MONDO EXTRAS

The Queen Lived

by Jacob Clifton August 1, 2008
Doctor Who Season 4

Your crime was loneliness. If you'd seen it for what it was, the penalty would be heartbreak, and you couldn't let that happen, could you? So you settled for the exquisite dull ache, and knowing that your mother's voice was right. And if you'd forgiven yourself, seen the crime and yourself for what it was, and who you are... Too scary. Too much like jumping. So you punished yourself just enough, by staying where you were.

There's a moment in your history, that morning in fact: you were sitting at a crossroads, with your mother in the passenger seat. You had a very simple choice -- you like those best; they demand the least -- and you knew you had the choice. Turn left, and drive to HC Clements, find a man, become a bride. Turn right, and settle for a full-time position. But you're a temp. That's all you are: never settling, always hoping. Never trying, always existing. You're wizard at it, look at you: 100 words a minute, all-knowing, all-seeing. You strive to be the best, even in the half-light. The temporary solution, until the wind blows you away again. They used to say, "You're not gonna make the world any better by shouting at it," but you knew you could try. Imagine if you'd put that amount of effort into being something more.

You didn't know -- nobody does -- that death lay at the end of both those roads. You had another choice that morning; you had an infinite number of choices. To serve your punishment, or forgive the crime. You chose to wait; to continue to hope for someone else to save you. You knew -- didn't you? -- that you were nothing special. You really believed that. All that attitude, all that lip. Because you honestly believed. Shouting at the world because no one was listening. You found yourself a man at HC Clements, badgered him into telling you he loved you. And somewhere inside, you knew it was a lie. You didn't really mind. How could it be the truth? But you could look into the mirror and say it: I am not alone.

You got engaged. Oh, not to that man. He was eaten by giant spiders. What? It's okay, they were just baby giant spiders. No, I'm talking about another man. He put a ring on your finger. For better or for worse. You weren't the first, and he admitted it, but there was something about him. And when he asked you to visit the stars with him, you told him goodbye. For six whole months. Too close to living, too dangerous. Nothing temp about it. Nothing safe. The Empress called you a wonderful key, and a holy bride in white. You were both. You are both. Nothing temp about that. So you settled, again, and built your life up again. Such as it was. You wrapped yourself in your loneliness.

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