She was just another girl, one among a million. That was what she thought, wondering, why should she be any different? But she had never felt the penetrating confusion of having her world tilted sideways as she had done to his, so that his stoic assurance in his destiny melted away and was not quite as clear as it once had been. Without even trying, she contradicted everything that was ingrained in his core. That was why.
She could not have known his joy at their closeness, did not feel the soft awe and reverence that pervaded his being for being lucky enough to call her Lily because she could not have known, as he did, someone who danced before his eyes like sunlight on water and laughed with more purity than the tinkling of a thousand chimes.
To him, she was all the beauty in the world rolled into one.
They used to go together, her and him, until the day they became him, her, alone. Most times his slips and falls were overlooked, but the day the worst of his nature reared in humiliation he forgot himself, the ugly word rang harsh in her ears, the damage was done and he was sorry that she heard and now she knew.
He was sorry because they could have lived a masterpiece.
She never did recognize the hungry look that was always present in his features whenever she happened to catch him gazing at her. Sometimes she noticed the way his dark eyes bore into hers and she would look away, unable to bear their intensity. She found it unsettling because no one ever looked at her that way. It frightened her.
Her sunshine world of heady jasmine and sweet clover would always keep her from seeing him trapped in his of stone and flitting shadows. So he fell in deeper and deeper while she stood from her vantage point of girlhood, pondering and wondering and unable to understand who he was becoming until the day came when she could bear to wonder no more.
She will miss him, sometimes, but with the passing of seasons she will withdraw so far into her own world that she cannot return to his even if she tries harder than she has ever done for anything, to go back to the place where sunlight once met shadow at the crossroads of who they once were and who they will become. He had taken his turn long ago.
For all his scrutinizing he will never see that the reason he always managed to say the wrong words is because for her, he was never the right person to say them. For all her scrutinizing she never saw in his starving eyes that the only thing he ever sought was love.
She had been everything he was not. Perhaps, too, everything he could want to be. But his life will not play out that way.
So she walked in beauty, as he will walk alone.
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