Lit Up
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Lit Up

On Burning Scorpions and Pure White Paintings

“A White Rabbit in a Snowstorm” — from the TV series “Daredevil”

“I feel like a scorpion, burning among the flames. That’s how your love makes me feel.”

“What do you mean?”

“I read somewhere that the scorpions commit suicide by stinging themselves when they’re surrounded by flames. They can’t bear the pain of burning in a fire, so they kill themselves.”

“Is that how you feel?”

“Yes. I can’t cope with your love anymore. It’s too heavy. Too painful. Did you know I became yours, without even realizing it? One day I woke up, and I wasn’t okay anymore. I was in so much pain.”

“You were?”

“Yeah. I mean, when you were with me, I was okay. But one day, I saw the way you looked at that girl with the curly hair. Remember her?”

“Yeah. I remember her.”

“Yeah. That look in your eyes was familiar, you know, I’d seen it before.”

“You’d seen it before? Where?”

“Whenever you looked at me.”

“Oh. I see.”

“Yeah. So, when your eyes turned to her, my chest felt like an empty steel case, with its door left wide open. I felt like I was robbed of your love, of you.”

“…”

“Too painful, you see. I can’t take it anymore. I want to sting myself with my poison and die. Before I burn to a crisp.”

“It’s a myth, you know that, right?”

“What?”

“That scorpions commit suicide to cease the pain of burning. Even if it wants to, a scorpion can’t kill itself. It’s already immune to its own poison. So, it’s a myth. They die from the fire.”

“It’s so cruel of you to say that! So, I should wait till I burn and turn to ashes?”

“You know I don’t want you to burn.”

“You also don’t want to save me from this fire you lit.”

“Well, believe it or not, I didn’t mean to burn you.”

“Hah. I was there too, you know? I saw it. I felt it. I tasted it. I smelled it. I touched it. You wished me to love you, don’t dare to deny that. I saw that desire in your eyes. I saw that need in your smile. I felt that paralyzing electricity in your touch. That’s why I fell for you. Because you made me.”

“Well… No. I won’t deny it. Not anymore. I’m tired of denying it.”

“So, you admit it?”

“Admit what exactly?”

“That you made me fall for you. And when things went south, you poured all the blame on me and ran away. Leaving me all alone to deal with this mess.”

“Don’t talk like I seduced you. I did my best not to seduce you.”

“No, you did something worse.”

“What’s worse than seducing you?”

“What’s worse than seducing me? What kind of a question is that? Yes, you didn’t break my integrity nor pushed me to break it, but you took my heart and stripped me of who I was! I was ready to be a new person with you, I was ready to leave everything and everyone for you! Yet, you turned your back on me, broke my heart, ran from me like I was some kind of creature spewing poison!”

“…”

“I used to think about us a lot. Maybe in the end, I would’ve grown dull, you know, because of the happiness. My cravings, ambitions, and dreams would be forgotten. I’d be just someone’s wife. But it’d worth it.”

“How can you say it’d worth it? So, you’d give up on all your dreams, like it’s all too easy?”

“Yes, damn it, I’d give up on everything, everything, just to hear you love me too.”

“Why?”

“Why what?”

“Why would you leave everything for me?”

“Because, mister, I believed that you could’ve healed me.”

“… I don’t know what to say.”

“I’m not expecting you to say anything anymore. Just shut up, let me believe the damn myth and sting myself. That’s more romantic anyway.”

“Being a suicidal scorpion is more romantic?”

“Oh, just shut up.”

“I did, you know.”

“You did what?”

“I had feelings for you.”

“What? Really?”

“Yeah, really.”

“Why the hell you didn’t say something then?”

“It wasn’t that easy.”

“Why not?”

“Well, when you said you were in love with me, you certainly pushed me out of balance. There were even times I was out of my head. Didn’t know what to do. I had to restrain myself from touching you, kissing you.”

“Why would you restrain yourself?”

“You were with someone else already, someone you’d been planning to build a future with before I came into the picture.”

“Come on, I told you I was going to leave –”

“I’m a jealous man, okay? Maybe it makes no sense but I couldn’t be with you if you wouldn’t be completely mine and I couldn’t say ‘leave everything and be mine’ either. It was so complicated.”

