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by Violet

It was dark, it was always dark in his room. Even in the day time, his curtains were always drawn so he could pretend that everything was at a standstill, and life wasn’t moving on without him. It’s easier to kiss strangers in the dark, it’s easier to self destruct unnoticed.

Control, that was his drug. He liked to blame the alcohol and the little white pills, but she saw right through that. He didn’t love people the way he wanted to, the way he wished he could. But he loved control. Even those who were immune to his superficial charm couldn’t ignore him, and when all eyes were on him that was when he felt most at ease. He discovered from a young age that you can get away with almost anything if you do it with enough confidence, and he knew that when everyone was looking, no one was really seeing him for what he was. She saw him, but she had turned a blind eye to his invisible crimes, she had loved him with a criminal passion.

He had built a career out of lying and cheating beautiful women into loving him, and used it to reassure himself that he wasn’t lonely, he wasn’t broken, because the one who loves less controls the relationship. The one who loves less doesn’t get hurt. He was addicted to the power he had over those silly girls, but at the same time he despised them for making it so easy. He’d send them off early in the morning before he’d even made himself a coffee. He said they were bad company, but she knew he just didn’t want the shame. It’s harder to look at them when he’s sober. It’s harder to act oblivious to the damage.

She was supposed to be one of those stupid girls, someone who didn’t matter. But she showed up with all her jokes and optimism about changing his life and it knocked the wind right out of him. He kept trying to figure her out and she kept changing every time he thought he got close to the answer. When he told her he was the devil she smiled a wicked smile and insisted she was Satan’s mistress. When he tried to scare her off with his twisted plots she asked to be his accomplice. Even with his hands wrapped around her throat, she wondered if she could still save him from himself. Even as the bruises set in, she thought she could rescue him.

When he had her pinned against the wall with nothing but whiskey breath between their lips, she couldn’t figure out why the same man who made her laugh, who had a smile that made life look easy, could also be the source of most of her nightmares. There was no shocking finale, no tearful goodbyes, she left as suddenly and as she had appeared in his life. Now he looks for her in every girl he brings home, but every kiss tastes like her shadow, every kiss is her curse.

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