How a Girl Lost Her Fire

She was once strong and fearless, even if there was nothing that really stood out about her… yet there was a deep throbbing Fire within her. You could hear it in her voice, in her piercing glance, in the stubborn pursing of her lips and the defensiveness of her stance. In every gesture, every glance she would yell a statement : This is Who I am, it does not matter if you accept me or not.
She was one of those who had suffered. Scars traced paths on her pale flesh, war wounds trickling through her like cobwebs. Her body seemed of steel and lead held together with rusted nails. yet if you were lucky to know her you would find that deep inside she was filled with love and compassion.
Yet one day something happened. It is unclear what it was…perhaps she received too many blows, too many people did not see the quiet beauty behind the steel. Her image became blurred. She no longer saw her pride and strength. She glanced at her reflection and blotted red to cover her pursed lips and dabbed mascara to cover her fiery glance and placed foundation on her war wounds. With every stroke she erased who she was and with every soft dabbing she forgot .
One day she became desperate, grabbing hold of anything to shut out the voidless voids of the unknown. In her darkest hour she called for her prince to save her. His poet eyes, his soothing voice and crafty hands calmed her and each stroke caused her to remember. Gently he sliced her iron and chopped her rusty nails and felt her cotton insides, where her poor heart lay quivering for love. He offered no promises magically crafting excuses yet she in her desperation asked for none. She Longed for something…and she found it in his salty lips. As he lay her on the half made bed- a bed that had been of many but of no one- she gave a sigh of relief , thinking salvation and she surrendered.
As their bodies intertwined, as she lay there vulnerable and happy he ripped her core: her fire. As they lay on the bed she felt content, not knowing her fire was gone. She left the apartment quickly the next morning with her hair askew and her shirt rumpled. She could not help but feel a dull ache; a desperation deep within.
She was no longer happy until she saw a remnant of him : his voice, the place he worked, a glance. They exchanged no words, no promises. She knew nothing about him only half told stories and the warmth of his skin.
Yet it did not matter for in every glance she saw her fire. And he, craftily, always backed away leaving her in a quiet chaos, a dull hunger.
All her time was spent pleasing Him. Gone were the shelves of life and the occupation of Other Things. Instead they became cluttered with catching another moment, another inkling to taste his skin and feel his calloused hands around her shoulders. And with each encounter she became more of a shadow of who she was. She forgot her strength, her beauty her pride and she tried to become what he might want her to be ( even if she no longer knew what that was)
As she Became Someone Else another ember died in the stranger’s greasy hand. She gladly gave it, her Don Quijote disguised as a prince.

Written at age 18, dedicated to a dear friend of mine who I hope finally found a way back to herself.

Illustration by Maryam DiMauro

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