Episode 5: Re-member; (Un-spelling words)
I crouched slightly, holding the ball on the tips of my fingers, balancing it with my palm, and then sprang as I simultaneously released it, watching it go through the net with a satisfying swish. “Score!” I whispered loudly as I jogged towards the bouncing orange globe. I caught it and gave it a spin on the tip of my finger, a trick I had mastered over the past week, then grinned as I heard a low whistle coming from my right.
I dropped the ball into my palms and bounced it towards him as he walked across the court. He caught it and kept walking, a slight smile in his eyes.
“You didn’t even flinch this time, I think I’m a little disappointed.”
I grinned cheekily and pulled my arm through my sleeve so I could use it to wipe the sweat off my forehead. “Yeah, I had this idea that if I kept myself in motion then the adrenaline you usually shoot through my heart would already be used up, thwarting your ability to make me jump out of my skin.”
His lip curved, “Sounds like you’ve got it figured out.”
My grin faded as I took in the sly look on his face, a whisper of anxiety knocking me down a peg. “I just posed a challenge didn’t I?”
He nodded once, his smile widening, then turned towards the basket and shot the ball. We both watched as it dropped through the net, neither of us moving to retrieve it. A moment later he was standing in my personal space and I learned that there were other ways for him to spike my adrenaline aside from sneaking up on me. I let out a startled squeak when he grasped my chin suddenly. His eyes were on mine as he leaned forward and whispered, “How many times do I have to tell you to stop doing that?”
I swallowed thickly and wet the lip I’d been biting, my heart skipping as his gaze dropped down to it, then going into a full on gallop as he continued to stare. Then just as suddenly he released me and stepped back.
He looked across the court and I watched as his eyes shifted around, like he was engaged in some kind of internal battle and I thought very briefly about startling him. I could do it, take back the space he’d put between us and…. His head whipped towards me and the expression on his face froze me in place. It was as if he’d read my thoughts, and nothing he could have said would have been more effective in warning me against my impulse than the look in his eyes at that moment.
I dropped my own gaze feeling confused and a bit foolish.
“Hey, none of that,” he said with a hint of apology.
He walked over to me and took my hand, forcing me to look up at him. He was smiling in a disarming way, making him appear years younger than he had a minute ago and I felt myself relax. He led me off the court and we walked in silence until we were standing in the middle of the field that bordered the park on the left.
He sat us down in the prickly grass and looked at me expectantly. “Tell me, what’s been on your mind this week?”
An image of him branding my forehead with his kiss flashed across my brain and I felt my face heat. His eyes flicked to the spot, further evidence of his seeming ability to read my thoughts.
His mouth turned up. “So your mind has been on carnal things rather than philosophical?” He cocked an eyebrow and I looked away, flustered. “There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s all a part of the experience.”
I turned back to him, my brow furrowing.
“We may be eternal spirits but this incarnation is largely a physical one. That’s the way it appears to me, immortal living spirits having an earthly experience.”
My eyebrow raised, “The way you see it, or what you know to be true?”
He flashed a smile, “That’s a relative thing since our realities are made by our perceptions.”
I mulled over that one for a minute. “Who are you really?” I found myself asking without thinking.
“I told you that already.”
“You just are.”
He captured my gaze with a penetrating one. “I am.”
“Is that a spiritual thing, or does it have something to do with names?”
“Once again I would go with both, since one has everything to do with the other.”
“Why are you talking in riddles? More than usual I mean?”
He glanced at me and then away. “Words are such a limited form of communication. I think at times we should take our example from the flowers and the trees and just be.”
I cocked my head to the side, “But the trees do communicate, they use the wind…and the flowers…they use color. And we have vocal chords…as you pointed out earlier this is the incarnation we’re in and talking is a part of that largely physical thing.”
He grinned, still staring straight ahead, “Well said. In fact…it’s not only about the words is it?” He turned towards me again, “There’s something woven in, like the way you just described that-I could see it through your eyes and your perception. If you have a spiritual connection than maybe there’s good magic in the spells you weave with words.”
I opened my mouth and then shut it.
“Sorry, I’m still talking in riddles, let me try and explain. You’ve heard the term “spelling word” all your life, but have you ever thought about how strange it is that they use a word synonymous with magic when teaching children how to write the symbols that represent language? When you “spell” a word, doesn’t that mean you put an incantation on it?”
