The Biting Silence
Sometimes I wonder if anyone sees me.
I know that they don't see me now as I walk through the room, toward the sounds of my friends. Quatre, Trowa, Wufei, Zechs, and several of the members of the large household were gathered around the theatre size vid screen. Rolls of laughter carried through the room as something amusing happened in the movie that they were watching.
My heart feels the warmth of the laughter that they are sharing, but it has an empty feel to it because I am not included. I am on the outside again. Not that I was ever really a part of things, but I used to feel welcome and at ease. But that time has passed and I long for someone to reach out to me. If only someone would want to talk to me, to be my friend again.
It sounds even pitiful to myself, when did I become so weak and needy? Why was their approval so important? I lived for years without human affection or attention. I guess having spent so much time here that I have found that I needed it more than I was willing to admit to myself.
So now what do I do? How can I make things right again? I am not sure what I did wrong. What did I do to make my friends turn away from me?
I walk forward with my simple offering in my hand.
It is a bonsai that I have been working on for a while. It is a lovely piece of life with air roots and tiny white flowers. I even included a moss covered decorative rock. It took me a long time to find just the right pot for it.
Things had not been right for a while and I wanted to do something for my friends, to find a way to reach out.
Why did I feel so childish?
The laughter starts again. They are having such a good time. I wonder if they even realize that I am not there too? Does it occur to them? Am I so horrid that no one wants to be around me?
I suddenly realize that it wasn't childish. It hurts to lose friends, especially if they are the only ones that you have.
As I stand there to the side, listening to the laughter and watching my friends enjoy each other's company, I come to a conclusion. With all the merriment around me, I am enclosed in a biting silence that pierces my heart. There is a gaping emotional wound in my chest and my friends laugh away as if I am not here.
Maybe I have become invisible to them.
Since they are enjoying their movie, I rethink showing them my gift. It would be inappropriate to want their attention when they are so obviously involved in their movie. Perhaps it would be better to show them the bonsai in the morning at breakfast.
I sigh and turn around to head back to my room. "Good Night." I purposefully say the words loud enough to be heard, but no one
answers me. Fighting to hold back a deep consuming wave of self-pity, I leave.
Not that I want to be center of attention or have the world at my feet. That would make me feel very uncomfortable. And having a
stranger approach me makes me very weary, although it doesn't happen much anymore. My role in this peace has long been forgotten.
But I have been here for so long, I thought people would know me by now, that I was part of the family. Maybe I have been here too
long. Perhaps I have overstayed my welcome. Social graces have never been my forte, so I wouldn't really know what to look for if that
were the case. Besides, Quatre had said that our arrangement was a permanent one.
I hope that he hadn't come to regret his decision.
Quatre was kind enough to extend an invitation for all of us to stay with him after the wars. I gratefully took him up on his offer. I really had nowhere or any one to turn to.
Of course, Trowa was here as well, he shares a room with Quatre. I understand why, although such feelings are foreign to me. But I
fully accept them, I am their friend and I love them. I want their happiness and nothing to destroy that.
My rooms are very nice. I have a nice outer room that I use for a living room and a bedroom beyond that. My private bath is also my closet; it is a bizarre but fully functional design. At the end of my bedroom, I have huge balcony that overlooks the Japanese garden below. Much to my pleasure, my balcony has a staircase to the ground below.
I cross the gardens on the way back to my room. My mind is full of questions and my heart feels crushed. I pick up my pace hoping to
jog the pain from my body. But the dirt from the bonsai threatens to spill, so I slow back down.
Why? How did this happen? Everything seemed so fine at first.
Trowa and Quatre were exceptional hosts. They went to the movies, played traditional board games, and shared meals. It was the first time that I could remember truly laughing or smiling.
But they were a couple and they deserved to have private time, so I found a hobby. Bonsai. My balcony is covered with several potted trees, my obsession proudly displayed to the entire household.
Wufei showed up a few weeks after I did. We seemed to get along fairly well. It was fun to have someone with intelligence to speak with. He would come up to my balcony and we would talk for hours as I potted, trimmed, and fed my little trees.
I found Wufei to be full of insightful concepts and to be very well read. He had confided in me about his childhood, that he had been a scholar and married. I loved to listen to him speak of his family and the traditions of his culture.
I never had these things growing up. I was merely a weapon, nothing more to anyone that I was handed off to. I never had family, only keepers. Somehow I knew that it wasn't right, I was a child with a child's needs, but I was forced to put that aside. Perfect Weapons do not cry when lonely or sad. They had no need of human comfort; no one would hug me or care if I had emotional needs. I never felt like anyone really cared about me, only what I could do.
That is why my fellow pilots are so important to me.
So Wufei and I became friends. It was an enjoyable experience for both of us. I looked forward to his visits to my balcony. Sometimes, we would even share afternoon tea with Trowa and Quatre. Those were the best days, filled with friendship and happiness.
Then Zechs arrived.
I think that it was then that things started to change.
One day Wufei hadn't come to my balcony and I casually went looking for him since I knew that Trowa and Quatre were busy in their room.
I found Wufei and Zechs in the middle of swordplay on the far side of the garden. Both of them were stripped down to nothing but their loose pants. I watched them challenge each other and engage each other in very rough play. Sweat rolled down their chests and backs over their taut muscles.
I have no idea how long I just watched them. Of course, neither one noticed me. Suddenly, I felt as if I was intruding upon something intimate, as strange as that sounds.
Wufei never visited me again after that. I tried to keep up appearances, but I felt like an outsider in my own home.
I went back to my balcony and my bonsai.
So began the biting silence.
No one came to my room, not even to visit. I saw my friends at mealtimes; the conversations were always lively and fun. But I found myself being excluded more and more. I soon found that whatever I said seemed to disappear into the air. It was as if I had said nothing at all. Quatre's sisters would greet me sometimes, especially if they had been out of the house for a few months.
I felt like furniture. I was nothing more than an object, just like when I was young.
Trowa, Quatre, Wufei and Zechs would talk about things that they had done, things that I knew nothing about. I would watch and wonder if they realized that I was still sitting at the table. Did they care?
I doubt seriously if any of them truly understood my need for them, for their company and acceptance. When I came across my fellow pilots during the war, I started to understand surface levels of friendship and loyalty. They taught me so much that I didn't get from my trainers. Even if it was war, these feelings opened a whole new world to me. I spent time with each of them individually and I treasured such times, even if it wasn't the best of circumstances. They each had an endearing gift that I found to be nothing less thanprecious to me.
Now, it seems, I have lost it all. I want to die and stop the miserable silence from eating me alive.
I wonder now if any of them understand how much they mean to me. I was not taught to show expressions of any kind, so maybe it is
my fault. Perhaps my clumsy gestures and overtures of friendship were not understood.
As I finally reach my balcony, my sanctuary of bonsai, the silence around me becomes more real. I am consumed by it. The small potted trees around me are my only friends. I wish that they could speak. At least it would be someone to talk to.
I carefully put down the little white-flowered tree. It hurt to even look at it now. With the way things had been going, most likely, they wouldn't even acknowledge what I had done for them.
Maybe it is time for me to go... before this biting silence kills me.