Then and Now (part 1)

Even the rolling tumbleweed failed to break the perpetual silence as it was carried on the warm desert wind.

The silence.

Above all else, the silence was unexpected. The silence was harder to cope with than the loneliness.

Welcome to Nowhere.

Population: barely 1.

*

He tried to scream, to cry out. No sound was made.

In Nowhere, the silence is everything.

The dust swirled around his feet as he stumbled along the gravel path. Each footstep made no noise.

He remembered times past when he could hear sounds clearly. Always on the periphery of the noise, never able to join in the circle, never able to be a part of raising the volume. It almost felt as if he was accepted even though deep down he knew he did not belong.

The noisy circle ceased to exist. Silence overcame everything.

*

He hears the sounds when he sleeps. Only in his dreams. He has no interest in waking up. He needs the sounds to be real again.

*

That was then. He’s not sure how long ago he first arrived in Nowhere. For so long he never thought that he would be able to leave. It took a considerable amount of time for the silence to be broken. It took what felt like an age for him to escape.

But he did manage to leave. He escaped and managed to hear again.

He can now hear melodies. Very faint, they are carried on the edge of the wind. They can just about be picked out over the daily cacophony. Some days they can be heard stronger than others. He lives for those days. Some days they can be barely heard.

The sounds are there nevertheless, despite the distance they travel.

They lift him up.

*

When the melodies are faint, he feels himself sinking again.

He searches for a place to rest and settle. Each destination different from the last. In time the initial promise of acceptance crumbles and fades. He moves on.

The melodies push him on. They always come back.

He can hear them now stronger than ever.

*

He’s found the place where he finally belongs. The melodies swirl around him, enveloping him despite the distance.

The distance.

The distance is the most difficult thing to deal with now. It will always be there, he realises that. There will be times, brief snippets, brief moments, when the distance will not exist at all. They will be great times; times to escape, to be free, to dance with the sound of the melody all around him.

But the distance will come back. It has to come back. Thankfully the distance is merely physical not spiritual.

All he needs though is for the melodies to keep on playing, to sing their remarkable song, to fill his heart.

He has found his acceptance. He has found his place. His fragile heart is protected by the sweet sound of the melodies that stir his soul.

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