Parafrosýni̱ … No!

Alone he sat in utter darkness waiting for her to come.  She had to be real… she must be. He picked up his phone and dialed her again, squinting because the light from the phone was hard on his eyes. “Hi, this is Pleroma. You know what to do. Catch you later.” and then there was a beep. He put the phone down and fell on his back and sunk into his bed. He wanted things to be different, he wanted to be somewhere else. He decided he would make a raft and went straight to work and finished it in no time. He carried the raft down the hill to the beach, the high tide was coming in so he laid on his back on a raft made of bamboo sticks and drifted out to sea. The water beneath him was warm and the atmosphere above it was cold. He remained on his back staring at the sky as the ocean current carried him away. The clouds were grey with water vapor and the sun hid its face from Vohidlan.  His body lay lifelessly on the raft and his mind was in the sky thinking about everything and nothing because the world sucked and everything in it was dead. Everything except a winged creature in the distance; up and down it went snatching flesh from the waters and tossing the remains back into the sea.

The feathered creature had five heads, four of the heads were vulture heads and the one in the middle was the head of an eagle. It had the body and wings of a pelican and enormous eagle talons. Suddenly there was a shift in the creature’s behavior and it headed toward Vohidlan. He was paralyzed by fear as he saw into the eagle’s eye. In a moment he was in the sky and the bamboo raft appeared smaller and smaller until he could see it no more.  A bright light appeared ahead and grew bigger and brighter as he drew near. Vohidlan covered his eyes with his hands, then he heard a familiar tune. He was drawn to the music that seemed to have come from another dimension, that seemed to call him with its melody. He uncovered his eyes to see where that music came from and the moment he did that he began to fall; the light above him shrunk and disappeared. He was approaching an unidentifiable mass fast and in an instant was violently joined again with his body. His heart was pounding and his phone was ringing, it was Pleroma. He quickly answered the phone, “Hello.”

“Hey, how are you?” she asked in her usual soft melancholy voice.

“Good. It has been a while. How are things going?” His voice still shaky from the sudden awakening.

“I’m OK. I needed some time alone. I’m sorry I haven’t called.” she said in a slightly less melancholy tone.  “Would you like to get together for lunch or coffee soon?”

“OK. Let’s meet at Seeds of Compassion tomorrow. They have good vegetarian food there.”

Vohidlan and Pleroma planned to meet there the next day at noon. They continued to talk and Vohidlan felt better because he knew she was real. He doubted this before because of his condition. He was diagnosed with Schizophrenia but Pleroma accepted him the way he was and they became good friends.

Vohidland expressed in a gentle tone, “I have images of you in my head. You’re like my sky and my weather.”

“Aww. You are being cute.” she said bashfully, “I enjoy talking to you.”

“I enjoy the ambiance of you,” he uttered, “and being in your presence even though we don’t occupy the same space. I have this image of you in the frontal lobe of my brain. It’s like in the “Wizard of Oz” where the image is above them except you are really pretty and not scary looking (Pleroma giggled) and you could make all my dreams come true and I would perform tasks for you.”

They both had a good laugh and still laughing Pleroma said, “You are really something else.”

After they hung up the phone Vohidlan felt calm and sleepy and drifted into what seemed to be an eternity of dreams. When he woke up the next day he couldn’t remember what those dreams were about but felt that he had lived a lifetime in another dimension yet he had only aged one day in this dimension. He rolled out of bed and combed his waist-long black hair, brushed his teeth, put the usual black T-shirt and blue jeans on and went on his way to meet his dear friend, Pleroma. He believed she was an angel in disguise, sent to earth to befriend him so he wouldn’t be so alone. How else could anyone be so perfect? But she wasn’t perfect except in his mind.

Vohidlan arrived early at the restaurant and got a table for two. He ordered her a Mango Lassi and chocolate milk for himself. He sat with his back to the entrance but knew Pleroma arrived the moment she walked through the door because he felt her presence. He turned around to see if she was really there and sure enough there she was- in a flowy white mid-length skirt and button-up sheer yellow cap-sleeve top over a white tank top. She had a new hair cut, a short bob with auburn highlights in her black hair. He stood up to greet her and as their eyes met they waved hi to each other at the same time from across the room. She walked towards him gracefully like an angel walking on air. She was radiant and her smile was the sunshine itself.

