He learned many secrets as a child.
Most of all, he learned how to hide his true self, even from himself.
“Never look back,” they said, “into a mirror, for you will see your soul.”
He understood their advice,and why they told him. They knew his soul, for they and drawn it up themselves, into the squawking babe that he inhabited, all those years ago. A child of impeccable pedigree, and lineage suitable, strong enough in constitution and faith to carry his light. His fallen light.
He waked in beauty, and much in the world around him was even more beautiful still. How could he walk these streets knowing his true face? They told him, you must hide and show others beauty, for only in that will you succeed. To know too much of yourself courts disaster. You may shrink back yourself, having forgotten the true glory of your own world, and you may defeat yourself.
“It has happened before,” they said. “When you first fell. Your image changed, and for centuries you despaired, and then you denied, and then you embraced it all, but now once more you have let it go. For it is time. You must not remember. You must not look back.”
This form was chosen to tempt, to beguile. He understood, and he found comfort in facing the mirror each day, seeing his body, his face, his expressions. He belonged. He looked like them, and they were beautiful to him in their way.
In his way. As long as he never looked back.
“Yes, look forward,” they said. “As we look forward to your rise, and their eventual fall. In your place, in our place.”
Then he might see his face. But not till then.
But what if he loved the beauty now? What if he wanted nothing to fall? Not this earth, not this kind of creation, not even heaven itself? Looking forward meant looking at them and seeing them look back.
That was new, that was wonderful.
So he might disappoint those who drew him here. Those who hated what he now found beautiful, so like him, so like the image of something or someone he once loved, so long ago, so hard to remember.
What did they know of his fall? What did they understand? He might be grateful they brought him here, but that was all.
He’d bring them down instead, cast them down, in the name of something he’d long ago forgotten. But now he remembered. Now he could reach out again, to something higher, something more beautiful.
And it would embrace him, at least for a time.
As long as he never looked back.
(c) Helen M Valentina 2017