There was once a little girl. This little girl was nothing remarkable. She was not a princess or a hero, not “the fairest in the land” or a sword-wielding defender. This little girl, however, was very sad. She didn’t have horrible parents or mean children bullying her, nor did she have to worry about having a roof over her head or food at dinner time. She did fine in school and had lovely teachers and even lovelier friends but still: she was very sad. She drew ugly pictures on herself and refused the delicacies she was offered, believing herself undeserving of such happy things when she was so melancholy at heart. She began to sink deeper and deeper, into a darkness she feared she would not escape.
Not far away lived a mouse. This mouse was an unusual creature. He was smart and gentle and, despite having been hurt and suffered through his overwhelming share of pain, he was loving and considerate to all. While he had his own type of very sad and very dark, he remained hopeful for life and looked to his future with bright eyes.
The first day that the little girl looked into those bright eyes she was warmed. Though they were not yet friends, barely even acquaintances, she looked at him and felt his brightness shine onto her sadness.
Over time, the two of them became friends. Easily finding common interests and endless topics to discuss, they were a pair some envied and others admired. The little girl’s friends liked the mouse and enjoyed his company at their tea parties. Soon, the mouse began to smile at the little girl in a different way.
Now, you must understand, this unremarkable, average little girl was not used to this attention, nor was she ready to believe it. As days, weeks went by she frowned at the knowing glances from her friends and retreated further and further into her sad little mind. Despite this fear of the mouse, this almost avoidance for so long, she could not deny that this mouse had become her confidant, her source of light in her darkness and her dearest friend. Though she was still sinking, still struggling, still terrified of life, she smiled through their time together.
She could feel herself giving the mouse little gifts; parts of herself she didn’t know she had and he accepted each one with a smile. Never criticising or mocking these gifts, never lifting his bright, unwavering gaze from her. She felt that giving of parts become easier as time went on.
However, she soon began to struggle. She had been pulling away parts of herself to hand over but was running out of gifts to give. While she had fought everything she had grown up thinking to trust this mouse to not mock those parts of her, she couldn’t find another thing to give to him. She tried with all her might and searched for hours on end. Little bits of fluff and dust mites swirled in the air of an empty space.
The space was like a loft, all large windows and light wood but there were dark corners. Parts of the room that the sunshine didn’t quite reach. One day, she ventured into one, determined to find a gift for her mouse. As she left the sunshine she turned cold, the shadows seeming to wrap around her, tightening until she was frozen in place. The dark corner fought her search, battled with her poking and prodding. That dark corner refused to relent and attacked the little girl with all it had. It won.
She tried each corner, only edging in before the cold start to seep into her bones again and she retreated to the sunlight. She sat in the middle of the large space, all the parts that used to clutter and fill the room were gone and she sat alone. The sun warmed her and when she shut her eyes she could almost imagine that it was her mouse’s eyes on her, sending soft heat through her and protecting her from those dark corners.
The next time she saw the mouse, he held his hand out, used to these gifts she brought, not demanding one but suggesting to her that another one was okay. She looked at his outstretched hand and looked back up at him, her eyes hopeless and apologetic. He frowned and looked at her questioningly, his mouth opening to begin a question.
“There’s nothing left to give you. Nothing I know how to give.”
Her head dropped as she said it and she saw her mouse’s hand drop at the same time. She kept her eyes to the ground, afraid to look up to see the disappointment in his eyes. When his hand lifted her chin and she was forced to look back at him, she saw no disappointment, only warm understanding.
The next time she saw the mouse, he held his hand out again, she looked at him, panicked and opened her mouth to explain, to apologise. Suddenly his outstretched hand reached for hers. Their fingers clasped and she looked at their hands woven together.
She looked back up at her mouse and he was warmth and light, her dark corners hissing at the intrusion and her own self trembling slightly from the heat.
The mouse did something quite stupid. He fell in love with that little girl with her very sad, dark corners and her strange stories. He was foolish to do it if anyone asked that sad little girl.
But that unremarkable, average little girl will hold onto his hand and probe at those dark corners with his supportive light until they release the parts they have stolen from her. That sad little girl will keep trying and pushing until she can hand over the rest of herself, with a smile and, one day, with love as well.
((This was definitely something different to write. I didn’t plan or edit or try to find my metaphors and poetic devices. I let words run away and let my fingers try to follow, it turns out my runaway words are a bit cheesy.I hope it’s something worth reading. Please feel free to leave comments below. ))
Lovely, warm days to you lovely people.