slight shimmer that separates him from this world. Desperate for protection, and for him, I hold my breath and I step into his shadow world.
In a crash of searing clarity, our worlds combine.
The haze that protected us from the normal world remains, but it no longer shields us from each other. Every moment of agony, sorrow, shame and defeat is laid bare. I see the scars on his soul. I see the matching scars he has drawn on his body, and he sees mine.
We are so close now.
I look away from his scars and haunting memories, and I see him clearly for the first time. At last he sees me too. The deepest eyes ensnare my soul. Ice blue, a discreet smile.
Our suffering unites us. Condemned by emotion but released by pain, we are entwined.