“Every great magic trick consists of 3 parts or acts…”
She never could understand him. A real prima donna, he was. All the care in the world one minute, and none at all, the next. An enigma.
Yet, she was his. And she feared for him. Every time he went up there, every time he defied death, her heart was in her mouth. But every time, he did defy death and her heart was still with her. The magician’s muse, she was.
He told her of his most ambitious plan as of date. She did not want him to go through with it. ‘It’s too dangerous’, she pleaded. But then again, he was he. And all that mattered to him was he.
She had fallen for him. She did not know why. Was it the brashness of youth? No. It was well thought out. Perhaps it was the charisma. Perhaps the enigma. Perhaps it was something else. It did not really matter what it was for she really had fallen.
Things were going smoothly and then these events unfolded. She asked him not to do it. It was far too dangerous. But he would not listen. He could not see it from her eyes. All he could see was the glory at the end of it. If he came to the end of it, that is. It was the pledge.
They had fights. She was frustrated. She was bad to him; more out of exasperation than anything else. She did not like being left in the lurch. His past actions had sown the seeds of doubt in her mind but she wanted to think it was a one-off. Unfortunately, those seeds resurfaced. His present actions were as brash and irresponsible as his ones in the past, perhaps more. It was killing her.
She tried to reason with him. She really did but how do you reason with one who was beyond reason? You don’t. You can’t.
So he went through with it anyway. It was his turn.
She watched with horror as he tempted fate, as he put his life on the line. Little did he know, or rather, he chose to ignore how it put her life on the line as well, more so, perhaps, than his own. She watched with bated breath as he wowed the crowd with his showmanship. Then it happened. All that could go wrong, did.
The magician left the world, she did too. He, physically and in ignorance; she, in spirit and in disbelief. He was broken, literally. She was shattered, every which way. The days were dark, the nights, darker still. There was no silver lining. There was no lining at all. All she could see were varying shades of grey – varying from dark to the darkest.
She decided, however, to live on. She would not give up. She knew that she couldn’t. Life, after all, was worth more than that…
Years later, she saw the man next to her. She saw her children playing at her feet. She thought of this most wonderful man that had given her this most perfect life. Then she thought of him. She thought of all that she tried. She looked back at all that he put her through and of all that she put herself through. She thought of all that went before her. She thought of how close to the end, she had been. She shuddered. And then, she opened her eyes and looked at her beautiful family again. She smiled at her angelic daughters. They smiled back. It was a moment made in heaven, enacted on Earth.
She looked to the sky and thanked the heavens for the decision she had made to carry on. She knew she was blessed with what she had and she had no regrets in life. The magician had the pledge and the turn. This, however, was the prestige. Her prestige.
“Every great magic trick consists of 3 parts or acts. The first part is called ‘the pledge’. The magician shows you something ordinary: a deck of cards, a bird or a man. He shows you this object. Perhaps he asks you to inspect it to see if it is indeed real, unaltered, normal. But of course… it probably isn’t. The second act is called ‘The Turn’. The magician takes the ordinary something and makes it do something extraordinary. Now you’re looking for the secret… but you won’t find it because of course, you’re not really looking. You don’t really want to know. You want to be fooled. But you wouldn’t clap yet. Because making something disappear isn’t enough; you have to bring it back. That’s why every magic trick has a third act; the hardest part. The part we call, ‘The Prestige’.”
– The Prestige (2006), Christopher Nolan
The greatest trick of them all, perhaps, is happiness.
Footnote: This is for a very special person who was going through torment recently. She went to hell and I am glad to say that she has well and truly come back stronger than ever. Her happiness was taken away but she had to bring it…back. This is her prestige