6

I traveled with a boy a long time ago. No. Not a boy. A man. A wise man, brave man, so human, so full of heart. Maybe the greatest man I knew. The Last Centurion, they called him, and he was. The last. The one, and only. He told me once, and these words burn on the surface of my hearts with so much shame and so much guilt: “You have no idea how dangerous you make people to themselves when you’re around.”

He saw into me, right from the very start, he saw my ugly soul, my vanity, my greed and selfishness. And yet he joined me, following the woman he loved, but also seduced by the adventures. Oh, I was delighted. He was wise and moral and beautiful and I selfishly lured him some more, because his admiration was flattering and addictive. A wiseman, a hero, the purest heart, willing to offer his life for me, how could I resist?

And then the words he once told me turned against him too.

I watched him love, make choices and sacrifice so much. I watched him fight, make a stand and die over and over again. Because he believed in me. Because he let my allure made him think of me as someone worth all the trust, devotion and losses.

And in the end I watched him scatter into nothingness. A boy, no, a man, who once saw into me and did not look away. A hero to my human side, a champion to my weak side, a doctor to my broken side. Who saved me on so many ways, mostly from myself, as he guided me, sheltered me and showed me what a true man who makes people better should be made of.

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