I have been fed lines as crooked and sharp as any twisted dagger. Even laughed as the blade pierced skin, allowing plasma to creep out in waves. How could I ever help myself? The ideal I carried of love was one distilled in truth; honorable words were the only language romantics spoke. To me, the weapons my Don Juan weaved were nothing more than flowers. I saw what I desired to see. I believed in the fairy tale notion that all men loved equally and without deceit. I was wrong.
Not all of us carry torches sweet; not all of our home fires are simple, for some decimate houses. Sometimes it is mere passion or obsession that drives us to say, “I love you.” It is this void which pulls us to worship without understanding. You see, some people yearn to be noticed, desired and deemed worthy of affection. Others only like control.
I, myself, have willingly given myself up for ransom. With stars shining bright out these eyes, I’ve traded valentines for abuse. Those promises twisted themselves sick inside brain matter whenever I dreamed. Oh, and how I dreamed! That the hand I longed to hold was tender; that his smile could be only mine for the taking. Whenever I was paid a compliment (no matter how minuscule) I clung to it like a jungle cat clings to their hapless prey. I went in for the kill.
Their declarations helped soothed the doubts I’d feel, squirming within my chest. Surely his habitual coldness meant nothing? Its just the heart melting. Its simply the spirit coming out of a long frost. I was absurd. I truly felt that my love was special; that I could somehow reach past the monster in the dark, and rescue the man within. I never once stopped to realize that, perhaps, there was no one to save.
I am all stitches, bruises and blemishes now. The abrasions of past lovers will forever remain on my skin. Their lines cut me raw. Revealed the sinew of the child buried underneath—-the heart of the romantic. All I ever was or will be remains here. My altruistic vision of the world (and the people in it) are cocooned within my heart. Fractured though it might be, I am stronger now because of my heartbreak. I am no victim.
If you gaze intensely into the fountain of myself, you will perceive only clarity. I am a woman no more cloistered in the belief that words outweigh truth. I know who it is I am seeking. I know the partner I wish to claim for my marriage bed. I wish to be loved softly; I wish to be cherished. I need to be seen as a woman worth opening doors for.
From this night onward, I refuse to be known as wretched or desperate or pathetic. Yes! No dagger soaked in sickly sweet perfume shall deceive me now. My heart is the wiser (as is my head). It whispers what I should have sung all along: to love myself first, so no man can love me second.