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That's what I would give you. I would let you into the deepest corners of my life. I would tell you all my secrets. I would show you all my scars.
I would let you watch as my dreams burst, exploding, rupturing, creating a space for you to move into, a hole with no dry hopes to fill it, needing life and sustenance that I would find in you. You would become the most precious thing. You would become my whole world, because you would know everything about me. You would become me.
Me. My image. My memories.
Memories of things long passed, of hopes long forgotten. Memories that I would present to you, full both of comedy and tragedy, tales of unspoken pain and unseen joy.
But then, you would see through it all. You would know my memories can't be trusted, because you would know my present, the very things I see through my eyes at this moment. You would become my eyes. You would see through my eyes just as I saw it, and would watch as I took the razorblade that you would become to me and caressed my skin with it, drawing pictures across the blank canvas my body would be. You would watch as the blood convened into a single drop that would say more in a fleeting second than a thousand stories in a thousand years. You would watch with me as I took it all—my pleasure and pain, my beauty and scars, my laughter and tears—and ripped it apart, tearing at the fleshy edges, consuming it, bringing every tiny piece of its raw intensity into myself, into you. I would take it, the convoluted morsel of my own being, and form it, gently, lovingly, into an image of myself. Like a voodoo doll, I would watch as it became me. As it became you, for you would have become me.
But I am not gentle or loving. As I stared into the mirror, I would see myself. A demonic guise I loathe. Lips I would rip from my own face, for they have spoken lies that not even I would dare repeat. Eyes I would gouge from the sockets, for they have seen blood on innocent hands. I would look at you, and see in you everything I wish to be. The me I never was. I would hate you for the very thing that draws me to you: your perfection. Not perfection of yourself, but of myself. You are the me I always wanted to be. I would tremble in rage, clawing at my own skin, thirsting for my own blood and pain, wanting only to be you. But it would never happen, for you would have become me. I would look back into that mirror and see only another flawed, hellish face. Not you, but me. I would see that I have broken you, to such a tragic point that you are unable to be fixed. Tears would be shed. But then I would take my hands, my own sinning hands, and force them upon the mirror, again and again, until the glass had shattered onto my feet and my skin had turned raw, torn and bleeding.
The pieces of the broken mirror, lying dead at my feet, I would pick up. I would take their razor edges and tear apart the little doll of myself, created from everything I ever had been. You would tell me to stop, and I would spread more venom through your veins. I would lie. I would tell you I had never begun. But I would not stop, not until my own essence was as scattered as the mirror's glass.
You would cry for me, for my pain. You would tell me words I once longed to hear, words of my own beauty and tales of my perfection. You would take the doll, and you would piece it together, thread by thread, keeping only the good and discarding the bad in the Hell that my entire shaking frame so deserves.
And to see you in such pain, I would become more broken than ever. Though your words would have been too little, too late, I would cherish them. With my entire essence, I would hold them in my arms, my small, fragile arms, laced with the scars of yesterday's tragedies and tomorrow's pain.
But here, we would reach the point of truth. It would be the only thing that really mattered, in the tale of comical sin. What would you do next?
But I wouldn't ever ask. I would know.
You would take the words I held so gently and rip them away from me, handing them over to the next one you saw, leaving me with more scars than any blade ever could. You would turn to me and give my own essence back to me, the me I thought I had hurt you with. I would see you were unharmed. I would see that everything was merely a play upon the stage that is the world, and I was just another actor alongside you, the star.
You would take off the costume you had donned, washing away lies and pain and tears in a single moment, washing the makeup off next and revealing perfection rather than the scars and flaws you would have shown me. You would hand me the script, in which I would see that you had played your part beautifully, and I would find myself laden with sympathy for you regardless.
Everything you would have told me, all lies, I would still carry with me, though I knew you had shed it all moments before. But I would never be able to rid myself of my scars, of my stories, of my life. I would always be the same person. The only thing that would change would be the stage around me and the characters beside me. I would know I would never be the one in the costume. Everything would have to be laid out for the audience to see, all the sins I had ever committed.
But I wouldn't let anything like this happen a second time. I would go back to the mirror, and in the shards I would find myself, bloodied and broken but ready for a second round.
I would become the playwright. I would always know the ending.
To keep myself alive, I would keep myself off of the stage. But this, I would always know, would be my undoing. I would always think that the next one would never be as horrid as the first. But my scarred and twisted mind, wrapped in bleeding bandages from the first betrayal, would always protest.
So I would never know. I would never try to tell someone everything, because I might become a player, when I strive to be the playwright. I would live a life driven by the fear of betrayal.
No, the fear of honesty. Of visibility.
And that's why, when you asked me, I said nothing.
Because I knew how it would end.
And in the end, I was right, wasn't I? You convinced me to let go of the pen, to give up the façade of playwright. I took the pen and cast it down among the still shards of glass from the broken mirror, silenced by fascination as the violet ink cascaded from its well, spreading through the tattered pages like a disease, the words on the paper becoming veins through which the dark liquid swam. You took my hand, wet with tears and ink and blood, and led me back to the stage, and I gladly played along, hiding myself within the lights and the eager, hungry faces of the crowds. In this peculiar play I found myself at ease, letting my scars and beauty alike shine on center stage, discovering the wonder of being the lead role and not second best, not overshadowed by a seasoned deceiver. I bathed in the spotlight, washing away the pain.
But it was then, at my most vulnerable, that I saw the script. I had fallen victim to my own tragedy, to a tale of woe and regret I had penned long before. There I stood, wrapped in a costume, in threads of joy, watching a comical retelling of the disaster I tried so hard to avoid.
And as with all great plays, this one came with a dose of irony concealed within its fraying edges that you cleverly wove into the story I knew all too well. As the final act commenced and my character saw its demise, the curtains closed and you smiled as I was pulled away. Dragging me down, you ripped at the pretense I had become and I realized that, for the first time, I could finally shed my own costume, an elegant masquerade of happiness and acceptance that I had come to accept as truth.
Alone with a broken mirror and destroyed pages and spilled ink, I face my hardest decision yet. I long to leave the stage forever, but have discovered that I also long to return, to feel the spotlight on my broken skin alongside you, the one to change my mind.
There are two stories to be written, and all I must decide is which to embrace.