Pronunciation Guide

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

“H” is for healing

Ari’s mother abuses her daily. Usually emotional and verbal, sometimes physical. Ari has been broken for as long as she – or anyone else – can remember. She has no self-worth; she can’t accept a compliment. Her mother’s venom haunts her.

The inn rips her open, leaves gaping wounds festering under a hardened shell. Eyes that once dropped in fear lift to glare. The once sweet, compassionate girl ends up buried beneath ferocity, hatred, and brutal resolve to survive.

Originally, Ari married a half-breed guy. Then I wrote the scene where Ari and Hikah meet, and my plan to kill Hikah dissolved due to cuteness. The plan was that Hikah rescued Ari from jail. I had it that eventually they reunited and were still in love, blah blah blah…

Only one problem: Hikah, a lifelong Hul who sees nothing wrong with his beliefs, would NOT realistically throw everything away for a girl he barely knows. (He’s also merely infatuated with her, which shatters at the truth of what Ari is.)

I started debating other options.

This is when Masrekah poked me in the ear and whispered, “Hey. Heyyyy, writer lady. Yeah, you. Instead of me just trying to get her out of jail like this current plot suggests, I could, you know, actually get her out. I’m already good, changed, whatever. I already see things differently, so there’s no issue of someone doing something they don’t believe in. It’s not working with him rescuing her, and you know it. Oh! And while you’re at it, I want to be with her. So do that. Put her with me instead of that Hikah guy. Don’t argue about how it’ll be weird or creepy. It’ll work, trust me. Just do it. Dooo ittttttt, woman.”

Mr. Bossy. *grumbles*

Mas likes Ari before the inn. He views her as innocent and sweet. After the inn, he loves her. She believes she’s disgusting, shamed; he sees strength, resilience, beauty forged through suffering. Beyond the hateful mask she wears, he still sees the sweet, compassionate girl she really is, and he determines to set her free. Their relationship is difficult, wrought with pain and heartache. They’re both broken and desperate, and they hurt each other often.

Yet he repeatedly sacrifices for her (everything from food and sleep to his deepest desires), giving of himself or going without to provide for her. He doesn’t condemn her, shame her, or force her to talk. Each time she rejects him (rejection has always been his biggest fear), he responds with compassion (not perfectly, but he tries). He has no ulterior motives; he doesn’t demand anything of her.

Instead, he offers everything.

He offers his presence, his love, his unconditional acceptance, his understanding, his own brutal honesty. He offers truth, hope, courage to overcome the darkness and abuse. Even amid mess-ups, he keeps trying to prove himself trustworthy. No matter how many times she pushes him away, he refuses to give up on her.

He loves her through her darkest moments, and it’s his love that really begins to heal not just the wounds from the inn, but the wounds of her entire life.

And this is why they aren’t weird together like I feared at first. Mas was right. Go figure.

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