Pooling, his eyes wet, dripped, as he curled into a ball in the corner. He was not as fast, strong, smart, or as pretty as others. Mocked and ridiculed, he began to pull away from the people who surrounded him. Different, useless, and feeble, his efforts to fit the mold of his peers failed. His large head rested on his thin limbs as he hoped to escape into the world of dreams. There, if Morpheus were kind, he could be loved for who he was.
As his heavy eyes swallowed him in the swirl of the blissful dark, he sank into the worlds of his dreams. He saw the faces of those who ridiculed, belittled him. He turned his head away and watched as the arrows of their words ripped at him from the corners of his eyes. Their words lost their strength as they crossed the infinite space of halves between them. Each phrase designed to attack his weakness, spun, turned around, and declared their owners’ fault. Their faces changed from furrowed brows, wrinkled noses, narrow eyes, and curled lips to wide eyes, slack jaws, open mouths.
In him, they saw all they feared inside themselves. Now their biting words tore at their flesh. Their voices of venom held up a mirror of their self-doubt to their eyes. As they withered in the fear of the inadequacies, he felt for them. They began to physically reflect the ugliness of their speech. Their pretty faces became misshapen, pock-marked, and wrinkled. The strength of their muscles failed and replaced with fat. They grew large, stretching out their clothes and their belly hung out of their shirts. They cried out for mercy, to be the people they were, the people they valued.
His heart broke to see them this way. In a moment he secretly wished for, his head slunk low between his shoulders. This was not what he wanted, not at all. The crying tormentors’ tearful eyes looked to him now, watching them. As he met each set of eyes, they turned unable to sustain contact. He walked to them, embracing each one, he let them know he cared. He pulled them all close, and he played with each one. Careful not to make them feel bad for what they were not, he accentuated all that they were.
They knew something now, something they missed. He was not weaker than others, it was their weakness.