Some people are worth melting for. –Olaf, Frozen
He had never been very close to anyone before. It’s not like there were a lot of genuine people out there in the world anymore in the first place (unless they were very small children, but he figured that once they learned how to walk and talk they were a lost cause for any kind of sincerity. He hadn’t met anyone who was genuine since he had learned to walk and talk after all.) He wondered if maybe his mother had been the last genuine person that he had ever met, but she had died shortly after he’d spoken his first word and if he hadn’t had such an amazingly eidetic mind then he wouldn’t have remembered her at all.
His dad certainly wasn’t genuine about anything. Not even what he wanted in the world (“Everything, Alexander, you can’t settle for second best on anything and not having everything is certainly second best.”) Or what he wanted from his son (“Such a disappointment, I don’t know why I let you live.”)
His teachers and other peers (not that he had really considered them his own equals) either wanted something from him (money, things, influence) or had hated him due to his skipping several grades or coming from a rich family.
That isn’t to say that he didn’t take care of the people who worked under him. He made sure that they had good health care coverage and were paid fairly for the work that they put into the company that he had built from the ground up without help from his father. (In fact, his father had actively sabotaged him, trying to destroy everything Alex had worked for. He had never really understood the reasons behind his father’s actions and hadn’t really cared to ask the man. It’s not like he would have been honest with Alex anyway.)
So he had spent the entirety of his life closing himself off from others, building an impenetrable wall of the thickest ice around his heart and keeping everyone and everything at arms-length. No friends, no family, no one close to him. Not even the people who made sure that he was safe from all of his enemies were close to him for all that they spent the most time with him while guarding him.
“I like being alone, other people never turn out to be what they say they are.”
“That’s a lonely way to live.”
“But it is a way.”
“Sounds less like living and more like surviving if you ask me.”
“Sometimes they are the same.”
He hadn’t known any differently and rather than being all sad and mopey and depressed about it, Alex had just accepted that this was the way his life was going to be. Acceptance made things easier or at least less emotionally debilitating.
Alex had tried romantic relationships a time or two or ten and they went about as well as any kind of attempt at a relationship with his father had gone when he’d been younger and more naïve.
That is to say, they had failed when he’d realized that most of the women just wanted something, whether it was material things, influence or just bragging rights hadn’t mattered.
None of those things had been him and that was all that had mattered at the end of the day.
So he’d given up.
Not after the first ten times, he wasn’t one to give up so easily after all, but everyone has their breaking point.
The less said about his, the better.
He still did things for pleasure, watched movies and went to restaurants and concerts. He knew that working all the time was not healthy. Knew that being alone was not healthy, but what other choice did he have?
Sincerity was just a pretty word that meant nothing, much like the words “I’m sorry” or “I didn’t mean it.”
If you didn’t mean it, then why did you do it in the first place? Some part of you meant to do that, meant to take that action, whether it would hurt me or not. You wanted it more than you wanted to not hurt me.
That was the philosophy that he had spent so many years reminded himself for such a long time in the earlier years of his resolution to not get close to anyone or anything. It was hard to remember at first, which was why he had continued to try relationships for far longer than most people would have with all of the experiences he’d had with them.
It had gotten easier as the years had gone by, though. Practice makes progress and all that.
So why was he listening to this strange voice that had all but invaded his dreams like it was a real life person that really needed his help?
He’d given up on this kind of thing long before he’d even entered school.
But the voice cam every night that he slept. Sometimes it came when he wasn’t sleeping, but not quite awake either.
Where was the voice coming from?
And why was he even still listening to it?
He was a pro at blocking out things, people, events that he didn’t care about, didn’t want to pay any attention to.
So why wasn’t he doing it this time?
‘Please,’ the voice would whisper and howl and cry out and murmur softly all at once, ‘Please, will you not aid me/us/her?’
‘She is most precious.’
‘She is most lost.’
‘You are just as lost.’
‘Will you not be found together?’
He didn’t know why, the words weren’t anything special, anything he hadn’t heard before, but there was something, some kind of emotion that accompanied them that found its way slowly through the ice and hoar frost that covered his heart.
Like a small and yet insistent breeze of spring-turned-summer.
It wasn’t even like it was weakening his protective ice to let others in, just loosening it enough to let the breeze carrying the voice inside and then sealing up the small fissure as it made its way in.
Maybe Alex had been looking too much into difference things involving ice, but he had just sent an expedition out to the Antarctic to follow up on some of the readings that they’d been picking up recently.
Either way, he didn’t know why he was letting this voice get to him, why he has started looking forward to the feelings of belonging and home that crept into his heart along with every whispered/howled/cried/murmured word that drifted across his dreams and through his daydreams.
‘Won’t you let me/her/us in?’
‘I/She/We won’t leave you alone.’
‘You don’t have to be alone anymore.’
His heart just wouldn’t listen to his mind.
How could a voice that he didn’t even recognize (and he had tried to find it, but hadn’t been able to pinpoint the strange/familiar voice) sound more sincere than anything he had ever heard in his entire life?
(How could it sound anything but?)