“They hate me, I’m telling you, they do.”

The two moved along the path beside the pond, one well formed and whole, the other a violent explosion of activity.

“They call me names, horrible names. Little green monster, can you imagine that? Little green monster! There’s nothing little about me.”

A gust of emerald wind blew grass clippings and candy wrappers into the pond, frightened a mallard and his mate into flight and tore leaves from a sapling maple.

“I have feelings. You know that, Compassion, you know I do. I work hard and what do I get in return but vitriolic attacks on my abilities. Do I ever hear ‘Great job, Jealousy, you really turned him out’ or ‘Wow, what finesse, you made her so jealous she used an axe on her boyfriend’. Noooo, it’s always ridicule and disrespect as if I were the cause of their troubles.”

Compassion settled over a low, verdigris coated bench by the water, not a ripple stirring its pale blue aura. Jealousy paced forlornly over the grass.

“Don’t they realize it’s their own insecurities, their secret self-loathing, their fears that invite me in? Without those I could never cross the threshold. The confident have nothing to fear from me.”

Across the lake a shimmering white mist descended over a man sitting on a blanket. Jealousy’s composure failed, a jade cloud collapsing.

“Oh that I could be like Tranquility,” Jealousy moaned, “sought after by man, loved, embraced, cherished. What would I give to have sonnets written in my name, poems of adoration and praise?”

Seeping out from beneath the bench, Jealousy rose and settled beside Compassion.

“Oh why oh why oh why must I be so hated?”

Out along the path, two lovers strolled hand in hand. Jealousy followed their movements, noting the women eyeing a group of muscular men playing volleyball while the man glanced first at her and then at the group, a worried look in his eyes. Jealousy began to expand, verdant undulations stirring the air as it rose from the bench.

“Thanks for hearing me out, Compassion. Love to chat longer and all that but, well, you know how it is. I’ve got work to do.”

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