“You’re here and you’re early. It’s so nice to see you.” she said cheerfully.
With a joyful grin Vohidlan replied, “Early, I am and it is a pleasure to see you.”

“And you ordered me my favorite drink!” she said in the way a happy little child express their joy with bright eyes and all. “Thank you.” She hugged him then set her vibrantly colorful Peruvian purse on the chair next to her and sat across from Vohidlan.

“Welcome.” he said, still grinning. “You are beautiful.”

“You’re beautiful.” She said while holding the gaze of his big blue eyes, eyes that captivated her. There was mystery and kindness in his eyes and poetry in his speech. “I love your hair; its so long… We should trade.”

They ordered more food than either of them could possibly consume in one sitting and got each other up to speed on the happenings in their lives. Vohidlan was still writing, so was she. He inquired about her latest disappearance and she informed him that she had a mental breakdown. She thought of ten ways to commit suicide painlessly and did the research to make sure that those methods were fool-proof. “Who would want to survive something like that?” she said plainly without emotion as if it wasn’t a big deal. This made Vohidlan sad. She assured him that she was so far past all of that and that she felt like it was a lifetime ago. She was a new person now and she had hope despite the difficulties in life. To lighten the mood she came up with humorously cynical and negative slogans for laughs: 1) Hate is a strong word and I’m a strong woman. 2)The only thing you do right is acting out the definition of wrong. 3) I hate no one but myself and I love everyone as much as I love myself. Vohidlan found it amusing and his laughter made her day.

She liked seeing happy. It made her happy. She like to write and so did he and she wanted to know about what he was doing. “Have you written any lately?”

With mischievous eyes and a playful smile he replied, “I wrote a poem for a girl I liked once and in it I killed every person on earth so that she and I could be alone together.”

“You’re not going to kill anyone in real life are you?” she said jokingly.

“No. I wouldn’t hurt anyone, especially you, I would never hurt you. I like you a lot. Too much.” he said in a gentle tone. Almost as if he was sad that she asked him that.  Pleroma reached across the table, pulled his long locks toward her and gently brushed the ends of his soft hair against her cheek.

“Sorry. Well, I like you too. You are my personal Thesaurus and Dictionary. You’re like a walking talking living dictionary. But really you are more than that. You’re special to me.”

Vohidlan’s eyes brightened, his broad smile mirrored hers. “And you’re my Encyclopedia and Bible. My user’s guide to the universe, you teach me about the world outside of my realm,” he said, “you’re like Cleopatra because you’re all noble and regal. You have a certain aura around you, it’s mystical.”
Vohidlan’s creativity in his use of words and the art of language always amazed her. He was brilliant but when he spoke of her in that way it made her a little uncomfortable not because it was coming from him but because she didn’t see herself the way he saw her.

“I have a third eye, we all do,” he continued. “it’s the source of your spiritual vision and psychic visions.”

“We’re not meant to see into the future, I’m not into that stuff.” she said frankly.

“Yeah?” He questioned.

“It’s not good for you. It messes with your mind.” She said with conviction. Third eyes and Pagan beliefs are against her beliefs and not something she likes to talk about but she does not think ill of people because of their beliefs.

“The problem with human beings,” he said, “is we view the past through a microscope, the future through a telescope and the present through a kaleidoscope.”

“How you do view it?” she inquired.

“Kaleidoscope.” Vohidlan admitted.

“Is that how you view everything? Through a kaleidoscope?” She inquired.

“Yeah, haha…” he said, feeling a little self-conscious, “probably.”

Pleroma wondered if seeing all of life through a kaleidoscope would benefit her mental state. She was a functional person but not without a tremendous amount of effort each day. The difficult situation she was in was taking a toll on her. She prayed that God would take her to heaven in her sleep each night before she drifted into the dream world, a world she wished was her real life. Few people knew this about her and those she didn’t reveal this to would never suspect she was afflicted with a troubled mind. She was prudent and a fighter despite her fears. She put on a cheery disposition when dealing with the world; making someone happy made her happy but happiness was not lasting for her because when the day ended she was alone. She knew that the only thing that could make her life fuller was love and she wanted to love someone in a way that would free her but she didn’t know how until she met him but she was worried that he would leave. She wanted to be content and happy the way Vohidlan was but could only imagine what it was like to see life through a kaleidoscope.

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