Caring and Truth
"You humans just don't get it, do you?" he said quietly. "He spent forever building his own world. Down to the very last detail. After all, the only thing he has left is time."
I breathed in sharply, not believing what was going through my ears.
"Then you came along and destroyed it all in an instant," he continued emotionlessly. "With one word."
No. No. Why…?
"That's all humans can do, isn't it? Destroy, but never make? You never appreciate what's around you. You're screwing up your own species. And now you just destroyed the emotional stability of the last remaining member of another species."
"Stop it!" I shouted. "Stop it!"
I couldn't bear it anymore. I didn't want to hear it.
"Does it hurt?" he asked. "How does it feel to have your own world completely destroyed? Hmm? Can you begin to imagine the pain he's in? Oh, but of course. You don't care. You've never cared."
"What lies can I say?" he said. "You know it's true. You know that you've just ruined his life. All he was looking for was the things that the universe denied to him. For all of eternity, he's been alone. Nobody cared. Nobody even bothered to think about him. He thought you might be different. But none of you, none of you humans… you never are. And you've never, ever, ever changed."
I couldn't bear it. It hurt so much. I could hardly believe that he was actually saying this, he was telling me all these terrible, horrible truths. In a park. The park. The one where he always returned. Skyler… I remember it all now. This park… this park… two years ago, I took Skyler here. It was part of his birthday present, trying to distract him so everyone else could prepare. But Skyler… Skyler was so happy.
"This was…" I said hoarsely, "this was why he asked us to stop having parties for him, right? He came here every year?"
"Every day," he said. "The memories were too sweet, too happy. It was the first time he'd actually ever been happy. Just when he was about to give it all up. Imagine living for two centuries alone. The fact Skyler survived so long is outstanding. And you never cared. Never saw through the fake smiles. You can't even begin to imagine the pain."
"No…" I said, denying it. The pain… I could imagine it now. I could feel it. This huge, big, acid ball piercing through my heart. It hurt. There were no words that could describe it.
"Then you wouldn't have hurt him. You wouldn't have said that single word. You would have known."
And he walked away, a representative of truth. And I didn't even ask him how he knew so much about Skyler. I didn't need to. It was always there. I just never bothered to look at it. I never bothered to look carefully at Skyler. He was right. I never cared.
I should never have said no.