24 December, 2007

The Nature of Forgiveness

A long time ago, there was a Girl who met a Matchstick Man. Their love was as turbulent as the class 5 rapids in the nearby river and pulled them down to the depths of despair only slightly more often than it sent them to the heights of delight. The Matchstick Man had a Matchstick Heart that had been splintered before, and although the Girl could not see the real reason for his pain, for the Matchstick Man hid his truths behind glassy blue eyes, she bore the brunt of his anger and hurt. The Girl was trusting and allowed her naive heart to blind her sense of Self. In the process, her own heart shattered, and soon she was just as fragile as the Matchstick Man. She thought things would work - after all, were they not now the same? But Matchstick People cannot be together; all the slivers work their way under the skin and cause festering pain that leads only to more pain and no love. The Matchstick Pair went up in the flames of passion and anger, and the Matchstick Girl ran away to try to salve her heart.

The Matchstick Man tried to apologize, but the Matchstick Girl did not believe him. Although she was no good at holding grudges, this one time she had bound her heart together with iron bands of anger and pride. Time after time, way after way, the Matchstick Man tried to make his apology felt, but it was no good. Eventually he gave up, but the Matchstick Girl did not care. Years slipped by and the Matchstick People (for they were a pair no longer) saw each other occasionally, but were very careful not to speak beyond the pleasantries required by Regular Folk. Seven years passed, and the Matchstick Girl looked at her heart one day, only to realize that the bands of iron she had so carefully wrapped her heart in had dissipated into the ether. She couldn't put her finger on the moment they had evaporated, but in their place was a simple silk ribbon the color of the sky before the morning has truly arrived.

Forgiveness is a slate grey blue. A color that is undefinable, uplifting and sad. I don't know when I stopped being furious, and I know even less when I stopped being hurt. It happened as slowly as scars begin an angry red and fade to a nearly-indiscernible tone; that is, one day you look and realize you can't see it anymore. By then, it becomes trite to say "I forgive you," just as it was redundant to say "I hate you" before the fading. So instead, I'll say this: our Matchstick Year helped me become the person I am. The water under our bridge may have once been tinted the blue of tears, but it's just water now, and I forgave you without even knowing it, long ago.