I stand in the corner wishing for shadows to cloak myself in; a way to be both present and unnoticed simultaneously.  However, that is not my luck today.  Today there is no gray, there is only white, which leaves me vounerable and exposed.  I am not accustom to this harsh and oversimplified way of life, and truly the finite decisiveness of it all takes my breath away.  Pretty little liars I think to myself, as I scan the room trying to control the need to shade my eyes, there is no truth here just an absence of choice.

As if my thoughts had been screamed aloud or written in black lettering upon my chest everyone avoids my glance, as if I could taint their non existent purity.  For a moment I toy with the idea of prying a mirror off the wall and forcing the merry throng to really look at themselves, but it would never work not a one of them can see with their self imposed blinders on so tightly.  Even still the thought gives me strength and I smile my first smile of the night causing my steps to lengthen.  Bringing me briskly to the reason I have come.

I pause just outside their sphere of influence waiting to be noticed rather than demanding the attention, which if I’m honest doesn’t take long.  While I wait I count the number of mindless head nodes per minute or wonder at the hours of practice it takes to be able to smile from ear to ear through such dull and whitewashed pointless banter.  Soon she sees me and inclines her head, telling me to come forward, while slightly raising her right hand, politely stopping the current conversation and dismissing all around her.

She is beautiful, a fact not a debate, dressed in such pale suggested colors that most would assume the dress was white, and completely in control, hair, gestures, everything.  Even the smile she grants me is restrained.  “You came,” she says as her male counterpart joins her a protective hand at her back.  My second smile is loosed.  He is every bit as handsome as standing next to her requires, the pair of them all fair, golden, and proper wait for my response.

“Yes, a near thing I’m afraid as I only partly belong,” I say simply, “but since you come I figured I could too.”

They visibly straighten their shoulders, shaken, before she speaks again.  “That is not true.  I am Goodness who belongs here if not me,” she says in unsmiling happy tones, “and Righteousness, there are none who could question that he belongs here either.”

“Partly,” I agree while shrugging my shoulders, “but then why not when your whole ideology is flawed.  Invite who you will those who seek the truth already know who belongs where.”

Righteousness forgets himself and steps towards me, “What nonsense is this, what here is flawed,” he asks through clenched teeth motioning to all encompassed within the Lighthall.

I make the same motion, stopping smile number three from escaping, “Everything, by its most basic nature, everything here is flawed.” 

Goodness places a light touch upon Righteousness’ shoulder while delicately shaking her head, “I am sorry but everything here is pure, right, and good…”

“But that is not all it is,” I say cutting her off.  “It is also prideful, vain, and immodest…from time to time,” I consent.  Knowing that we have pulled the  attention and focus towards our small group I pitch my voice to carry.  “I am Duality.  I exist in all.  I am the reason Nature is temperamental, Time is fickle, and Human Nature varies, but it is I that is necessary.  Your divisions of good and evil or light and dark are only oscillations of a pendulum swinging from right to left.  Your white is merely a shade of my gray,” I hold Goodness’ eye contact daring her to stop me.  “Find your truth, accept your duality, and grow.” 

The silence which thunders in my ears nearly unnerves me but finally I look away from her and into the crowd.  Forgiveness stands before me tears shining in her eyes, her arms extended as if for an embrace, and perhaps the truest smile I have ever seen upon her lips. 

And in this moment of absolute hope, faith, and truth I found my fourth smile.