The Passerby

If you look at her, you would say there is nothing unusual going on in her life. You might pass by her in the library without giving her a second glance. You might brush up against her walking down the street as you forget to excuse yourself in your hurry. She’s just another person, you see. She seems to have it all together, at least insofar as you can run that myth past your fellow man.

You would miss the tic in her face that she can’t quite conceal. You would take the squint in her eyes as a determined woman with plans to execute, or at least one who forgot to pack her sunglasses today. You would then miss the fact that she is fighting back the tears that threaten her well-being. It would inconvenience you to see all that; pain is something you like to avoid. Join the club: so would she. But see, she doesn’t have the luxury like you do to just run away. For her, the pain is deep within her, in a place where there is nowhere to go, no matter where she runs to.

She will never speak of it to you, even if you do ask. It’s not something she likes to talk about. It’s not the psychobabble of look-at-the-mask-I-wear-because-I’m-so-ashamed, kind of thing. It’s just that she doesn’t understand this pain herself. She is like you, baffled in questions at her own state of mind: she is confused by the torn knotted mass of conflict that her soul has become.

You see, it had come out of nowhere for her. She had been perusing the road of her life, just like you. Something happened, she won’t say exactly what, but it came out of nowhere. It was as though she was ambushed, a carjacking of her life that assaulted her. Life can change in an instant, even when it looks like nothing changed at all. She’ll never confide in you the true nature of her suffering. She might tell you this: somebody told her something, and now everything has changed for her. The weight of sharing is supposed to cut a burden in half. But she was the recipient: her load has now doubled.

It angers her that she has been chosen as the listener. Something precious that she has held in her memory has now been shattered, and it has changed who she is. She is a woman who has always prided herself in getting things done, not backing down. But for this, she can do nothing, it is like watching a traffic accident of a hundred cars unfolding in front of her. Now, she can only watch in horror the glass and metal and lives shattering, frozen in her own world. She is tortured, bound to her chair as she watches another screaming from the blows of the interrogator. It seems she can’t even close her eyes to stop the pain. Nothing can be done, nothing can be said to stop it.

So she passes by you, and you don’t see her. Just as well, she supposes. When you watch another’s destruction, there is the relief that it isn’t you. But it doesn’t last long, and the pieces lying around you remind you of what has been. It is better to look straight ahead and leave the chaos on the ground by your feet. She ignores you as well. Her vision is too blurred by her tears to see you, anyway.

One Response to “The Passerby”

  1. Daron Henson says:

    Sorry, I forgot to name the award I was nominating you for. It is the Inspirational Blogger Award. Check my site at for the rules and guidelines.