You told me about your secret garden, once.
It took me hours, days, weeks to convince you that it was okay, that if you told me, I would lock it up deep in my soul and have you swallow the key.
An irretrievable secret.
You told me about the beautiful things that grow in your garden, the hundreds of flowers and their hundreds of colors and their hundreds of meanings. Not the usual meanings, not the ones that we’re used to – green for envy, red for love. No, not in your garden. Part of the enchantment was the way that everything in your garden was flipped upside-down, inside-out, so that you had to study something for hours in order to even begin to understand it.
Blue for integrity.
Red for loyalty.
Yellow for justice.
And the children that played there, protected from the outside world, from the expectations that society places on our children, in our world.
The children in your garden laughed when something excited them, cried with inconsolable grief when they were hurt. Even the boys. In your beautiful garden, there was no talk of “boys don’t cry”, none. Those children were free to feel, and express. And because of it, they were knowledgeable about the world and it’s ways in a way that we can never be.
And perhaps the best thing of all, the glitter that made the whole thing sparkle, was that in your garden, right in the middle of it, right at the heart… there was a well. A deep, deep well. And you told me that if one was to stand at the edge of this well and to just allow honesty to be predominant in your thoughts, then the depth of the well would swallow all your negativity, all your cynicism and dark thoughts and pessimism, would just take it all away and leave you as the purest, whitest version of yourself.
Then one day I became like one of the children from your garden. My eyes became brave and knowledgeable and pure, and as I looked into your familiar face, your stories were suddenly revealed to me for what they were: Lies.
You were unveiled to me, in all your ugliness, all your false hope. It was written all over your face, only before, I had been too stupid and naïve to see it. And when I took a shaky breath and asked you, you couldn’t deny it. Not even for me.
And so I ripped open the depths of my soul and found your secret, and threw it out for the world to devour; I made you stand and watch while people tore at it, throwing up scraps, dragging away the skin of it with their teeth and their sharp, sherp fingernails. Looking like the ugliest kind of cannibalism.