Title: Ben (A Study)

Author: Ashantai

E-Mail: ashantai@hotmail.com

Rating: G

Disclaimer: I own nothing and nobody.


He struggles. It's there in the way he clenches his fists, in how he holds his chin, in the darkness that chases across his intense gaze to gather in shadow patches of his eyes. It shows in the way he sleeps, how undefended he is, how tortured. He struggles with his humanity and with his inhumanity, and the differences between the two. He tries to decide where one starts and the other begins.

He does not see it as a struggle. He sees it as life, as what they didn't tell him, as what was out here all along but what he was never warned of. Acting becomes second nature very quickly. He acts like who they want him to be and he becomes that person. Becomes normal without knowing the definition of normal, and happy without having ever experienced that feeling. Except in the deepest and most far away places of his heart, but he tries to ignore that, knows it has no place in this new world, the one he has entered freely, but which he now wishes he'd refused to set foot in. It doesn't make sense, it isn't kind, it isn't what he wanted for himself or for anyone else.

He sees himself alone. Everywhere he looks he sees the separation of things. Separation in the differences between people, between colours and shades, between memories and dreams. He doesn't grasp the subtleties of this place where he has found himself, doesn't understand the rules or the procedures. Doesn't have a mission or a goal or a clear direction. He needs one.

The unfairness strikes him constantly. It weighs on him like heavy lead, pulling him down and making him tired with so much pretending, so much hiding and lurking and lying and censoring. So much effort to blend, to disappear, to become forgettable. He wants to be himself, to become whatever he may become, because he has been promised that out here that is possible. But he has discovered that the world is a dishonest place, where nothing is as it appears, where there are no true laws or order, where things are always shifting, changing, and the moment he thinks he understands something, he has in truth only just begun to grasp it.

Always in the back of his mind there are conflicting desires. One is the desire to truly be the part he is playing, to be normal and happy and to understand the way things are. The other desire is darker but at the same time more comforting, less frightening than the other. Less distasteful to him. It is the desire to choose an alternative to remaking himself to the world's expectations, to instead bring an alteration to the world itself. Make it conform to his rules, his knowledge, his mission. Make it understand him. And with every passing day, he knows that this is the only real option available to him, that all decisions will ultimately be made in its favour, that it is the only certain truth.

He decides his path, and he embraces it. The world is an enemy to him. Therefore, he will be an enemy to the world, he will beat it at its own game, overpower it before it can do the same to him. He will launch a preemptive strike and he will conquer them all. When the dust settles, everyone will understand why he has done the things that he has had to do. And then he will have proven to Her that he is worthy, and he will finally be allowed to go home.