The Gift

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
what would you do if you could feel other's emotions as if they were your own?

Submitted: February 06, 2017

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Submitted: February 06, 2017

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The boy in the coffee shop was confused. He couldn’t tell why no one was sitting with the lonely girl in the corner booth. She was giving off very clear vibes that were begging someone to sit with her, so she wouldn’t have to be by herself for a while. The boy hadn’t realized that he was the only one in the room who could feel those vibes, that he could feel her emotions and no one else could. He reminded himself that he had a gift. It was a very annoying and inconvenient gift, but it was a gift nonetheless.

He decided to go over to the girl, to keep her company, and to show her that someone could feel her pain. So he took his book and his hot chocolate, he wasn’t a fan of coffee, and went over to the girl.

“Do you mind if I sit here?”

“NO,” she said almost too eagerly. “I mean, I don’t mind. Please sit.” The boy set his stuff down and sat in the booth. I took a sip from his drink before trying to make any small talk. “So what’s your name?” he asked as warmly as he could. It hadn’t been the greatest day so far, but he needed to make her feel better and not worse.

“My name is Charlotte,” she responded quietly, “and who are you?’ The boy let out a small laugh, not more than a puff of air out of his nose.

“I’m just someone who doesn’t want anyone drinking coffee by them self.” He smirked a little bit when he saw the confused look on her face. “But if you were asking name, it’s Eros.”

She snickered a bit, and then stopped herself. “You mean like the roman god-“

“-Of love. Yeah. You’re not the first to laugh at,” Eros said with a smile. “I’m just glad I could make you laugh. You seemed a bit lonely.” He could feel her emotions tense up. She had put her guard up, and I had to tread lightly now.

“So what brings you to the coffee shop today?” he said and attempted to put some happiness into it, hoping it would cause her to settle back down.

“I just wanted some coffee. It sounded good and I didn’t want to stay at home.” The unspoken words here were “by myself.” Eros felt sorrow wash over him. He knew it wasn’t his own, but that didn’t stop him from letting out a deep breath. Charlotte looked at him, confused.

“Are you ok?” To anyone else, she would have sounded concerned about Eros, but he knew emotions all too well. Eros knew that the girl didn’t want anyone in her head. She didn’t want to think anyone but herself knew what she was thinking. Eros’ thoughts temporarily drifted to a past relationship, ruined because he tipped his hand too far and his love left him. Eros didn’t blame the man for leaving. No one wants someone else in their head. That didn’t matter though. He needed to focus on Charlotte and make her feel she wasn’t alone.

“Yes. I’m fine,” he responded as naturally as he could muster. Eros glanced at Charlotte’s drink. “You’re almost out of coffee. Let me get you some more.” He felt gratitude and knew she appreciated the gesture. He came back a few minutes later with the girl’s coffee and set it down in front of her. He knew she appreciated the gesture, but she wasn’t going to open up. So Eros came up with a plan.

“My hands are freezing, would you mind if I held yours for a bit? Only until my hand is warmed back up,” Charlotte gingerly asked Eros. That worked out, Eros thought to himself. The girl reached out her hand, and Eros had never seen someone as desperate to find contact with someone as Charlotte.

“I would mind at all.” Eros sat on the bench next to Charlotte, and took her hand. He was not ready for the emotions to rush over him. There was sorrow, and grief, and loss, and fear. This poor girl, Eros thought to himself. He saw flashes of an older woman in a hospital bed. Then he saw a beautiful church, only ruined by an ornate wooden box. People crowded around the box and wept. Eros now knew what the girl was going through, and the pain she must be feeling. He knew he couldn’t fix this, but he could try to take on her pain. Rather than wash off the pain like he usually did, he let it become his own. He let the sorrow become his own and took it off of Charlotte. It felt like an old friend to Eros, someone who you knew inside and out. He knew he was better at handling sorrow than this poor girl was. It didn’t matter if taking away other peoples pain hurt him; so long as he was helping someone else cope.

Charlotte felt as though thousands of pound had been lifted off her shoulders. She didn’t know what happened; she just knew that her grief wasn’t so heavy anymore. It felt less like a boulder and more like a pebble. She let go of Eros’ hand and looked at him.

“I don’t know what you did, but thank you.” Eros looked back at her and smiled. He knew that he had made difference today, and that was what mattered. If he could take away suffering, than that’s what he would do, even if it caused him pain. He never wanted anyone to have to bear their sorrow alone, so he’d share it with them.

“Don’t mention it. I’m just glad I could help.” Charlotte smiled, got up, and left the coffee shop. When she couldn’t see him anymore, Eros let out a lone tear. It was all that was left of the suffering he had taken away from Charlotte. It amazed him that something so small could cause so represent so much pain. He dabbed off the tear with his napkin and grabbed his hot chocolate. As he was leaving the coffee shop, he saw a bitter old man in the corner. It was Hate. Hate was always bitter when Eros took away someone’s suffering. Eros smiled at the old man and left, knowing that he had done some good in the world


© Copyright 2018 Joshua Rowe. All rights reserved.

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