With the rolling of her eyes, with the sneer of her lips and with the twisting of her face, she says it all. Her heart is filled with hate as her eyes lock onto her victim. With every grain of self-will within her, she holds back the strength of her passion to grate out a greeting between clenched teeth. It is time to prey, but with subtlety. After all, we are in the Bible Belt and we wear our girdles pretty tight around here.
She watches from afar. While her victim receives warm hugs, she shakes her head and rolls her eyes in that familiar way. It’s a good thing she has her glasses on today. It’s hard to see out the back of her head and from the way things are going, today just may be the kind of day when the back of the head is all that her eyes see. The flush on her face, is that a sign of menopause or is that from her racing heart?
As fate would have it, at the same table she and her victim are seated. It would be a rather obvious breach of propriety to upset the seating at this point. When her victim receives compliments and kindness, it’s time to prey, but very acutely. Sarcasm is fired after every compliment. The others are totally unaware of the deadly game; the victim, however, is all too familiar with the motive to steal, kill and destroy. The throbbing vein at her temple, is that a symptom of an impending aneurysm or is that from trying to hide her explosive thoughts?
Knowing the power of hate, the victim silently disappears into the night. The extreme and razor-sharp emotions directed at the victim does leave wounds, as intended. Tonight, they were a bit like paper cuts, stinging but not deadly. Had the victim continued to sit in the crosshairs, the jabs would have become more severe if memory serves correctly. As it stands, only her reputation is disparaged as the hater spews her venom about her victim around the table. The others sit in shocked silence or respond with embarrassed laughter. Their girdles have an unusually tight pinch this evening.
Merriam-Webster defines hate as 1a: intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury. Yes, that just about sums up the opportunities she seizes to prey. There is indeed raw anger, albeit masked in subtlety. Is it possible that she is full of fear too? Is it possible that her hate feeds off a sense of injury? What if this perceived sense of injury stems from a simplistic childhood reaction to a complicated situation that even adults have trouble understanding?
Seeds of hate produce a jungle of bitterness, endless anger, and stinginess of the soul. It provides a passion and a strength for the hater, ironically becoming the bars of a prison, ensuring that the defenses of the hater will never be penetrated again. It nurtures a stronghold that saps the joy of life and the empowerment of freedom from the hater’s heart, locking down the mind and making the body sick. Within this vacuous wasteland, the seeds of hate spread until the kudzu of cynicism and the bedrock of self-inflicted pain deplete the very purpose for which a heart was created. Hate kills the heart of the hater.
Who then is the real victim? The one on whom the preying is done or the one who does the preying?