The Musings of a Dark Mind

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Gallantly Naive

Gallantly naive, that’s what her friends would call her, a label of noble innocence.

She had preferred to think of herself as a believer.

A believer in the beauty within.

A believer in the truth.

A believer in humanity.

A true bohemian, if ever there was one.

She took joy in the smiles of those she helped.

She took pride in the thanks she received.

She took solace in knowing she had done good work at the end of a long, hard day.

But she never saw how much they were taking from her until it was too late. Until every ounce of her strength had been zapped from her. Until every ounce of her control had been taken away. Until her belief lay shattered on the floor and she had nothing to show for all her hard work.

Each one she believed in would take something from her without her even knowing. A sliver of her soul. A touch of her being.

She would gallop in like a heroine on horse back, saving them from their own selves and trusting their pleas as genuine as she poured her souls worth of love and belief into them.

One by one.

They would grow, they would gain strength, they would become whole again, by taking pieces of her to do it.

It took years, but the cracks started to show.

Her armour became dull.

Her skin bore bruises of the struggle.

Her eyes grew dim, once so shiny and bright, now hollow and dark.

Where there was once light now there is only darkness.

Where there was once happiness now there is only emptiness.

Where there was once belief now there is only bitterness.

Anna stands below a mighty oak tree, old and creaky, showing it’s years in scars and creaks.

She feels it’s age and wonders if the tree is much younger than herself. Her soul having aged well beyond her physical years through her trauma and turmoil of saving so many undeserving liars and brutes.

She wonders if she had ever seen the truth in any of them, or just the truth they wanted her to believe as they used her like a puppet.

She wonders if she would ever had learnt her lesson if it weren’t for the last one, her life literally held in the balance between her own hands and his at the end there.

She wonders if her friends were right.
Gallantly naive.

Her mind wanders to the one that got away, the one she truly loved but could never save, the one that started the addiction of heroics in the first place. It was always him she was trying to save, the faces and names would change but forever it would be him.

She remembered laying her head in his lap and how he would stroke her hair. Soft and tender moments of affection and understanding between the two of them, slipped away through their fingers because she couldn’t be what he needed.

She remembered the days they would spend together away from the prying eyes of their community, hidden in their own solitude, quiet and undisturbed, they knew no one else would ever understand. They were happiest when they were simply together.

She remembered the little things. The touch of his skin beneath her fingers, the tangle of his hairs, the bite marks she would leave on his skin, the tiniest patch of blonde hair amidst the black that no-one ever noticed but her.

She knew the trace of his body from his deep muscles to his skin deep freckles. She knew what made him tick and what made him purr. She knew everything about him, his entire past, his passions, his fears, his deepest desires.

And she knew they could never be together.

So she poured herself into others, hoping beyond hope that one day she would win.

Alas, she was only destined to lose.
Because she never learned to love herself.

So Anna stands at the base of the great oak tree that was old when she was a girl, twisting a rope between her hands as she plays over her short life in her head and wonders if any of it was ever real. Her hospital gown flaps around her naked legs in the light breeze and tears coat her cheeks as the smallest part of her begs for another chance, but the rest of her knows she will never learn. The rest of her knows that her heroics are simply a means to an end for those who do not deserve her. The rest of her knows what has to be done.

Anna climbs the tree with the rope twisted into a solid hangman’s knot slung around her neck. She climbed this tree a million times as a child, but never has her body felt so leaden, never has the tree felt so high, and never has the bark felt so rough against her skin as it does tonight.

She wonders how many of them will attend her funeral, and how many of her friends will say that she was ‘gallantly naive’ this time.

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