Chapter Three: Daisies and Revelations
When I first saw her, Katalyn was the type of girl who would wear daisies in her hair, without a smile on her face.
She was fourteen then, two years my senior. I was mesmerised by her sinewy legs gliding through the air, pausing only every now and then for the most exceptional of reasons. When Katalyn had a destination in mind, a journey would inevitably take place despite anyone else's objections. Whenever one tried to inhibit her, she would merely laugh at their folly from her pedestal amongst the heavens.
Katalyn wasn't one to giggle or blush apologetically. Instead, she'd throw back that crown of streaming blonde whorls and from deep in her throat would come a laugh betraying the tears clawing their way now does the comparison spring to mind between her mouth and an ashtray; choked up, ugly and bitter. The similarities between the two seem blatant now. Yet in spite of their seeming impermeability, their apparent certainty, both remained vulnerable to the whims of powerful outsiders.
I smashed an ashtray the day I found out. It fell into little pieces of the floor, so small yet dangerous to the naked foot. Elusive. I never had time to clean it up.
The anger I felt then, blind and uncontrollable, has only coursed through me once since. To my embarrassment this last incident was when that damned 'Healer' assistant tried to feed my salted carrots. If I hadn't been temporarily paralyzed, be sure that any ashtrays in the vicinity would have met their end. Helplessness is very rarely comforting, in my experience.
And yet I was helpless when it came to her. With Katalyn, I was always acutely aware of the status quo. How could I not be, when she never let me forget it for a waking moment? I was the low quality furniture to be stored away until the poor relations came to town. I epitomized pathetic from my uncanny ability to sense her presence within a five-foot radius to the bulging pustules on my pubescent face. Yet, I was happier than I'd ever been and have been since. Because even Katalyn had need to rest her weary feet, and as furniture I was more than willing to provide that.
And of course Katalyn knew, as she had always known, the captivation she forced upon others by the mere batter of an eyelash. It was also with the flippancy of such an action that she subjugated her victims, much as I would like to think otherwise. But even the rays of her imperfection shone blindingly seraphic, especially to the jaded eyes of the young man I was growing to become.
It wasn't with the traditional bat of an eyelash that she managed to ensnare the innocuous Evan Brown. Rather the evasive smile she gave to strangers that always seemed more of a grimace to anyone who actually cared to pay attention. That day, I was the stranger she awarded as recipient of the devastating smile grimace. This was my first epiphany.
Thinking of Katalyn in retrospect is never easy. Perhaps she is still that vulnerable fourteen year old with the world resting at her finely boned feet? Or should I remember her as the woman possessed by spirits, as she would later become in that dingy bar, the advent of us as two people inextricably tied by destiny or damnation? Both ephemeral figures managed to fail to meet my most cherished expectations, although simultaneously exceeding those of almost every one else.
She loved me, but never so much as she loved herself. She was so constantly disappointed in the world because she was perfect, and everything else just fell short to her.
What type of man did I allow myself to become, with and without her? Truthfully, I'm the type who drinks vitriol and spits regard, without distinction and lacking of direction. But who I was and what I am is immaterial from within this basin of tortured souls. Because as with the morning and the night, my face is the face of two thousand other men, left to ruminate on the soggy leftovers of what remains when all hope has fled.
And each morning is the same as every night, in this cursed place so dark and wearisome that even the sun is too dispelled to shine. The half-light that constantly hovers in this institution of filth never fails to remind me of my pitiful existence. Every now and then this reminder slips by and slides, singing with the storm usually accompanying it outside.
A/N: It's a little bit short, I know. But I have written at least half of the next chapter, and ALL of my exams will be over in just two weeks! R&R please!