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We never become men.

He remembered how she said it. She did not scream it, shout it, or yell it. She did not whisper it, murmur it, or mumble it. She said it. She just said it, four words sharp like the edge of the old razor he used every Sunday to shave.

We never become men.

He wondered what she meant. He thought she meant we are eternally coward. She always spoke of men in the sense of complete beings and ultimate existences. But then she just condemns humanity with these four words. We, that first dagger. She includes herself and I. She includes everyone. Why couldn’t she simply say They? Why didn’t she say Some people? Why did she say We? It hurts to know you are one of those who are eternally coward.

We never become men.

He pondered the notion of never. People say never say never. She said never. Why did she abolish all chance of hope? Why did she say it with such finality and certainty? Never is like..nothing else. The word came heavy upon him, not like a burden or an anchor but like everything burning in front of your eyes and in your very insides.

We never become men.

He thought about becoming. She said become not will become. Maybe that is hopeful. Maybe we don’t need to become. Maybe we are. Maybe she meant we don’t need becoming, we simply be. But if we never become men what do we become? Women? Angels? Other things? Nothing at all? Still, he was happy she said become.

We never become men.

She said it after a long walk they were having in the street between home and some new restaurant she hated. He was silent all throughout. He said nothing. Then when they reached home she said it. We never become men. And left. He was standing there, feeling abandoned, feeling eternally coward, feeling everything burning in front of his eyes and in his very insides but he was still happy because she said become and because she kissed him after she said men. Just one kiss. IT wasn’t on his lips, it wasn’t on his cheeks, it was on his forehead. A kiss on his forehead permeating into his mind where she was still there moving neurons around like old furniture and singing a chorus where every single word was the same: never.

Burning.

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