a fairy-tale, sort of

She always knew when he was with Her. Not physically per se, but in his mind and heart. It was in those moments that he became aggressive, detached and rough – pinning her down and turning the bed into a war zone. He was trying to extinguish his unhealthy attachment, to erase Her image – from his mind and life, strip it down and tear it apart until there was nothing but an aching scar in its place. She pursed her lips and took it, afraid to admit even to herself that she was enjoying this torture. Afterwards she was always quick to reassure him with her eyes that it was OK. Not that he seemed to care.

Inside her his movements were slow, deliberate; he listened to her sighs and barely audible moans and stroked her with tenderness he didn’t think he had in himself. Every time he wished they could stay connected like this until the end of time. She felt ethereal next to him; he needed physical validation that she was there. Albeit a short-lasting one.

He was careful to avoid all the places where he used to go with Her.Everything needed to be different. New. Unique. Luckily she didn’t resemble Her in anything. Different figure, brown instead of blue eyes, long straight instead of short and curly hair. Her features were so delicate she looked like a fair-skinned figurine; it took him a while to get used to handling her as he wasn’t fond of being careful. Sometimes he would think of Her generous curves and hour-glass frame. She was as different on the inside as she was on the outside – anxious, restless and fleeting like the surface of the ocean on a windy day. Nothing was what it seemed with her. He was unable to forgive her for nothing being like He, but loved her for who she was.

She often fantasized about talking with Her and so did he. A desperate attempt at seeking out the ‘why’ they hoped would fill the numerous cracks in their turbulent relationship. A vain one too as She had no interest in speaking to either of them. She had moved on; they were the ones who were stuck. He wished he could see them next to each other to know for sure if he had made the right decision. Not to compare them – no one can be better or worse than someone else; people are just different and he was perfectly aware of that. But he needed some sort of reassurance.

– Why do you put up with all of this? – he would often ask her.

– I love you. – she would reply.

– How is that even possible. I am so cruel to you.

– That’s all you have left.

– What if She never loosens her grip on me.

– She won’t, but it doesn’t matter.

One day he realized to his surprise he had pined her to the wall and was roughly slamming her against it not in an attempt to punish her (not her, of course, it wasn’t her fault…he was trying to punish himself), but because he had come to understand it was what she liked and expected from him.

He sighed with relief. Outside the dawn was breaking. Both of them had this renewed hope now everything would be different. And new. 

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the circle of hurt

Sometimes she enters your life with a loud bang in a haze of dazzling scents and sensations. She’s overwhelming and intrusive and it leaves you feeling violated in a way. There was never any space for her in your life, but she rudely pushes people around, rearranges your priorities and before you know it – you’re left longing for her presence in the early hours of the mornings when her scent is still lingering on your pillow. You kid yourself that you’d be perfectly fine if she went away as unexpectedly as she wandered into your life, but when it actually happens there’s a huge feeling of abandonment left to fill her space.

Other times she slips into your life in the most unfortunate of times when your guard is down and you’re still mourning the departure of an out of place love affair. You turn to her in search of solace and comfort and, little by little, you come to yearn for her convenience, warmth and bleak attractiveness. Realizing you care surprises you more than it surprises her. Unable to chase away the feeling that you were never meant to be and this is, at best, something temporary, you move towards the logical conclusion of parting ways. But it is when the last sign of her comforting presence disappears from your life that you realize how much you’ve grown attached, dependent and fond of her. Years of posing as a self-sufficient adult give way to a scared, clingy and emotionally unstable child who’s desperately trying to find someone to take care of them.

But worst of all is the frightened girl with the look of timid hope in her eyes. Naive, sincere and honest to a point of insanity. You welcome her into your life reluctantly because you know you will destroy her. Just like one of them destroyed you a long time ago. You have to teach her everything from scratch – how to walk, to talk, to be in the world of responsible, self-sufficient adults. She will reward you with pure joy in return and she will never hold anything back from you. Everything is serious with her; everything is final. You feel compelled to yell at her: ‘You shouldn’t be up this late; it’s long past your bedtime. Just go home.’ She will look up at you confused and press her warm cheek against her palm asking with her eyes ‘Let me stay a little longer, please. Don’t send me away.’ She will leave you only after she grows up and both of you realize there is nothing more you can teach her. When she understands you’re too old or too tired to hold her hand; to run your fingers through her hair; to tell her stories before bedtime; to push her on the swings..

 

 

interest of conflict

‘I am literally going out of my mind’ a friend of mine complained the other day ‘She hasn’t cheated on me; she’s not inconsiderate, distant or absent-minded. In fact she’s as warm and loving as always and THAT’s pissing me off even more! Everything I used to love in her is now mind-numbingly irritating. The way she crosses her legs; her choice of TV shows; her browsing history. Is this the end?’

I pause and ponder. Clearly he’s interested in an answer that will bring him the much-needed peace of mind. ‘No’ I slowly admit. It just slipped. ‘When there’s a feeling..any feeling left it’s far from being the end.’

Even if this feeling is to hurt her, to cause her pain both physically and emotionally this is a desire in itself and as such it is a desire connected to her. A desire that still connects both of you. People often say it’s just a step from love to hate, but they seem to forget it’s just two to go back.

