I remember that red.
I had never noticed the power of this colour. It stood for beauty. Love. Passion.
It was the colour of strawberries. Apples. Roses.
But it was also the colour of blood. How did I forget?
I remember feeling that wetness trickle against my thigh.
I was confused. And afraid. I remember feeling as if it would all end somehow.
As I approached my mother, confused and trembling, I remember my quivering voice.
Something in me changed that day. Something died. And something was born.
I realised I was not independent anymore. I was imprisoned within myself. My womanhood. My vulnerability.
I embraced this vulnerability.
Crept up inside myself. Carved a little world around me and hoped to feel safe. Carved each bit carefully, slowly, with hands as delicate as that of a sculptor.
But soon I was just another rider on this merry-go-round of life.
They have long fascinated me. The circular motion…repetitive, predictable. So much like life itself.
It is an over crowded and bumpy ride. So it gains pace, going faster and faster…until it pushes it to the edge. Making you feel that you are going to be able to fly any moment at a tangent. And be free.
But that never happens.
Is the ensnare self inflicted?
But I cannot diffuse the burden even if I take the blame.
I got used to it quite early on.
Growing up I was told that I can do anything and have anything that men I grew up with had. I was given the chance to explore the world as much if not more. I was there when my brothers went trekking across the mountains. I bathed my feet in the spring when they did. I ran after dragonflies and caught the fireflies. Nothing seemed impossible.
But somehow things changed that day. I became a woman before anything else.
They told me I was wrong. Wrong in in believing that I was anything more than simply an object of desire. Something that was craved without being understood.
I was made to embrace a gendered existence. An existence that underlined diminishing differences, rather than celebrating uniqueness.
I grew on from disillusion to resent. Hatred.
I hated living a lie. I hated living with this feeling that men had it better. I was sick of pretending that it was alright, because it was not.
There were times when I could not deal with it.
But I knew I had to. So I embraced it.
I let myself fall in love.
I do not remember much of it.
Not the passion in his eyes. Not the texture of his hair. Or the touch of his fingers.
That emotion has been masked over. Masked over and pushed down the deep wells of silence in my benumbed soul.
But I remember the hurt it left behind.
It took away so much and but transformed me.
Did I feel it? Perhaps.
Did I want to overcome these undeniable distances that time created, between that person I once was and now? No.
I would not have it any other way.
So often, I was tempted. To give in to fate. To just let fate take its course and play the wounded. Somehow it felt horribly empty. I wanted to love. But I could not make myself accept that I needed it too. I became defensive.
But I held on.
Held on by the threadbare strings of hope. Holding on like the shoots attached to a dandelion.
At times, I feel enticed to let go. Let another take away from me all that I have worked on for so long. Let down all these guards that I built around myself, in one moment. One moment of vulnerability and need.
It is a myth. Today I get liberated from you. Tomorrow I may be in the shackles of another.
I earn freedom. Only to be ensnared again.
And I never get free of myself. Maybe anything else does not matter. I am my own captive. And that is what would not let me live.
There is blood in these veins; there is feeling in this heart. There is a glimmer in these eyes. But yet I feel empty.
These hands are empty. They have nothing to offer but their own existence.
Take my hands. Touch them. Hold them, before they are hardened by this river of life.
My heart is empty. But it is yours if you can keep it.
My body never felt like mine. You can take it. Devour it. Enslave it. Or keep it safe.
My eyes are hoping on their own. To let out tears. Because somewhere deep down, it seems that it will feel good to cry. But they remain dry.
I can not offer you hope.
Because I keep losing it too often on my own.
It has become the set of keys that I always misplace, even though I never let go of the feeling that I possessed them once.
It is real. But it eludes me.
Perhaps you can walk away. It may be better that way.
I do promise that I will keep you close in my memories.
Just for that, forever does not seem too long.
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