An unfathomable sorrow seeped into his bubble, turning the opaque walls clear, exposing the world he so desperately tried to hide from. He saw everybody, trapped in a self-imposed prison, within their own bubbles. Some had completely shrouded themselves in their colourful orbs, that were just about translucent; some had nearly transparent ones; most had completely opaque bubbles, with varying colours, just like his; but all were, consciously or not, blissfully content and happily unaware of their cages. Then he noticed it- how each varied in size; some sticking so close to their person that they were almost like a second skin; other wider, spreading outwards; but none wider than a two arm-span radius; and nobody walked without one.

He saw the beggar- his torn clothes, yellowed and decayed teeth, bloodshot eyes and exposed ribs- sitting by the side of the road, engulfed in a miniscule bubble of near black, translucent colour. He saw the middle-class mother- her bright orange saari, shopping bag in one hand, the other holding a child’s- walking with her yellow aura, not more than her forearm’s length of radius. The child, merely three or four years, his aura flickering as it was being formed in his head- as he was taught to keep it up at all times, build it strong and thick- it was yellow like his mother’s, but a different shade, and more transparent than hers. He saw the posh man-with his Italian shoes and branded suit- as he sat in his grand car, his bubble was simply a second skin, again completely opaque.

He noticed now, how these orbs were not rigid but fluid, constantly changing shape, but almost never grew more in size, though some did shrink. When people met, only occasionally did their bubbles merge. A mother’s always encasing her son’s or daughter’s partially; she worried about them, she cared for them. One poor man, he saw, enclosed every stray dog or cat or cow or rat that passed by him- his was a nearly completely translucent, with a hint of pink. Then the drunkard stumbled by, his bubble a sickly yellow-green colour, sticking as close as skin to his body. Then a rich lady, he could tell because she wore a dress and heels and sunglasses, at least that’s all he could tell through the thick blue orb surrounding her, a little larger than a finger-span from her self.

His eyes wandered around as he walked, searching, ever searching. For some hope that there was but one person in this world that didn’t have a bubble. Then he saw her- walking free of any walls, no prison. She was free, truly free. She could see the world as it was, and she didn’t see through any biases- she loved everything and everyone equally. She was empathetic, and sensitive, and caring for every single thing on this planet- how else could she have not bubble? Then he noticed something. Every person he saw had some kind of happiness, joy, contentment, or bliss on their faces; but she, she was sorrowful. She was sad, and she was filled with angst. She saw the world, filled with all its ignorant people, blissfully killing it and blaming the one next to them; and she was the only one in a million who cared. She caught his eye, and he hers. Something sparked inside him, a need to comfort her, and join her- to not leave her alone in this cruel world. She had hope. He suddenly became angry at the unfairness and ignorance and idiocy that surrounded him, and that did it.

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