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A perfect space in a famous hotel. One should be considered lucky to be invited. Following the cobblestone step, the visitors should find themselves in a hidden playground, a place that has an irrelevant purpose in this glorious gathering. It was as if the visitors knew that somehow the playground would downgrade their value. It was almost “the code” of conduct established by no one yet followed by everyone.

This space had an entrance, an open sky, and what looked to be a barb-wired fence barricading the visitors from the outsiders. If one observed closely, one ought to see that the outsiders admired the insiders for their finest cuisine and dresses of exquisite delicacy. The insiders would be foolish to linger on the outsiders – their sweaty clothes and freedom shoes – but they did. In fact, one would see that both sides expressively or secretly desired to be on the other side that it was almost illegal, if not nonsensical, that they chose to stay put.

Elsewhere is a negative mirror. The traveler recognizes the little that is his, discovering the much he has not had and will never have. ― Italo Calvino

Upon arrival, a lady in impeccable black dress and shiny high-heeled boots was warmly greeted. She was, needless to say, one of the most active participants in an event as such. She also was one of the only ones spotted briefly at the playground. It was somewhat noticeable that she wasn’t at ease, failing to put on a consistent smile and hide her irritation. The lady was the last to leave. She felt empty for being unable to connect, wondering if the playground or her dress was to blame. In truth, she was far from the only one. Anyone who came had their worth defined based on how much attention they had received.

Adored by every visitor stood the core of the occasion. He was excellent at his profession, conversing with every single person with grace and a grin more precious than any gemstone hanging on a lady’s neck. His voice was filled with humor, melody, and glamour; one would voluntarily perish of his scent. Buried deep in a strange place of his mind, the night breeze brought his imagination to a distant little child. All he ever wanted was to come home in the world where hearting was an excuse for being vain, and comfort was next to a form of failure and shame. For a mere second, he couldn’t recall the merit that costed the child’s righteous soul.

People have forgotten this truth, but you mustn’t forget it. You become responsible forever for what you’ve tamed. You’re responsible for your rose. ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

When the lady in black crossed paths with the host, they exchanged a smile not so sincere as the one from three years before. Their hasty attempt to converse was frequently put on hold, distracted by mysteriously swimming thoughts and interrupted by unidentifiable acquaintances. For a split second, an observer would be able to tell that the lady wondered how long it took before a friend who thought highly of her eventually came to be disappointed in her. In her lover’s embrace at a later time, she wept.

In such a hectic environment, the reason that jeopardized the interaction with the lady would be the least of his concern. His pocket was heavy with the shadows of ignored vibrating rhythm. He felt deprived of freedom – it was almost as if he gave up on the people who gave him reasons to begin and thrive. It was almost as if wealth and fame had to be acquired with love as its price. Perhaps it was better to be ordinary and unimpressive. Perhaps it was less gut-wrenching to laugh at one’s own failure than to shed crocodile tears.


VITAK CHEAV


For a different experience, read the story here

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