Author's Note: This is not a Slash fic. Not is it M-rated!
Thank you theredrobin for helping me out with this story! If you haven't read her stories yet, go do so!
Disclaimer:The Fault In Our Stars belongs to John Green. I just wrote this story.
The first time I found myself utterly lost for words, I was ten years old. My brain went into overdrive, trying to come up with a single noun, a single verb, fitting the situation. I drew a blank. My friend Amy was shaking, tears falling down her cheeks in bright crystalline drops. If only there was something I could do, something I could say to make her feel better, to soothe her. I just stood there, awkwardly gazing at her slumped form, hoping there would come an end to these seemingly endless tears.
This wasn't the last time I would be dumbstruck when confronted with another person's pain. It is a feeling alien to me. I've never in my life felt a pain worthy of tears. I'm not talking about physical pain, not the bumps, or scratches, or broken bones, I've had those. No, I mean the deep emotional pain of loss, of real sorrow.
'Without pain, how could we know joy?' These words were meant as an encouragement to make sense of hurt, but have haunted me for years. They made me feel incomplete, insufficient. It feels like there is a humongous hole where my heart should be. I am painless, thus heartless.
I tried to fill the gap by reading. I searched, reading book after book, for that feeling, the one emotion that could make me whole. I am not sure if I succeeded in my quest. Have I now really experienced mourning? I have felt Haemon's cry rip through my chest, when he found his love, his Antigone, dead. I felt the heartbreak and sorrow, when the little mermaid dissolved into foam, not being able to save her life by killing her heart's true love. My heart broke for king Lear, as he entered with the lifeless body of his youngest daughter Cordelia in his arms. I cried when Carlson put down Candy's dog, because it was no longer productive and Candy could not bring himself to do it.
Why is it, that mourning over these fictional characters makes me feel so alive? Why do I feel the need to get to know them and then join them in their pain and suffering? Only to close the book in the end, leaving the sorrow inside and using it as a reference to measure my own life. 'Without pain, how could we know joy?' Is it fair then, to cheat the pain?
Still, I have not found a way to cure my incontrovertible muteness in the face of tears. Though I feel myself drawn towards people who are hurting, like a moth is drawn to a flame. As I was drawn to Isaac.
To tell the truth, the first time I met him would have been the last, if it hadn't been for him. In unknown social situations, I'm as blunt as a hammer, with the subtlety of a derailed freight train. I rarely meet people who are interested in getting to know me after 5 minutes of conversation.
Every Saturday afternoon I'd go to a cinema across town to watch art-house movies. It was a small venue, but I liked watching a movie in quiet solitude.
On this particular Saturday, they were showing a Spanish drama that I hadn't seen before. I was a little excited when I walked into the theater.
There he was, sitting in MY seat, my PERFECT seat. I always sat in the same exact seat, in the exact center of the theater. I would even reserve it, while there was no real reason for it, as there were usually less than 3 people at the Saturday afternoon showing.
The first thing I noticed about him were his sunglasses. Huge aviator sunglasses that stood crookedly on his straight stubborn nose. I found this weird, because the theater was almost dark. On top of that, it wasn't exactly a sunny day outside.
"Get up, you're in my chair," I said. He didn't respond or give any indication he heard me, so I nudged him with my knee.
"Are you deaf? You're in my seat!"
"I'm sorry, I didn't realize the seats were assigned," he answered. He didn't move a muscle though, he just sat there, gazing at the screen.
"The seat numbers are on the tickets, can't you read?" I exclaimed a second before I noticed the folded cane in his lap. He took off his sunglasses, revealing two fake blue eyes and turned to face me.
"Well, no, actually, I'm blind," he said and before I could stop myself, words tumbled from my mouth.
"You are aware this whole setup is to show moving pictures?"
He frowned and I bit my tongue. Way to go girl, an excellent way to show off your amazing people skills! While I was mentally berating myself, a broad smile took over his face, it was almost luminescent in the dimmed lightning of the theater.
"I think I like you," he said as he stared in my general direction. "I'm Isaac."
"That's all very well, but you're still in my seat," I replied, ignoring the hand he offered me.
With a deep sigh he raised from his chair and glided into the next, turning his head back towards the screen, so I sat down.
I looked at him coyly from the corner of my eyes, in a needless attempt to keep him from catching me staring. He wasn't very handsome, still I couldn't look away. He had a long and skinny face, with dark hair. I'm sure it was dyed, as his roots showing were blond. There was something about him, something that awoke my curiosity.
"My way is better," he said out of nowhere and his words confused me. I opened my mouth to ask him what he was talking about when he continued.
"I make up my own story as I listen to the movie. I don't speak Spanish, so I get to imagine what it is about. You should try it sometimes." The ridiculousness of his advise made me chuckle.
"Try what, being blind?" I asked.
"Yes, just poke out an eye or two and try it my way. You could be less extreme and close them, of course, but where's the fun in that?" he said in an amused tone.
"Isobel," I said barely audible and he slightly turned his head.
"Isobel," I repeated a little louder, "That's my name, Isobel Hayes."
"Well, I'm pleased to meet you, Isobel Hayes." I was taken aback by the sincerity in his voice. Hoping to find some insight into this boy, I stared at him, unable to figure him out. His eyes gazed unseeing into nothing.
The movie started and I closed my eyes. He was right, his way was better. I could hear the words, but not understand them. Though it was clear to me what the story was about. The emotion behind the words bled into my ears, touching my very core, forcing tears to stream down my cheeks.
When the movie was finished, I finally opened my eyes and I sighed deeply.
"You were right," I told Isaac as I wiped the tears from my eyes.
"I know right? This movie rocked!" he said excitedly. "Dead bodies, lots of blood, honor and self-sacrifice! How was your movie?" I was quiet for a while, he must not have heard what I heard. He must not have felt the emotion in the voices.
"It was beautiful, about love and heartache. No happy ending for the heroine." I answered. He sighed and restlessly tapped the floor with his foot.
"Did you peek? I know I didn't cheat, but you don't have a fail safe." I shook my head. He kept tapping and I realized my shaking head wasn't much of an answer to him.
"No," I simply answered.
"Girls," he smirked, "have no imagination, none whatsoever!"