Ethereal

Summary not available.

Ethereal

by obaona

A/N: Partially inspired by a thread in the CT forum - see here and a comment made in it. happy Um - not really sure what to say otherwise.
Please note - some mature themes.
 

 

I really wasn't sure why I was there. I'm not the type – never have been – to stand out in the rain, to see some famous person passing by, to have something to tell my grandchildren, should I ever have any. I've never understood the appeal; what is the difference between looking at someone you don't know personally in person, or via a hologram? With neither will they know you.

But there I was, on my day off, having passed by the area and not gone any further.

It was a big deal, I can tell you that much – I knew why there weren't a whole lot of people here, and that was because there had been so little advance warning that he would be coming. Luke Skywalker. Enough said with that name, right there. I stood right at the edge of blockade meant to keep the crowd in control, probably the best position to have. It's always warm here, so despite the rain, I wasn't very cold. I wondered what he would be like. I wondered if he would be different in person, then the solemn man I saw in the news.

He stepped out of his ship, and looked around at the crowd, smiling slightly, the expression distant and polite. Almost unreal, ethereal. Not so much after all, I thought, disappointed, and then he met my eyes.

There's something I've gone through that I had never told anyone before. When I was a child, an older child really, I used to think about death a lot. About killing myself, to put it offensively. I went through it. I took a good look at my life one day, and decided – not now. When I've done the things I wanted to do, I thought, then I would let myself. Learned another language, been to space, seen all the wondrous things the universe has to offer. Hasn't been all it's cracked up to be, those things, but I've found other things since. I made myself stop thinking about death, about killing myself. I thought about a certain holodrama instead, whenever I let myself dwell on the subject again. Until finally . . . I no longer wanted to.

Still, there's something inside that changes, when that happens. Some little sad, reflective spot on my soul, which I can't rid myself of, and truly, I don't think I want to. Something to mark that experience in me, and I don't really mind that, anymore. I see that in the eyes of others, people that I know have gone through horrible things, but picked themselves up and decided to make the best of it, despite not knowing why, not ever understanding why them. But they accept it; I accept it. It's made me who I am; I even think it's even made me a better person, more compassionate, more understanding. Given me a depth, perhaps.

Sometimes I see that look in other people's eyes, and I wonder – what was it for them? I don't ask, I don't know what I would do if I were ever asked, but I understand, and when I look at them – I try to show that in my eyes, too.

Luke Skywalker had eyes like that. He had that look that I know I get, where there's some mark inside of you that has changed you, and no one really understands what that is, because you've never told, because they are not you, and you are. Something distant but ethereal, and I think to myself: I wonder if it's true, that pain makes us beautiful. Do the scars of this world become treasures in the next?

He slowed when he came to me, and that look still in his eyes, he smiled at me. He whispered his words, meant for me, even if those crushed beside me heard them as well: "There will be someone who will see and understand," he said to me, "one day."

I just nodded, those beside me quiet, confused. I wasn't looking at Luke Skywalker at that moment, but just a man who carries his scars inside, same as I do.

His wife slipped her hand into his, whispered something in his ear, and his face lit up, and I suddenly saw – he'd found his, that person who would see and understand. She smiles at me, not sure who I am or why he was speaking to me, but choosing to be polite for his sake. They continue walking away, and for the life of me, I can't see those scars in his eyes anymore; just light and happiness.

Someday, I thought, certain of that. Maybe not today. But in the meantime, I'll wait, and make the best of what I've learned.

[finis]

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