Pages
A One Shot

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When you meet her one of the first things you learn is that she is an open book. The thin pages are filled to the brim with curved script. The spine is broken. It falls open by any small puff of wind. The pages tear; fray; fall from the seams and disintegrate to dust. They flutter to the ground. The fabric drifts and whittles into the air. The secrets become a part of the earth; the landscape. They are common secrets; whispers in the ears of those who roam; built into the foundations of civilisation.

But he... he is always closed; bolted up tight in every possible way. He is a coded, padlocked tome. Thick steel and iron prevents any penetration. One can only dream of the watercolour paintings and philosophical writings he has to offer; fruitful and enrapturing. Sometimes his pages even seem to fade in on themselves. Even though they are locked up tight, every page is fragile, as if infected. They fall apart; deteriorate from the inside out, as though burning acid has seeped through the cracks; destruction from the inside out; self-deprecation, hate and loathing.

Sometimes it feels as though she has cracked the code. Sometimes it feels as though he is opening up; letting a little of his pages show. But then, like a strike of lighting, he coils in on himself. His volume slams shut. Dust clouds around him. When the air clears, he is bolted shut; cold, hard and distant.

"What happened?" he asked, his fingertips brushing over the bruise on her cheek.

She looked away defiantly. Her flushed cheek pressed into the luscious grass; a cooling contrast.

"Nothing," she swore. She didn't want to be the open book anymore. She would only give in when he did.

"Liar," he retorted. Her eyes flicked to his. He held firm; his gaze solid on the bruise; steaming.

"Don't call me that," she hissed. She wasn't a liar. She never lied to him. He was the one who withheld the truth.

"It's not a bad thing," he replied. His fingers brushed away a lock of hair from her face. He focused on it, a blizzard brewing behind the blue of his eyes.

"Lying is always bad," she debated. "It's wrong."

His eyes locked to hers; chilled and churning. She felt bare – exposed – under his stare. A blinding spotlight surrounded her.

"What gives anyone in our lives the right to any truth other than what we want them to know? Our thoughts and our feelings are our own. Why should we have to share the revealing truth if we don't want to?"

A breath of wind against her bare skin sent a shiver up her arms. The smell of spring – the sun, flowers and grass – all clouded her. He left her stunned. She saw a peak of the pages of mystery.

"Yet you find no problem in pulling the truth from me. Isn't that hypocritical?"

He laughed. It bellowed in the wind, yet trilled like chimes. He leant over her, his fingers brushing that bruise with tender loving care. It was a relieving touch; her healer.

"I don't pull it from you. You offer it with a plentiful heart and loving smile. But when has hypocrisy ever been a bad thing?"

The blizzard blue exposed her again. She watched his emotions with careful consideration. Intrigue was all he showed as he smiled down to her.

"Hypocrisy reveals a lack of sincerity. It is dishonesty at the highest level."

He smiled. Breath-taking and warming, his resonant voice replied. "Or it is the breath of honesty? One either recognises their hypocrisy or they don't. Whichever it is, it reveals a lot about that person."

She understood. "That they are aiming for better but have yet to make it or are purely insincere?" she asked.

He nodded. Lifting himself a little higher off her, he continued his explanation. More pages showed their colourful faces.

"Hypocrisy is a consequence of a world where beliefs evolve faster than people. Sometimes we can spend our entire lives playing catch-up. Why judge someone for it when the majority of us are guilty of the same crime?"

His opinions opened up a waterfall in her mind. "Hypocrisy is evidence of one trying to change them self for the better?"

He nodded, solemnly brushing her bruise once again. He was tranquil; absent; deep in thought.

"You caught on," he encouraged.

A question came to her mind. She had to ask it. He defended hypocrisy, maybe because he recognised that he was guilty of the same crime.

"Tell me why you are trying to improve yourself then?"

His eyes turned hard. He revealed a glimpse of the roaring blizzard before shutting it all away again. She almost heard the click of the bolt. His volume was locked; hidden; dissolved. He would forever hide from her.

She loved him, yet didn't know him. He revealed everything, yet nothing at the same time. Forever she would fight to know him, and forever he would resist. Yet they both loved one another, because in the end, although their pages read differently, their hearts sung in tune.

In the next moment, as she turned her head to the left, leaning her flushed cheek on the grass, she watched his back as he walked away and into the darkness of the woods.

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Author's Note: So this is a little one shot I was just inspired to write after a conversation with a friend the other day. Please tell me what you think in a review!