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The Tear

By Pradeep Damodara

It slowly, agonizingly… almost shyly slides down the cheek. Shining, glistening… there’s a melancholy beauty in watching someone’s pain manifest itself physically, not as a torrent of uncontained emotion, but as a silent testament to the helplessness within.
But my reflection in the mirror would beg to disagree. All he can feel is the sadness, so the haunting beauty of the scene escapes him. Clutching the corner of the basin, he lets known his grief. Too much of a man to show it to the world, he hides within himself, refusing to acknowledge to anyone but his own image before him how he feels. He bares his heart to the one person who cannot save him from his anguish. Himself.
And so he watches the drop slide down, tracing its path with tormented eyes, seeking solace in its journey but finding none. Quivering on the edge, it threatens to fall at the slightest provocation, to fall inexorably to its destruction… and he just stares. Perhaps if it had a voice, a heart, it could explain how it feels at the end, because it would be exactly what he is… broken.
And yet the drop trembles on the brink, almost as if it harbors a final hope that this is not the end. With a casual flick, he sends it to its doom, reveling in its fall, watching it all the while until it shatters.
As he watches it fall, more flow to join it. A torrent of droplets course their way through their existence, doomed as his creation, offering him both comfort and suffering. But as each one plummets, he admires them as I do now, the sculpted shapes and beautiful reflections, watchful witnesses of his torment, who will never live to tell another being of what they have seen.
Finally, the drops slow, and cease their ponderous fall into the depths… for even they cannot ease his pain, merely giving it form and substance temporarily. He stares at what they have become, fallen from splendor and broken to bits… but notices that the shards are still of the same sculpted shape. Still they make the same beautiful reflections, and slowly start to join together to form as a whole again.
Then, he starts to think as I do now… starts to dream of hope and of rebuilding that which was lost, for it is only truly lost to us if we let it go, truly destroyed only if we acknowledge its end. He looks up at me, with a fire in his eyes that has been missing for a while, and the determination of a man who has hope and something to live and fight for, and I now know what to do.
I turn my back to him, and walk out to the world. Still I will hide my grief, this time not out of a misplaced sense of pride, but because to show it would be to accept it, and thus make it real. I turn away from him because he needs me no longer, and I must use what I have learned.
Perhaps the pure light of happiness shall not be mine yet, but I shall act as the broken shards of the drop do, and reflect the light to others. My salvation will lie in the joy of others and, as is the course of nature, my pieces shall be mended, my shards joined to unite me with myself, the world, and all that I desire.

Then I shall again face myself in the mirror, smile at my image and say “I told you so”.


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Let The Good Times Roll Magazine is an online youth magazine
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