When You Look into Her Eyes
Caroline Ann, Age 15, Honolulu, HI

Pasting a smile over reality, the girl checked herself in the mirror. Everything seemed as it should, the immaculate clothes, the friendly disposition, and the happy expression. She, an experienced actress, knew what the world expected of her, and knew exactly how to play the part. To her, life really was a stage, and the world the audience, clapping with approval. No one knew the inside. But then again, no one wanted or cared to.

He played the punk, a reject of society. Pain and hurt had stamped themselves upon his heart, and he did nothing to hide it. Thus, the world left him to his own devices. People tended to think of pain and hurt as unpleasant subjects, something better left out of the script. Yet he added them anyway and for that reason the audience jeered silently.

She only had one flaw – her eyes. They were too truthful sometimes. If anyone took the time to peer into her soul, they could have through these. To her relief however, no one looked, peered or searched. All around her, people focused on the act rather than the actress performing it.

Beautiful music was his secret solace. His soft spot so to speak, hidden deeply away in his heart, so as to protect it from intruders. He played the piano, but always alone. It enveloped and changed him, melting the hardened scabs and dissolving the scars the world had “gifted” him with. Without those though, he felt defenseless and vulnerable and thus none knew his talent. People expected a calloused and depressed person, and he gave them what they wanted.

In short, these two beings appeared exactly opposite, one an actress to cover the darkness, and the other an actor to cover the light. But both felt alone and acted they way they did to protect themselves.

Lately the girl’s burdens had gotten increasingly heavier, resulting in small flaws in her acting. So she had started going to the theater late at night to practice. For practice always makes perfect. Practicing relentlessly also makes for sleepless nights; and eventually those effect a person.

Sitting down in a red, velvet, plush chair in the empty audience, she leaned back for just a moment. Just a moments rest would make a difference, and then she would continue. Believing she had merely blinked, she opened her eyes only to find hours had passed by. Suddenly, she also discovered herself not alone. Someone quietly played the piano from a few feet away, music slowly filling the empty, cold theater with emotion and feeling. Quickly pulling her act together out of sleep, she walked silently and curiously toward the sound.

Early morning tended to be the best time to play at the theater, no one ever showed up before eight. Since the boy refused discovery, he always took great precaution and arrived hours before then. This morning had been no different. Allowing his soul to fly free in the music he played, he coaxed the keys into melodious harmony. Before long he’d have to hide it again and go through the motions of yet another day.

Sound captured her heart and drew her in.

Music blinded him to the girl advancing towards him.

Then, she stood beside him. He stopped instantly, quickly recovering his poise. Turning to face her he stared, ready to attack if necessary in order to defend his well kept secret. She opened her mouth to speak but before she could, all her beauty, grace and put-together self flew past him in a rush, when he looked into her eyes.

Their worlds clashed together, understanding formed in an instant. Both had seen the inmost depths of the other, and they knew it.

All the hurt, dread, pain and suffering that had buried itself within the depths of her heart flooded out, weighing her down. She collapsed. In slow motion, the boy watched the scene playing before him; the light in his heart breaking through his tattered soul. And he caught her.

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