In Society’s Shadows by Relato Corto

Magu was a normal guy, at least that’s what he thought. Today, just like on many occasions before, he went out to experience life.

Walking through the streets he found people to be strange beings. Dark beings without a predetermined form. He saw them with imposing poses. Creatures that rule their environment. They seemed powerful.

Magu was one of them. Something had to be wrong. Despite his determination, he wasn’t able to feel part of the rest. What gave other humans the power to walk with such confidence? he wondered.

The world was dangerous from Magu’s perspective. A mysterious place where other beings could appear without warning. Different creatures. Of course, Magu had only seen images of these wild animals. For some reason, being surprised by one of them was his constant fear.

Sounds were more familiar to him. Trapped in a dark environment, he went in search of places that would help him calm his anxiety. Somehow, and from an early age, Magu discovered peace near singing birds.

Over time, he noticed that silence portends danger. He also realized that there was nothing to fear. He learned to live in the dark. He discovered that beings like him were harmless, for the most part. Avoiding those who weren’t had become easy.

Interacting socially made him realize that he was different. Different in a way that seemed impossible. Magu couldn’t understand the rules the rest followed.

Being part of a social group has always been difficult for him. Everyone seemed to naturally follow the pre-established norms. It was curious to see how groups without any connection respected the same laws. Magu had to learn them, but they didn’t feel natural. Paying attention to follow them left him exhausted.

Even going to work was a difficult task. Of course, he had to continue staying away from the others: Fulfill his obligations and return home. There was always someone ready to start a conversation.

Magu found the conversations surprising. He understood that the subjects were important, he also understood that the rules directed the interests of the people. It was strange, but he could become interested in any of the topics. Everything seemed trivial to him.

Despite that, Magu was happy. He lived in peace and enjoyed what life had to offer. Until one day he was going about his daily routine when Claris approached him.

“Magu,” she said, “I need to show you something.”

Magu was surprised to hear his boss’ voice. “How can I help you?”

“Follow me.”

Both of them crossed the meadow. They enjoyed the beautiful scenery on the way to the main house. Magu was afraid, this job was the only thing that allowed him to be an independent person. Losing it would be terrible.

“Have a seat,” Claris said, once the two of them were inside the house.

Magu looked from one side to another, searching for clues.

“Look at this,” Claris said.

Magu looked at the laptop screen on the table in front of him. “What am I supposed to see?”

“Can’t you see?” Claris said. “It’s yours. A gift from my family to you.”

Magu smiled happily.

Claris was surprised to note that Magu couldn’t read his name on the screen. “Be right back.”

Magu waited sitting in front of the laptop. Observing the darkness that surrounds him. Imagining a good use for his new tool.

“Try this on,” Claris said, walking back with a pair of glasses in her hand.

Magu stood motionless, waiting for Claris to finish placing the strange artifacts on his face.

In that instant, the universe changed. Suddenly the darkness disappeared and all the objects around him took shape. What is this? he thought, getting up. Taking off the glasses he noticed that the darkness returned.

“What did you see?” Claris asked.

“I can see…” Magu said, placing the glasses back on, finally understanding his experiences. “This is amazing.”

Claris smiled at the sight of her young employee.

Magu turned to look at Claris. This cannot be. She was beautiful. The most beautiful creature Magu could imagine. Immediately, he lost the ability to communicate his ideas. He could only admire the beauty.

“Are you okay?” Claris asked.

Magu couldn’t answer, as his gaze traveled over every inch of Claris’s face.

She smiled.

“Can I touch you?” Magu asked, raising a hand.

“Of course.”

Magu ran his hand down the side of Claris’s face. In his brain, millions of neural connections were created. After so many years, Magu finally understood the rules of society.

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