Human indecisiveness is at the core of the unnecessary amounts of heartache we inflict on ourselves and others. It can single-handedly send you back from a long and painful decision to end a complicated relationship (in the days BF – Before Facebook when updating your status just wouldn’t do) into uncertainty and doubt whether you’ll be better off alone. You realize a [possible] break-up will drive you insane with guilt and regret. And all those things that pissed you off only until a few days ago suddenly reveal themselves as endearing and sweet – testament to the strength and sincerity of the bond between the two of you.

Then you understand why in the heat of the moment when you’re yelling at each other and you’re pulling her away from the front door, your hand unconsciously slips down her body and after initially pulling away, she gives in unusually submissive and willing. You start rolling around, knocking stuff to the ground oblivious to your surrounding.This is still a struggle, albeit a different kind. It’s just as passionate and filled with eagerness to possess, subdue and submit the other one. This time out of love.

Out of that struggle a new ‘we’ is born: ‘why don’t we..we can try..let’s..’ If there’s an impulse it’s far from being the end, don’t you agree?

 

if it starts, it has to end

In the beginning they are all so respectful, polite and witty and we are all so charming, mysterious and soft-spoken it’s [almost] surreal. It’s inhumane to keep it together 24/7, but we all manage to pull it off somehow – in the beginning of every relationship that is. Fully aware we’re setting ourselves to fail, since it’s only a matter of time to screw up.

It’s a widely known secret that we only get one chance in love..and completely off topic – it’s also a widely known fact we always, always, always manage to blow it fairly quickly.

Women stop loving when they’ve been hurt badly. No amount of excuses, tenderness, belated loyalty and sweet gestures can change that. We can (and often do because we rarely leave a sunken relationship for reasons completely eluding to the logical mind) and  pretend we’ve forgiven, forgotten and moved passed the loss of trust and love for our partner, oblivious to the fact that the only thing we’re getting out of the relationship from now on, is an Oscar for a Best Supporting Role in a self-directed sham. Men might perceive this as cold-heartedness and being bitchy, but the sad truth is women save their most bitter resentment, disappointment and unkindness only for ourselves. He might even think that I am mean and unfair, which is fine, because I know that for everything he’s suffered – I’ve suffered for the both of us and for all the times I’ve been unkind to him – I’ve punished and will continue punishing myself long after we’re through and he’s moved on. It may take him one or two remedial relationships to mend his bruised heart, but I will pursue his image for years to come in every guy I throw myself at just to fool myself that what we shared was real.

Men don’t get or care about any of that. He’ll see a bitch out of hell – confident and self sufficient, provocative and seductive, which  will only hurt and convince him more that she didn’t care that much in the first place since she’s moved on so fast. He’ll never know that everything she’s become is because of him.. for him. To remind him what he rejected; to show him what he’s missing out on; to teach him that every woman is an illusion for she takes the form(s) of every guys’ dreams of her and to make him see and realize that. Men prefer to venture out to unconquered territories, unaware that what they think is familiar and well-known is as wild as the geese they want to chase. While chasing they’ll talk about the comfort of settling down and while settling down (not ‘once settled down’ because you never are, it’s a process) they’ll do everything to get away.

And it’s shattered. Beyond repair. It’s so predictable it’s not even worth crying over (but we do).

Then he starts apologizing, rationalizing, defending, reasoning, asking, hoping and more often than never it’s better to choose to be alone with somebody than alone with yourself. Men call it forgiveness and consider it a sign of true love. Women view it for what it really is – good old rational thinking.

she’s a lady

The worst mistake a man can make is stay back and wait for forgiveness. Everyone you love will eventually disappoint you and, sadly, they have no place in your life afterwards. Women know that, they sense it in their very core. Men don’t. They are proficient at clinging onto things that have long fallen apart and religiously trying to hold dust between their fingers. The day a woman stops loving a man is the day she’s able to forgive him.
And a new woman is born. Men always underestimate the power they have on the women whose lives they’ve passed through. Men are the driving force behind any… every change in a woman – constructive or destructive. It starts very subtly (as everything else): she begins to forget all disillusions, hurt, moments of pain and alienation, times she hated him (yes, it’s a good sign when a woman is capable of hating you – it means there’s still enough passion in her to care) and starts remembering the nice gestures, long conversations, late and cosy mornings in bed, hot late nights. The paradox is that the more she remembers reasons to justify her love for him, the less she loves him. The image of the man as a partner, protector and friend falls behind to give way to the new one of a dear old friend from another ‘here and now’. One that quite possibly never existed or whose existence is irrelevant to say the least, because it’s no longer her living in it. She was a different person. She is a different person.
The day she’s capable of forgiving everything, a woman’s heart awakens hollow, renewed and free. It’s a high prize to pay for only having wanted to be loved. And loved back, of course. But love is a tricky business: it fears loss, it never forgets and is easily offended; it gets jealous of past ghosts and present back-up plans; it craves genuine kindness and warmth instead of fake romanticism; it suffers from unbalanced accounts because it always seeks the emotional equilibrium; love is pure and simple – it looks for no more and no less than love itself.
More often than never it’s not necessary to stop believing in something for it to perish – it perishes regardless if we believe or not. Only women are strong and cruel enough to euthanise their feelings and carry on branded as ‘cold-hearted’ and ‘not-caring’, consecutively crushing any sign of belief, hope or emotion they might still have left . After all, it’s the only luxury we can afford, unable to externalise our pain as men do.