This is a sample from what I’ve been working on lately. It’s my story that has no title, half way comprehended characters, and no clear plot yet. But it’s shaping as I get more inspiration.
They walked down the wide, city sidewalk, accompanied, whether they liked it or not, by their fellow street dwellers, who were made up of workers walking back to work after lunch breaks, kids skipping school to go to the new skate park that had just been opened, and tourists being swept away in the labyrinth of people, as they got more and more lost. Leon thought to hold Miragé’s hand, so as to keep her from getting swept away just like the unlucky tourists. He thought again though, as Miragé had lived here most of her life, and was pretty skilled at standing her ground in the crowds and not get pushed away from her intended direction. His hand felt extremely empty and awkward after that, and he wished he had never thought of doing the gesture. It reminded him how strange this all felt, and how unnatural his movements were becoming around her. Just as he was having this thought, Miragé glanced over at Leon, with a slight look of concern in her eyes, as though she could feel his discomfort radiating off of him. Against his first instinct, he voiced his concerns, knowing she would ask about this incident later anyway.
“How are two people like us supposed to date?”
She laughed lightly, her countenance relaxing a bit. “What do you mean? I know neither of us is partial to the standards of dating these days, but I think we understand it well enough.”
“You know what I mean. We’re not ‘normal,’ or at least not normal enough to act like a ‘normal couple’ for this time period.”
She gave herself a moment of thought, and then proceeded. “Okay. Then we’ll tailor ourselves our own way of dating, until we find our own normal.”
Leon let a smile come across his face slowly, and Miragé returned it with one of her own. Leon then turned his attention to the earlier couple they had ran into. He remembered how they had hung all over each other, calling each other pet names. From a completely visual stand point, they looked like a happy functioning couple. However Leon, who had known both individually since grade school, knew that they barely had anything in common. They hadn’t even spoken to each other on a consistent basis until recently, when Sharon had acquired a more mature physique and Donald a more convincing front of confidence. They were two pieces of what the standard relationship looked like for adolescents of his generation. He felt his heart deflate a bit.
“I honestly hate these fake relationships,” he said, continuing his train of thought aloud.
“Sorry?” Miragé said, in a confused tone. She’d noticed Leon had slipped into one of his pensive moments again, and was content to leave him to it, if it helped him deal. But she had no idea where his thoughts had led him.
“These relationships everyone is just settling into. Settling down. Isn’t that just so ironic? Before, we were settling down when we found the person who was actually right for us, who we wanted without question, after a long drawn out courtship. Before, ‘settling’ wasn’t settling at all. We always ended up with the one. Now, settling down is literal; we’re settling for less. We’re taking whoever will take us, or make us feel like we’re following the right path. It’s completely pathetic. I don’t even know how to characterize this new ‘relationship.’”
Miragé followed up without missing a beat. “Companionship.”
“If I wanted to have a companion, I’d get a dog,” Leon concluded roughly.
“It’s how they’ve been programmed. They look for what they’ve been told to look for, and they go for the first person who resembles anything close to that description. Love has become a game of finding the best candidate based on societies doctrines. You find someone you can stand, marry them, and try your best not to divorce them. They don’t ask us to think anymore – just do. If anything were ever to change, instead of looking at relationships as a companionship, they’d have to start looking at it as a means for…”
“Completion?” Leon assisted.
“No. Not completion. More like…expansion.”
He looked at her quizzically, wondering where she had ever gotten that idea from.
“Okay, usually people look at it as this whole sugary, romantic comedy, happily ever after situation, where you’re looking for someone who’s your other half, your soul mate, the one who ‘completes you.’ But I think that’s setting you up for failure. You’re telling yourself, internally, that you aren’t a complete person without another person. So what happens when they leave, or you leave, or they die? You are never complete again. Or perhaps you find someone else who gives you that feeling again, and you decide the last person wasn’t the one. I think we need to stop looking at our relationships as puzzle pieces, where only one piece can connect to another piece to get the picture right, because that’s just completely wrong. Instead we need to be…Lego’s.”
Leon was genuinely enjoying this discussion now. “Lego’s?” he asked, fighting back a smile.
“We need to be some form of personified Lego’s. Lego’s can attach themselves to almost any other Lego. They’re all essentially built the same way, and have the same purpose. They’re all just different colors, and lengths, and if they had thoughts, maybe they’d have different dreams about what they wanted to be used to construct. But the fact is Lego’s aren’t trying to complete each other. They’re expanding each other and making each other more useful, while still being useful on their own. So when you detach a Lego from another Lego, you aren’t left with something that no longer has purpose. You just snap it on someplace else.”
They had arrived outside the coffee shop, and they both stopped outside the door. He considered what she had said for a while, just looking her over in awe. This girl had made such a constantly thought over, adult worry into something even a small child could understand. She wasn’t just a writer by hobby; she lived the life a person who spoke of every situation as a metaphor, and her thoughts were a beautiful unwritten prose of their own. She was sublime, in more ways than one, to him, and he was just now becoming aware of the very reason he had become so attached.
“…What about the irregular Lego’s that come with those themed box sets? The one’s that you look at for five minutes straight trying to figure out how to use it.”
He perceived the shift in her eyes then, as she transitioned back into her carefree façade. Her mouth bent into a slight smile that showed her amusement.
“You just love to destroy my metaphors, don’t you?”