A light bulb went on in my brain and I suddenly understood exactly what he meant though it was more through a feeling than anything I could explain. I nodded slowly. “Maybe that’s why there’s the saying 'Choose your words carefully.' Because they can be used as a blessing or a curse.”
“Literally,” he said, suddenly very serious. “Take the word “advice” for instance. This word is thrown around as if it can be a positive thing, but the very word itself is absolutely negative. Ad…vice. No matter the intention I tend to think it’s best not to add any vices.”
I stared at him. I couldn’t believe I’d never seen that word in that way when it was so obvious. “What about the word program?” I asked, “That’s one I’ve thought about recently…to program someone is to brainwash them, and what do they call television? Programming…Stay tuned for your regular programming,” I mock shuddered, “that’s eerie if you look at it in a certain way.”
“It’s not accidental,” he said.
I nodded, “I'm getting that. It makes me mad when I think about it, it’s like they’re mocking us, laughing at us as they enslave us. I mean seriously, they put it all out there for us to see but we’re too stupid.”
“Not stupid, blind. I think perhaps they put it out there for those who have “eyes to see and ears to hear.”
I considered that. “Okay, so how do I let them know that I’m not a slave? That I do have eyes to see, and ears to hear?”
“Perhaps you just did.”
I stared at him, “So, what? They can hear me?”
I frowned, “The ones that are doing this…the ones who know.”
“What do they know?”
I made a face, he was talking in riddles again, but I could tell it was intentional this time. He wanted me to draw my own conclusions. “What we don’t…I guess I sort of see them as this class of people who were given the information from the beginning, like their ancestors passed down the truth about the way things are to each generation, so they have a rather huge leg up. Actually maybe it even makes sense that they would enslave us, after all it affords them the one thing everyone wants on this plane.”
He cocked an eyebrow, “Which is?”
“Freedom. We do all the work so they can play. “Hey Madison, wanna go to Fiji tomorrow? I heard the slaves there are putting on a great show.” “Oooh yeah, and then when that gets boring let’s fly to Paris.” “You read my mind cherie.” I shook my head and blew out air in frustration.
“So is that what you want? To be one of them? To be in “the know”, enslaving people for your own personal freedom?”
I stared at him. “I…,” I sighed. “No. I was just saying I could understand it.”
“Understand-which means to “stand under” by the way-influencing a nation to go to war, to torture and rape and kill all in the name of trips to Fiji and Paris when you feel like it?”
I ducked my head, chastised. “I wasn’t thinking about that aspect,” I said in a small voice.
He put his hand on my shoulder and I peeked up to find him smiling in genuine amusement. Confusing boy. “Don’t worry,” he said softly, “it’s not in you to hurt people for your own personal gain."
I smiled slightly before my thoughts turned dark. “So they…those who are in “the know”, they’re evil then.”
My brows pulled in, “Well if they’re doing these terrible things in the name of pure selfishness, what else could they be?”
He nodded thoughtfully, “Then again, if this all just a temporary experience our immortal spirits are having on a plane of existence that demands all things to be in balance, then evil and good are just two opposite sides of the same coin, neither able to exist without the other therefore both equally necessary. In order for there to be a Mother Theresa there has to be an Adolf Hitler.”
I sighed noisily and he rose to his feet, extending his hand as had also become part of our custom. I took it and he pulled me up, then took my hand and placed it on my heart holding it there.
“It’s all in here,” he said, “I know all of these ideas can get confusing, difficult to determine what’s right and what’s wrong, but that’s because their made of words and words are spelled. But in here,” he pressed on my hand, “you already know the truth from the lies. It’s where your balance is. Maybe that’s what we have to do here, maybe until we do we’re destined to repeat this because we’ve yet to learn what we came here for.”
“To find our balance?” I asked.
He smiled, “Not find it, it was never lost,” he pressed on my hand again, “Remember it. Remember who we are. Re…Member, that would mean to put ourselves back together.”
I took a deep breath and let it out slow as he released my hand and started walking backwards. He placed a hand over his own heart and I did the same then he winked at me and turned. I watched him go, halting all of the thoughts that were tumbling through my head, turning my attention to the trees as he disappeared into them. A slight breeze was rustling through the leaves and I could have sworn they were saying….Remember.