When I watched you and him and her, I saw so many things and so many of those things I did not understand. I hate not understanding. To fail to understand is weak and I was always reminded, reinforced, told, instructed that we were not weak.
“Never be weak, boy,” she told me. You three were never told this though. I asked you and you told me she never said those words to you, but she said them to me.
“She believes you are born of greatness,” one of you told me in later years because she thinks you are like her, but she actually fears you.
“Good,” I answered and you just smiled because that was a response you had become familiar with. You still disliked it but you had accommodated it in a manner of finding comfort. Like a pair of shoes that always still pinch you, but you have to wear them because well, they look so good and cost so much.
I always needed to understand. I still do. It is one of my greatest strengths, my intellectual brilliance allied with a desire to know and to understand. To understand how you all work, so then I can own you all the quicker and ensure that my world, that I place you in, runs just how I prefer it.
I watched how you and him and her would talk together, play together, laugh together.
“Come and play,” all three of you invited. Oh, I wanted to play but my game was altogether different, of a more urgent and rewarding purpose.
You used to stare wide-eyed as I asked you all question after question after question. Why? How? What? Where? When? Rapid fire questions, since so many of them formed in my mind, racing, pulsating and demanding. You all answered me, furnishing me with the information that I needed and granted me the understanding of why you smiled, how you found things amusing, what made you cry, where did it feel best and when did it become too much? I asked and you provided me with the answers that I sought. Each new day brought fresh interactions and fresh queries until I understood so much of all three of you that I knew what could be achieved with what you had given me.
“It is like you are an alien sent here to learn from us,” she remarked. I recognised the remark was not said in scorn but with what I know understood and recognised was affection. I knew that a short smile was required and so I gave it, although the chill that emanated from my eyes caused you to look nervously to one side. You told me later of the icy stare and how it made your insides churn. I said nothing in response but inside felt the warmth rising as I delighted at your admission of weakness.
“Yes, like an alien who has to learn how everything works so he can fit in,” said he.
I gave a confirmatory nod. Not because I necessarily agreed but I understood that doing so made the speaker feel validated and thus easier to own.
“Yet I will be the one that teaches you,” I commented to myself silently. The most effective conversations were and are always held with myself.
You would laugh at times at my absence of response. I saw no reason to provide one. I was unmoved by what I witnessed but then I recognised the advantage of allowing you to believe that I was similar to you and more importantly to all of the others. How easy it became as I disarmed them simply with a nod, a smile, a certain sentence. In the beginning I was taken aback at the ease by which people lowered their guard, gave me what I required, did things for me, simply by providing an ascertained response. I never felt the response, never had a sensation inside (as she had so often spoken of that she had) but I understood the response and even better I understood how that response gave me what I wanted.
With words alone, I made people give me what I craved.
With a shift of expression, people opened up and became supine. Inside I sneered at their weakness but learned not to let that show, unless letting them know how weak they are served me better.
The little beetle people ready to be squashed. The hand-wringing earnest individuals ready to be instructed. The knee bending supine servants ready to effect my bidding. Such peculiar appliances but so be it.
Yes, I am alien to you because you do not truly understand me. I made the effort to understand you, but you all failed to understand me. That only goes to reinforce your weakness and why it is I that governs and why you are governed.
I am the alien that accepted this peculiar placement and invaded your world to make it mine.
Now that it is my world, you will never be allowed to leave it.