“Just explain to me what was so complicated. Because the scenario I see is so simple. Love each other. Get together. Live happily ever after. Or at least try.”

“Come on darling, what if it didn’t work? What if you’d regret it and blame me? What if we wouldn’t — couldn’t — love each other enough to be happy above all? How could I figure out my feelings for you if you weren’t there to be mine? Or how could I know if they were strong enough to make you mine?”

“You just know damn it! It’s love we’re talking about. If you’re in it, you’re in it, if you’re not, you’re not. You just know. Like I knew when I woke up that morning.”

“Then I guess, I didn’t love you like you loved me. Because I never knew.”

“…”

“Or maybe I loved you even more.”

“How come?”

“Maybe I loved you more than you loved me. Maybe I hurt you deliberately and ran away, so you wouldn’t lose everything you had in your life just to love me.”

“Come on, you want me to believe this shit?”

“Maybe I knew something about myself that you didn’t know. That I loved you so much I couldn’t let even your faintest smile to go to waste. Have you ever thought that?”

“No.”

“There you go.”

“It sounds so cliché. ‘It’s not you, it’s me,’ blah, blah, blah.”

“Okay, maybe there’s a reason I know why scorpions killing themselves is a myth. Maybe I tried it before you could even think about it and saw how much I was immune to my poison.”

“You see…”

“Hmm?”

“I know this conversation’s happening only inside my head, but I somehow can see your face while you’re saying that. As if this is a memory and I remember you saying this. It’s weird.”

“So, remember me saying this. Send good thoughts my way whenever you remember it and free yourself of me.”

“Why should I create fake memories? Should I be ashamed of the real memories you gave me?”

“No, it’s because you should forgive yourself. It’s time.”

“You want me to forgive myself because I loved you?”

“I want you to forgive yourself because you opened your heart even though you knew you’d burn.”

“Why do you talk like a girl? Is it because you’re in my subconscious?”

“Please, can you just take this seriously for a moment?”

“Okay, okay. So, if I forgive myself, will you let me go?”

“No darling, if you forgive yourself, you’ll let me go.”

“You?”

“Yeah. I’ll get out of your life like I was supposed to years ago and won’t be a constant reminder of your regret and heartbreak anymore.”

“I don’t want you to be one of my regrets.”

“Then, take my word and make yourself believe we had this conversation.”

“But how?”

“Remember? We talked on the phone the other day. Since we’re in different cities, the phone was our only way. I called at a late time and you were already asleep, but you woke up and answered my call. We talked till morning. We said goodbye with no regrets.”

“Oh. Just like in those impossible daydreams you had; like having a space shuttle to reach the stars and such.”

“Yeah, I guess. And now, I’m just another stranger to you. Someone whose eyes you accidentally caught in the street, maybe even granted half a smile, but forgot the second you passed by him.”

“No.”

“No?”

“No. You can’t be a stranger.”

“Why not? Just let me go, darling.”

“No, not like this.”

“Why the hell are you so stubborn?”

“Because loving someone like I loved you shouldn’t be considered a crime.”

“Fair enough. What should it be then?”

“It should be art.”

“Haha. Narcissistic much?”

“Just shut up and listen.”

“Okay, okay. Explain it to me.”

“It should be art. A painting maybe. That one’s pure feelings are splashed in the color of pure white, on a big, white canvas. You wouldn’t be able to see the strokes at first, but they’re there, filling that canvas from inch to inch.”

“It’s a nice image.”

“Yeah. So that’s why you can’t be a stranger in the street.”

“So, wait, I’m confused…Then I’m art? Wow.”

“Narcissistic much?”

“Haha.”

“Well, I guess, if you had to be something, you’d be a page in my book. A white painting in my gallery. A song I wrote once but fail to remember neither the chords nor the lyrics. And now, after all this tweaking, a good memory.”

“… I’m glad.”

“You know what? I’m glad too. I’m glad I loved you once.”

“So…You don’t wish to be a suicidal scorpion anymore?”

“Well, what do you know. I guess I don’t.”

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Welcome to Lit Up -The Land of Little Tales. Here you can read and submit short stories, flash fiction, poetry - in brief, your own legend. We're starting little. But that's how all big stories begin.

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