There is a feeling that has been at rest for quite some time. Before, it was full of hope and trust, but eventually it has grown weary waiting and decided to lock itself inside, where nothing could disturb it. Now, a guard stays before its door, stern and overprotective.
When a feeling has been inactive for quite some time, how should it be awakened? Or, should it be awakened at all?
What if an intruder tries to get into the feeling? Does the feeling jump for joy or does it shut itself out?
There comes into the picture the examiner. This one has a long list of questions, or probably a book. It has to probe. It has to scrutinize the intruder, and in this case, it’s already an old guest. It has to make sure that the standards are passed, the intentions are made clear, and the sincerity is validated. It may take a while and if the intruder is patient, it will endure all the questions of the examiner. The examiner has to make sure it has gone through all the procedures. Why? Because it knows it needs to explain everything to the guard. It’s the safe keeper of the key to the feeling.
After the examiner has fulfilled its responsibilities, it goes to the locked feeling and talks with the guard. They discuss the result of the investigation. The guard is always suspicious. It doesn’t want anything to get into the feeling. The examiner explains the facts but the guard is full of doubts. It reminds the examiner of the ruling: Old Guests Are Forbidden.
“You’ve seen what the feeling went through in the past, how could you be talking to me about the same intruder?” The guard says disappointedly.
“It’s my job to examine all intruders and give the feeling my report.” The examiner frowns.
“The intruder may have won you, but I won’t let it get into the feeling again.” It fights back stubbornly.
“I didn’t say it has already passed the test,” says the examiner. “All I’m saying is the feeling needs to check my results by itself. It’s not us this intruder needs, it’s looking for her.” The guard makes face, not trying to hear a thing.
“I don’t have time to convince such a stubborn feeling as you. Do you think it was easy for me to deal with this intruder? I saw her sadness too and I was exploding with hostility towards it. But is it my job to judge?” The examiner says and walks away.
Seeing it has won the argument, the guard whispers by the door, “Don’t worry. I will never let anybody get into this door. I will never allow anyone to touch you again.”
Meanwhile, the examiner goes back and ventilates its annoyance with an associate. Now, this associate is new and is still very naïve.
“I am just presenting the facts. That guard is too domineering.” The examiner says furiously.
The associate knows it’s not in the position to comment about anything. Nevertheless, it says quietly, “Maybe it doesn’t want to cause the feeling any more pain. It seems reasonable to me.”
“How can you conclude that? You’re just a novice!” The examiner scowls. “I have my previous reports intact. The feeling was happiest with that intruder! Yes, they had misunderstandings and the timing wasn’t right, but who are we to judge who is and isn’t right for the feeling?” The examiner leaves the novice the reports and marches away.
The novice studies the reports and by its innocence, it is easily swayed by the data. The examiner is right, it mutters.
Late at night, the novice drops by the locked room.
“What do you want?” the guard pries.
“Oh, I was instructed to tell you that there is an intruder outside who wants to talk to the feeling and the other guards can’t stop him. I think they need you there.” The novice replies.
With another prying look, the guard says “How can I trust a novice like you?”
The novice shrugs and doesn’t say a word. A few seconds pass and the guard remains troubled by the reported commotion. It doesn’t want to leave the feeling with the novice, but it knows that if the intruder gets in, the feeling will be in more difficult situation.
With a deep concern on its face, the guard tells the novice, “It is my responsibility to keep the feeling safe. You have not known the entire story yet, but that intruder is very dangerous. Do you understand how serious this is?”
“We’re all here to protect the feeling.” The novice simply replies.
With that, the guard instantly leaps from its seat and warns the novice. “Don’t come near the door, you novice.” Then it hurries away.
The novice nervously stands by the door and knocks. “Are you there?” The novice waits for a reply but the feeling doesn’t answer.
“I just came here to tell you that the intruder is here. The examiner has been meaning to give you this,” the novice slips the results through. “Your guard is too protective of you and I understand that, but I know that in the end, the decision is yours.” And the novice leaves.
The danger in leaving a feeling out in the cold is that it may turn out to be hard enough that it won’t be melted by the highest degree of heat. The scary part could be that after such a long time, it won’t be able to recognize what has stirred itself in the first place.
As days pass, everybody is continuously disturbed by the intruder from the outside although it never gets to pass the guard. Despite all the disorder outside its door, the feeling remains unmoved. Does it mean the feeling has already been gone or has it just fallen into a very deep sleep that no ordinary intrusion may awaken it?
Who knows if the feeling hears everything from the inside. Who knows if it even looked at the reports of the examiner. Who knows if the guard were really successful in preventing the feeling from any form of intruder by just standing by the door.
“Could the feeling still be there,” the novice wonders.