Nobody understood Ned.
Oh sure, some people thought they did, or pretended they did. But nobody understood Ned.
The fact is, it wasn’t even that Ned was particularly mysterious, quite the contrary. Ned was blunt, honest, and appeared to be easily readable. Herein lies the mystery.
The most difficult things to understand appear to be the most ordinary. The most normal cases are the hardest to crack. Such be the case with Ned.
Ned was a typical introvert. Introvert, of course, meaning that he valued his alone time very much. Sometimes, in the middle of a social event or outing, he would find a desperate need to remove himself from everyone. He definitely valued his alone time, his need for it was stronger than his need for social interaction.
But he wasn’t a complete loner. In fact, his mother said that he had more close friends than his older sister, who was an extrovert. Ned always doubted whether or not this was true, after all, his sister was pretty, popular, and witty. Everyone seemed to like her.
Most people are controlled and paralyzed by fear. They hesitate instead of doing what they know is right. Not Ned. Ned was a fighter. He was known to act immediately when something needed to be done. Often he would yell commands to people when they needed to act. Sometimes that got him into trouble, because people didn’t understand the intensity that drove his actions. In his quiet culture, when people were (and still are) afraid to speak up, yell, or get involved, Ned was viewed as an outcast. An outsider. One who didn’t belong with the “normal” people of his time. Ned sensed it. He knew he was different from everyone else. Sometimes he would speak without processing what proceeded out of his mouth. People are so quick to assume the worst about a person. Ned would always play to win. He was extremely competitive. He always tried to do his best, even when others had given up hope. Ned was a fireball, that’s for certain.
Ned struggled with accepting help from other people. He always wanted to prove that he is strong enough to do it alone. One of his worst fears was that people would see him as weak. Ned fought feelings of inadequacy and insecurity constantly, every day of his life.
Ned was rather easily annoyed. Mostly because he felt so misunderstood all the time. Ironically, it was always the people who thought they knew him best that irritated him the most.
Another struggle for Ned was his pride. Not pride in the sense that he thought he was better than others, more like the unwillingness to apologize or admit that he was wrong. This trait was most likely inherited from his father.
Have you ever noticed that right after you are encouraged to an extreme degree, then you are cut down by the thoughtlessness of someone else? The result then, is worse than the person was before they were built up. This phenomenon happened to Ned on a weekly basis.
Now then, observant reader, you might have noticed that this work is written in the past tense. “What happened to Ned?” you cry out desperately. The answer is unknown. Ned still lives out there, somewhere in the world. Hurting. Longing to be known, longing to be loved. Wishing he had someone to care for him, and to tell him what he needs to hear. He needs to hear the truth about who he is and what he has. Find him. Tell him the truth. Remind him that he is loved, cared for, redeemed, and forgiven. Tell him that you will be his friend, no matter the cost. Show him what love is. Find him, before it is too late.
Ned remains Unknown.