He started off sweet, just like they all do. I was mesmerized, captivated - and he was by me as well. Before you knew it, we were in love. Then I found out about the other women…but I was already in this. I was going to fix it. I was.
Things got better. And worse. Better. Then worse. But I could survive this. He shoved me. Left me stranded. Pulled a knife on me. Tried to set the house on fire. He drank. I cried. I slit my wrists. I broke my belongings. I broke myself. He pushed me on the bed, pulled my pants down, got on top of me. But I could survive this.
On most nights, we screamed and yelled. I ran out into the street, looking for headlights that would liberate me. We bled, we mended, we healed, and bled some more. It was…neverending.
Our friends saw, but no one wanted to get involved. When they did, he threatened them. Eventually, I was no longer in it for love. I was no longer in it because of free will. I thought I was, but now I see. I was scared and trapped and mostly alone. He reassured me and manipulated me into thinking that he was going to be there, him and only him, forever. He needed me, but now I see, it wasn’t a need but a want. He wanted me. He longed for the idea of me, for the idea of love, and no one else could have me.
Two years went by and I felt dead inside. The sun no longer shone. I was living with a constant headache. Tired all of the time. So tired. I knew I no longer loved him, and I tried to justify my actions of staying with him by assessing the multiple benefits I would receive by being with him regardless if I was happy or not. But he wasn’t happy either. No matter what I did, he would never be happy. This relationship would never stop hurting.
At first, I worried about him because I cared for him. Then I pitied him. Then I despised him. I looked at him with disdain, as if I would pull a knife on him at any moment, and he could see this. I was scared of him, but eventually, he became just as scared of me. Everything was a fight. But I would survive this.
We talked of marriage, of having kids and owning a house, but my future was grey. I was merely a doll, a small pet that followed her master around. We could not be separated. At first, it was because we were madly in love, but in the end, it was because I was not ALLOWED to be away from him. I was a shackled prisoner. I could not step one foot out of the house without being questioned.
When we were around friends, I laughed and smiled as usual. I played my part. We kissed, held hands, and hugged each other. He left me alone at places as he wandered off to do business, so I stood quietly in the corner unnoticed. No one suspected anything, except that we were in love. But in reality, I was dying inside, drowning with no one to save me. The only person who saw me - truly saw me - was my friend, Jimmy.
When no one else paid attention to me, when my world was darkest, he saw me in the shadows.
When everyone else saw my smile, he saw my pain.
When I accepted my tragedy, he inspired me to live again. To be happy.
We met, once upon a time. He confessed his feelings for me and told me something I already knew - that I wasn’t happy, and would never be happy if I kept on like this. I smiled and looked down at the ground, air escaping my slightly parted lips in a quiet chuckle because I knew he was right. So I made a decision.
Until the very end, I tried. I tried to salvage the ruins of my relationship. I tried to pull my significant other out of the shadows that engulfed us, but he couldn’t escape the demons in his head. Instead, he projected his anger, jealousy, and insecurities onto me, and on that fateful night, I knew I had to escape or lose my life if not my sanity. I left it all behind and drove away. I did what I knew I always had to do. I ran away to hide and to disappear. I ran to save myself. He tried to find me, but I was already gone, adrift in the oceans of a dreamworld where I knew he couldn’t find me…
When he threatened to expose me to my parents, when he threatened to blackmail me, and when he threatened to hurt me, my loved ones, and himself, I told him to do it, to do it all! I told him to give me an excuse to run away even farther so that he would never see me again. I dared him to set me free, even if it meant killing me. He backed down like a coward…Realization - I had called his bluff, and that’s when I knew I should no longer be afraid.
That night, Jimmy found me as I breathed in the air of freedom. And even though I was ready to take on the world alone, he always intended to run with me. If I needed to hide, he would hide me. And no matter where I escaped to, he knew where I was heading. His friendship inspired me to see color in my life again. Now his love inspires me to travel on an unknown footpath and discover a new journey.
Some people saw my unhappiness, but more so, feared the beast. They wanted to help but didn’t want to get involved. You saw me and wanted to save me. When they told you you would get burned, you told them you would keep playing with Fire.