Scars

How long had it been? Eighteen years? He should be in his fifties by now, but age hadn’t touched him in that way. Not physically, at least. With the effects of everything else, there weren’t any lines to define his years, no spots or marks or stray weals, moles, or evidence of flaw. Instead, everything he’d see lay hidden in his blue eyes, hungry and aching, and had collapsed itself, sucking light and life and everything down, a ravening, screaming beast ready to explode, to go supernova behind the twin too-blue of his eyes.

People sometimes remarked on their color, but usually only to be polite, wanting to say something, after they’d found themselves staring. When someone caught his gaze, he never turned away, but allowed them the chance to keep looking, wondering if they’d ever see past the masks on masks.  Wondering if they would try.  Imagining that they wouldn’t. Forgiving them, in general, when they didn’t.

He sat in the dim room, as he’d been doing more and more these days, staring at his hands. He turned them over and over, looking for scars, looking for the marks of memory that should be there, the signs that he’d lived a life, lived any life, lived at all. Signs that the world had affected him in some fashion, and shaped him, made its mark.

He found none.

Frustrated, he got up, and slowly began to make his way around the house, as he often did during these night-time sojourn. He paced around looking for signs of life, any life. Signs that he had affected the world in some fashion, and shaped it, made his mark.

He found several.

He looked at their sleeping forms and for each one his eyes rested upon, his heart broke a hundred thousand times.  Each sweet face similar to the last, innocent in bed, placid features smoothed by sleep. All these little ones, perfect and dreaming, were what had changed him irrevocably, irreparably.

They were his scars.

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