I once knew two liars.
A girl and a boy who came of age during a time when science was considered truth and magic was considered to be the province of con men, charlatans and snake oil salesmen.
The two of them grew up in separate towns, went to separate schools and for a very long time lived separate lives.
Lives that were filled with the normal ups and downs and experiences people have. They loved and lost and lived and laughed.
All of these things were done apart from each other which made perfect sense because they grew up in separate worlds and had no reason to be aware of the existence of the other until the time came when they had no reason not to.
The intersection between their lives turned their worlds upside down and inside out. It forced them to reconsider all they once knew as true and made them question all they thought they were as individuals.
Had they lived during the age of magic they wouldn’t have questioned any of these things. They would have accepted the things their hearts knew as truth even when their heads questioned them.
But they didn’t grow up during the age of magic so they relied upon what they knew to be true…science.
Science provided logic, reason and rational explanations for why people were as they were and did as they did. But even though science ruled the day magic still owned the night and under the moonlit skies its influence was more profound.
One such night the boy kissed the girl or the girl kissed the boy and a fire was lit.
For a long while time stood still and they held each other close and made the sort of secret promises you make to those whose hearts and souls you have seen.
They walked hand in hand under that moonlit sky and swore they would never let go of each other and they believed every word they said.
Yet when the day came and science regained control the boy began to wonder if maybe he had been confused. The girl was smart, beautiful and had dark soulful eyes that made him melt but he wondered if maybe he had fooled himself.
He wondered if maybe her soft touch had made him think thoughts that were less than clear and he pulled away from her.
The girl called out to him and told him not to fear. She promised if he held onto her they would figure it out and swore she could protect his heart from the pain he feared would come.
For a long while he did and she did and so it went until they did not.
Neither knew when that moment came or who truly let go of who, just that it did.
The boy didn’t know how much time had passed between the last time the girl and he had their moment under the moonlit sky.
She was gone. Hidden behind the walls she had built around her heart to keep him out.
He wandered through forests and deserts searching for a way back in. Under black skies filled with creatures of the night he walked daring those who crossed his path to allow him to unleash his anger upon them.
The sun rose and the sun set and still he had no idea where the key was hidden or how to breach the walls. He had tried everything he could think of and then one day he decided he needed to build his own wall to protect his own heart.
She wasn’t going to be the mistress of no love by herself, no he would be the master. He just needed time to build the wall as high as he could and once it was there would be no entrance.
At least that was the plan.
He was going to protect his heart by keeping her out.
What he didn’t know what that the girl had been watching him. She had seen him pass by the windows and doorways of her castle. She had heard him cry out in pain and in anger.
Sometimes she had waved at him and once or twice called out to him but he didn’t see and he didn’t hear so he didn’t respond.
It hurt her heart to see him like this and so she thought about doing something to really get his attention but when she decided to reach out all she saw was the wall he had erected and so she thought she wouldn’t take a chance to hurt her heart when it was clear his had no place for compassion.
At least that was the plan.
But under a moonlit sky the wizards and witches of the world took action. During the night when magic ruled they hurled lightning bolts and fireballs at the walls of the boy and girl and left giant gaping holes and craters in them.
Giant openings that forced the boy and the girl to come out from their hiding places so that they might attend to fixing them and as the wizard and witches planned the boy and girl ran into each other.
Had they met under the moonlit night the plan would have been perfectly executed except like many plans it ran into a hiccup or two. Because when they saw each other it was during day.
Under the sunny science ruled day they shared an awkward hello and an even more awkward hug. They exchanged a few words and lied to each other about how happy they were.
But what they didn’t say was what happened inside.
They didn’t talk about the butterflies they felt or how their hearts danced with joy and cried out for each other.
The wizards and witches watched from their mountain hideout. The wizards shouted at the scene and told the boy to kiss her. They said take a chance.
The witches shouted at the girl and told her to turn her face towards his and to take a step closer.
But science ruled the day so when the boy saw the girl lick her lips he didn’t think she was encouraging him to kiss her or consider that maybe she wanted to be kissed.
Suddenly the head witch shrieked at the head wizard to take her hand. He listened without thinking and together they cast a spell that caused a cloud to cover the sun and increased the influence of magic.
The wizards and witches chanted spells in the background and just when the feared it wouldn’t work the boy reached out and tried to kiss the girl on the cheek.
When the girl saw this she turned her face so lips met lips and the proverbial fireworks went off.
Behind two walls the forges which had been silent for so long started to work again. Cold dark places were lit by small flames that quickly turned into roaring fires.
A great cheer was heard from the wizards and witches and then voices.
“You know this isn’t going to last. The spell will wear off and the boy will respond to the influence of science again.”
“Silly wizard, we know this. The girl will resume her beliefs too and hers will be even stronger. She will see this as a mistake, a moment caused by hormones. She’ll convince herself that she did this to reward him for the sadness she believed she caused.”
The wizards were horrified by this.
“You mean he’ll learn he got lucky because she felt badly not because she wanted to be with him! That won’t make him happy. It will infuriate him. The wall will be rebuilt higher and stronger than ever!”
“Foolish wizard. He won’t know this because she won’t tell him. We need him to always believe that he can find her and reach her. That fire will never go out for either one of them. She spent hours thinking about him during their time apart. But she won’t admit that to him or herself because without confidence it is going to be reciprocated it is too hard.”
The wizards nodded their heads.
“Is she really so foolish as to believe that he was with her solely because she did what others did not. That is not what this is about for him nor was it ever. His focus has always been upon other things.”
For a while the wizard and witches exchanged comments and banter and then two voices broke through again.
“We have no worries about their individual abilities to break down the walls. The truth is they have always had the ability to walk through the walls each other built. We know this to be true because once we were them.”
The wizards and witches looked at the head witch and wizard.
“She will always give him a reason why she cannot be with him until he demonstrates to her the reason why she cannot. And when he does she will join her hand in his and never let go.”
The head wizard looked at his wife and smiled.
“If he has to work twice as hard as I did to get you he will working long indeed, but the riches of the reward are incalculable and immeasurable. You have enriched my life.”
The head witch smiled back at her husband.
“We are both luckier than could be imagined. Now he must continue to walk his path and we must do what we can to help them remember that magic is not dead. For the moment they will continue to be two liars who pretend they don’t need the other, but the time will come when they are together during night and day.”