One more time a beautiful survival story that she read in the paper moved her to tears, and made her stomach ache so bad. She noticed the wrinkles on her hand suddenly as she held the glass of water. The fluid burnt her throat as it gushed down her spine. It was this 15-year old boy from a remote government school who had made it to NASA. She knew who was behind the now glittery success story of an ordinary boy. She knew that extraordinary heart too well, the one that had broken her own, years ago. And she had gladly embraced that hurt for the sake his dreams.
She never wanted to tell her own story of sacrifice to the world. Not even to herself. It wasn’t a sacrifice really, it was just the most apt thing to do at the time. Startup was the buzzword back then and hundreds of young hearts had decided to quit jobs and start their own enterprises. It was like this craze, a sort of fad. For a major chunk of youth, it was an expression of a revolt against a corrupt society, the system and most of all their parents who often loaded their own dreams on to their children’s shoulders. But for many others, it was the perfect time when they could get the courage to really do what their heart longed for. It was like a worldwide startup revolution where people didn’t have the time to love, to desire a companion in flesh or to share souls with a mate.
They were all too busy to prove a point or disprove it. Some wanted to change the already changing world. Others wanted to look different by doing what most of them were doing. He just wanted to nourish others’ dreams. He liked protecting people’s dreams inside his palms. He didn’t care if he was different or same or even sensible. He knew that was his only shot at triggering what was left human inside of him. He didn’t have a choice, really. It had to be.
She was the lover of all things beautiful. Their thoughts kissed, their feelings embraced each other, their souls ached with longing. Yet, he knew all too well what this meant. He could only afford one passion in a lifetime. He couldn’t live with both. He couldn’t divide his heart. He loved her too much to inflict a half piece. She was content with what he had but she knew it would destroy him. He never told her how much he loved her, wanted her. She never insisted upon it. Not everything needs telling.
She suddenly awoke. She had fallen asleep on the couch. The paper had slipped out of her hands on the floor. She held it again. The photograph of the boy looked dim. She grabbed her tainted glasses. Wiping them with her sleeve, she looked closely through them. A memory hit her hard. The eyes. “I want to see the eyes of these children shine in joy with opportunity,” he had once told her.
Was her sacrifice worth all of this? Her stubborn heart ached again. ‘It wasn’t a sacrifice, it just had to be,’ she reminded herself.