Gran Torino


The dulcet, subtle tones of the piano thrum through the wooden room, her figure wavering in the shadows. She moves as a nymph on a summer morning breeze, sunlight on her wings and happiness in her heart. She lights upon a soul and departs immediately, his touch warming to her before losing himself in the thoughts of her memory. But she does not know that which she leaves behind her.

Even as she flies away, the love within his heart turns brutal, cold, depressing and winter begins to chill his bones. He does not want to let her go, he wishes to be selfish. So he runs after her, the touch of winter fresh on his breath. His ragged lungs tearing at the fabric of his being, he grabs her by the ankle and she falters, the bones of her leg freezing solid even as the sunlight begins to dim on her wings. Desperately, desperately, she tries to fly away, fly towards her life, fly towards the life she wants. But desperately, desperately, he clings to her, dragging her back down to the earth, freezing her a bit at a time. And for a long second, he does not realize his fault, he does not realize what he has done.

And then, all at once, he does. The woman that he loved is gone, the wonderful beauty that flowed as a leaf on the cusp of a wave in a slow moving stream has disappeared, frozen by the touch of his coldness. He tries to gather the light in her, pour it back in, but she hears nothing, only the cry of the life that she wanted. The sun shines, but she dare not look at it, for the dear memory of her beloved. He holds her, but there is no heat nor heart in his embrace. And slowly, slowly, desperately, desperately, the light from her eyes fades even as the the other nymphs watch on, contemplating what her failure was in life that caused her downfall, even as his frozen hands fall from her frozen fingers. And together they lie, in stasis, in frigidity, in frost, unto death.

And her only mistake was to love too much, and his only mistake was to not love enough. When we are children, we find that we must learn to let go from a young age, but it is terribly frightening how many of us lose that lesson along the way, drop it on the road to what we believe might be our destination, only to get there and lose it all anyway.

The nymph has frozen solid and she will die, and so will he eventually. He cannot give her what she wants, what she so desperately, frantically, needs so very much, but he keeps her there because he cannot live without her. He does not love her enough to let her walk away, to see the smile upon her face. He believes, so very wrongly, that a tear in his hand is so much more precious than the smile from a mile away. And suddenly, she breaks free. She departs, shakes off the frost, and flies, determined to live her life. And he reaches for her again, but he does not make it, and he falls, falls and falls to the ground below, the coldness crushing his soul, crushing him for good. And as he lays there, broken, he manages a smile, as he realizes his folly all along. And as she flies, the sunlight pours over her wings, warming them once again, and soon, the memory of her time spent with him, frozen in stasis, waiting for death, will never again haunt her and will fade away entirely. But sometimes, only sometimes, she will fly past where she knows he lays, waiting, hoping to get a glimpse of the man that she nearly gave it all up for.

And every night, he stares out at the moon, and wishes he could learn to fly.

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