Look over there, son. Do you see that woman?

Yes?. Uh. What about her, papa?

Look at the way she looks over here at us and how the softness in her eyes leaves as her eyes glaze over me. The bright blue appears to be on fire. Have you ever seen sapphire burn?

Uh? No!

Imagine it. Imagine taking a piece of blindingly beautiful jewelry and watching it glow in the dark. The slightest bit of light sets it ablaze and it sparkles light through a dark room. You sit in wonder and awe of the beauty as it lights up everything in the darkness that could create a shadow. You are surrounded by it; swallowed by it.

Is that a good or a bad thing, papa?

Son, you decide. Imagine a dimly lit indoor pool where the only lights are those of the exit lights and you immerse yourself very slowly into the water. Your first step tells you that the temperature is welcoming followed by a second and a third and then you are hip deep into the water before you allow yourself to be swallowed in. Then, in less than two seconds, you are under water and you open your eyes. The water shimmers and refracts the light of the exits. You furthermore exhale and the water responds immediately and the light wavers more so than before. You sit under water and slowly the pool becomes comfortable, even after realizing you are no longer holding your breath. You might be drowning, but you don’t care.

Papa, that sounds terrifying.

Son. Look at her. Tell me; is she on fire or burned out? Is that sapphire giving off the heat of love or hate; or worse yet, apathy?

Papa, I can’t understand what you are getting at. To me it looks as if she’s enjoying herself with others. She’s mingling and then once in a while she looks back in our direction and she has a smile on her face. She seems to be enjoying herself. Her smile tells me that she’s speaking to you but now that you mention it, I’m not sure based on the depth of her gaze. It’s somewhat troubling. I’m beginning to sense that she’s not concerned about you but that she wants you to see her happy, not that she wants you to know that she’s happy. Her smile is like that of the Mona Lisa. You know what I mean? Like she’s half smiling but her motivation is unknown.

Son, her motivation is hate. She looks at me with scorn. If she were God, I would be in hell now. Her gaze is dismissive and taunting as to mirror my sentiment. She’s reading my mind. She knows if she were God, I would be in hell. She’s not God and that makes her angrier. So, she damns me never the less. Son, that look in her eyes is the look of hate, of tolerance for my breathing her air, of a desire for my death to be slow and painful.

Papa – that’s horrible! What makes you say that?

Son – look carefully. That is the look of a sapphire burning as a coal – not as a gem. My hell is her hatred towards me. If that flame were to go out, all that would be left is apathy. I much prefer her hate.

Papa, that’s so sad.

Don’t be sad, Son. My penance, my reciprocity for the evil I’ve committed in my life is upon me and my true God has given me her.

Ugh – how could you stay with her?

Because I love her, son. I deeply love her. son

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