Perfect Imperfection

Perfect Imperfection

A Story by Sydney Herscher

Sarah and William each had something that set them apart from those around them; something that, in either instance, might have caused each to have a never-ending struggle between themselves and their individual ailments. Through the common courtesy embedded in every person’s human nature, though, they found comfort in one another. Or maybe it was through the basic principle that is obligation that they each accidentally fell in love with someone they could never truly love and admire completely.

            They loved each other for their character, the best way to love a person. Though, in reality, they loved one another for each other’s ability to keep their own flaw from affecting the one that loved them. They each understood what it was like not to belong; neither fit into the world around them so they belonged to each other, imperfectly, instead.

If Sarah was not perfect, how could she expect someone that was perfect to love her? The same way she could never love someone that was perfect, knowing full well that she was far from it? Her understanding of herself and the love that she thought she deserved made her aware of the fact that though William was anything but perfect " to the world or to her " she needed to love him for what he was because he loved her, despite everything she was not. Similarly with William, he never expected to love someone that was perfect. The same way he never even considered it an option to be loved by a person with seemingly no flaws.

William looked at his life and the people around him as never good enough; far from perfect. Every little aspect of a person, no matter how insignificant, he saw as a problem not to be ignored. William had his ideas of what normal was in his world and he was yet to find one person that fit the description. As judgmental as he was, he never said anything out loud about his dissatisfaction. He simply noticed the shortcomings of those around him and took note, never to be forgotten. William knew that he thought and behaved this way and that was what made him imperfect to the world, which was imperfect in his eyes. He lived his life working around the obstacles that others so selfishly put in his way out of their own obligation and never failed to let it ruin his day. William had a bad day, every day.

William’s judgment stemmed from a pre-existing condition, not so easily cured " a condition that required that all the framed photographs be exactly six inches from the next wooden square on the wall. His socks had to fit perfectly and all his shirts be folded in half sideways, with the sleeve folded under, and then in half long-ways. All of his shirts were folded the same way inside the second drawer from the top in his dresser; all stacked perfectly on top one another. If even one thing was slightly off, he would voice his concern in a way that Sarah could only describe as the “furthest thing from discreet.” William felt the world around him needed to be perfect and anything less than that was unacceptable.

            Sarah lived her life through the belief that everyone has their own problems " and that was understandable. Whether the world could see it or not, every person had something that set them apart; Sarah understood that to be life. But that did not mean that she wanted to hear about it.

Sarah was a good person " she was understanding of others, logical, and very accepting. With those innate qualities she possessed, though, came the knowledge that someone, somewhere, had it worse than the person that felt the need to complain to her. She believed that because she also knew that someone in the world had a life that was worse than hers, and Sarah’s life was harder than everyone that thought bringing their problem to her would make it go away.

Sarah had been living her life with two legs and one arm for sixteen years. Every time she looked at herself in the mirror she feared her reflection might fall sideways off the glass at any second, due to the “extra weight” on her right side. Her body, she felt, was imperfect; her life was unsymmetrical. She would never be able to give William a full hug that she constantly felt compelled to do. Every night before dinner, it was her fault that William was forced to leave one hand idle in his lap while she held his left as they blessed the meal. Sarah noticed William’s discomfort when he would undress her at night; and she pretended not to notice as he took extra caution not to look at her left side as they were entangled with one another. Whenever she was clearly struggling with a simple task, even after sixteen years of living with a void, William would assist her with noticeable irritation " then continue on as if it did not happen; Not for Sarah’s sake, as everyone would have assumed, but for his own.

Sarah and William were so wrong for each other in every way. When William complained because of his disorder, Sarah gave little in reply. All she would say was “It’s ok,” or “I understand” on occasion " never anything more. When William caught a glimpse of Sarah’s unbalanced torso he said nothing but turned away instead. If something ever broke due to her lack of an extremity, he said simply, “It’s fine dear,” and cleaned up the mess with great care. Despite all the things that happened every day and the many aspects of their own lives that would have forced them apart, no one in the world was better equipped to love William than Sarah; Or Sarah, William.

            Both knew what it was like to be visibly separated from the world around them. For we are taught to be self-sufficient; we are taught not to complain or judge those around us, for we do not know what they may be going through at any given point in their lives. Yet, when all of our shortcomings get the best of us, we must decide which is more important " to hate someone for what they are and cannot prevent, or to love someone for loving us, despite what we are and have no power over. 

© 2014 Sydney Herscher

My Review

Would you like to review this Story?
Login | Register


Beautiful! Just magnificent! I love this story. The main characters weren't "perfect" and I love that. Most writers make their main protagonists "perfect" and they make them the best at all they do and that kind of irritates me. Anyway, I love this story and keep up the good work!

Posted 10 Years Ago

True love...every word of it. You have a beautiful heart Sydney.
Loved this piece. It's soul to soul not the body...and this short story proves that .

Posted 10 Years Ago

Share This
Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


2 Reviews
Added on March 15, 2014
Last Updated on July 1, 2014
Tags: Love, Story, Perfect, Imperfect, Flaws, Short Story, Romance, Fiction.