He held up the whole world on sun-kissed shoulders.
Seeing nothing, hearing nothing.
Feeling nothing but the small ones
crawling like ants under his fingertips and flesh.
That he might protect them from what was to come.
That the ocean might still someday, on tideless waters.
That time might resume again, cold, and unaltered.
That children might sleep well at night with a home that loves them.
That no war might ever plague our world again.
He wished, and hoped, and prayed,
so that he might put the Earth away.
She had fought enough of this Hell-bound life.
She had come to terms with her reality
though, a rebel, she dare not accept
the constraints of her barren society.
She would not accept her world.
She held her arms out like a bird,
felt the breeze kiss her cheeks and lips.
Closed her eyes and took a breath
and fought not when her balance slipped.
She stepped off the side of the Earth
into the abyss.
And stars, like glittering monuments
and statues that watched quite adamant,
and scolded her for her selfishness
and burned and fell to banishment.
And the sun, the smallest, or one of them,
greeted her with warmth again.
His eyes caught the little one, as she grew,
taller still, until tall enough for two,
and taller and larger, grown from a seed,
until so tall that she could compete.
She looked so awestruck.
What was there here that she did not see
on Earth below, where she was meant to be?
How had she come to manage this change,
how could she be exactly the same?
Were all little ones like her?
She turned at the sound of his hastened breath,
gazed at him with her eyes bereft.
Felt nothing but sorrowful remorse,
for pity might wound the man, of course.
Pity was for fools.
He stiffened as she stumbled near
on infant legs that had brought her here.
In clumsy void she took clumsy steps
until there was no more space between them left.
She was silent.
And he was silent.
She placed a hand upon his face.
The lines of his age, she saw and traced.
The bridge of his nose, his cheeks, and lips.
And there she placed a single kiss.
His cheeks flashed red and a vibrant pink,
he might like this Little One, he began to think.
She placed a hand on his shoulder, soft.
He was out of place, his blue eyes were lost.
He was drowning without water, suffocating without air,
in misery from exhaustion, and the lack of someone there.
He could use someone there.
She wrapped her arms around his waist,
hugged him close, and expected to wait.
Spent less than a moment before returned,
the scars on his arms were fierce and burned.
He held her.
And the world did not fall, it continued to spin.
And the Earth remained in its orbit, day and night once again.
And it saddened him to know that it would move on without hin,
but he had found life beyond Little Ones and their sin.
Beyond heart, beyond Hell, beyond protection and loss.
He found his life without toll, without cost.
In the Little One whom he leaned on, not so little as before.
Changed, and she loved him, and she seemed now so much more.
Beyond stars and their eyes, beyond worlds that still spin,
Atlas had recovered his life again.
And she began hers.
She took his weight gladly, held him so tight
that he might not leave her, and she could keep him for life.
That she might be his Savior, when no one else was.
That he might be her Atlas, the only one.
That he might no longer bear the weight of the world.
That he might abandon his post and love her.
That she could be his Savior, for now and forever.
That she could hold him up, if he’d ever let her.
I did have a completely different version of this that I had planned on posting, but I decided against it. I thought it would need a rewrite before available for public (or internet) eyes. (If you want to see the original, comment something to that effect and I might post it beneath)
We all have that one friend who thinks he can save everyone. He (or she, I’m using he for now, because Atlas is supposed to be male) cannot stand the sight of others’ sorrow and would give up his life in a moment to help someone. These are the truly good people in the world. The ones that keep the world at peace. But what happens when Atlas grows tired? When he gets hurt? Injured? Heartbroken? He plasters a big fake smile on his face. His is the master of disguise, and would not, under any circumstances, allow anyone to see the truth. But he can’t just be that way forever. People who are close need to help him, whether he wants it or not. Because sooner or later, Atlas needs someone to protect him. And maybe you could be that person.
Trust me, it’s well worth the effort.