He was handsome, intelligent, funny, and well mannered. An expert in his field, he was often asked for advice, and he always responded graciously and modestly. Well traveled and adventurous, he entertained people with stories of exotic places and fascinating people.
People thought they were more than mere acquaintances because he had a way of making them feel close to him. He listened to their stories, asked if they enjoyed their holidays, and remembered the names of their spouses and children. People didn’t notice that they never saw the inner workings of his life.
When newspapers reported that it was his body that had been decapitated by a train, people were stunned. Some had heard rumors of a change in his outgoing personality, but none would have guessed that he would walk to train tracks not far from his home and lie down across them because he could no longer bear to live.
The doors to his soul were beautiful. Warm in hue and texture, the doors were inviting, but they were equally thick and tall. He came out to dazzle and to charm, and people were content to enjoy his company, but he never invited them in.
Will anyone ever know all that transpired behind the beautiful doors that attracted so many but opened for no one? Are people haunted by the thought of his loneliness and despair? Do hearts ache with the pain of connections that fell short, like lifesavers thrown into the water but never grasped by the drowning?
Beautiful doors. They make the view from the outside so pleasant that people fail to notice they’re being kept out.
©Living off Island, Writing Wahine, 2016.