“But it hurts so much” she replied.
“Living hurts” she sniffed.
George couldn’t see her, but it was as if they were both looking into each other’s eyes, and even though they didn’t have long, he spoke to her with a sense of measure and calm that reminded her of her father.
“I know I’m just a cat, and you might say what does a cat know about living, but each day I see a thousand miracles, and none could ever come close to that of your smile. I’ve watched you so many times. We all have, secretly, and when you smile it’s as if God himself came down from the sky and kissed us upon the lips, for the love you bring to the world is enough to warm even the coldest of hearts. Just ask one of my brothers, Sydney. He’s a mean one for sure, and yet the minute he sees you I can hear him purring a mile away.”
“You’re just saying that,” she quipped.
If you’ve ever heard a cat laugh, you’d know it was a wonderful thing, and so George laughed, and X did too, although it must be said it was against her best wishes.
“It’s true, I swear. You say you hurt, and I’m sure you do, yet to hurt is to feel and if you hurt it means you’re alive, and to be alive is surely a thousand times more precious than to be dead? So many go through life as if they’ve been dead for years. They bury themselves in trivialities and hide away their hearts for fear of being found out, yet we can hear your heart beating even while we sleep, such is the passion that flows through your veins. It might seem a weakness that you feel too much, but would you rather be like them? Would you rather go through life like you were already dead? Like you were somehow waiting to be swept away in a dustpan and brush?”
“I guess not.”
“You guess correctly,” George purred. “You’re a delicate thing, I know, and life may seem cold and cruel and just too much to bear, and yet one day, maybe not tomorrow or the day after, but one day you shall see what lies behind the veil, and when you do everything will make sense, and that which you can’t yet put into words will become poetry to your eyes and mind, and the dance of life will scoop you up and Prudence, when it does, you shall never come down.”
As the stars nearby shone and those in the distance faded, George felt his heart beat in sync with hers even though they were so far apart.
“You did a bad thing, but you wouldn’t be the first. Those who feel too much are often those who leave by their own hand. It’s the saddest thing there is, and yet still the music plays. Whether you like it or not, Prudence, you are here for a reason. Wouldn’t you agree there’s nothing more beautiful than to be alive for a reason? Even if you’re not aware of the meaning of this reason, its magic can be found from the gentle caress of the mildest breeze to the tips of the tallest trees. And yes, it will always hurt, and yet it will always, always be beautiful. This, my child, is both the gift and the curse that will become your life’s work.”