Out of the blue, he waltzed into your life, with a tenderness that swam and dispersed your hurt from a long history of bad love experiences. His fingers caressed the outline of your scars as his lips brushed against your resolve. Your own true love story had happened, you thought. No, you couldn’t say no with your mind intact. If they asked you the love story of you and him, you’ll say it started as a blossoming of rose petals in perfect weather. You’ll say, he fell smoothly into place and was everything you ever dreamt of. So the heat was mutual.

 

What! With those words and tenderness, you couldn’t wait to make love to each other, finding shelter in each other’s body, flesh meeting flesh and sweet lovemaking dousing both need and pain. You’ll talk about how he bombarded you with love and how you were overwhelmed by how one person could be so perfect and capable of such pure love. His words were velvety; your cure and stay, a sashay to soulful tunes, sneakily snatching you into his mold: Fake innocence and an illusion of good charmed you. A sad story of bad-faith in previous relationships stirred your inclination to nurture. His pity party had you all in the feels. You poured your sympathy, compassion, and love like an avalanche. He told you he’s never felt like that before. He told you all the things your ears and heart longed for. You spent days and weekends wrapped in his arms, high with joy and contentment, until the first blow came like a thief in the night, where you were jolted by his acts of condescension, but you rationalised it and downplayed it.

You dismissed his sore behaviour as one of those bad days. And he grabbed it with both hands and wove around you a web, with his lies and your insecurities and thoughtfulness, setting in motion a power play. Opening a box of torment: A few sneers, here and there, grew into a full-blown inglorious portrayal. Remarks that made you question his character were followed by remarks that made you question if he actually said the cruel things you thought you heard him say. You felt him reach for your scars. He helped nurse that wound to healing, so when you felt the first slow and careful tear from his hands, your brain jerked, but your heart listened and the words of his mouth diffused a fog over it. “You are just being delicate and stiff”, he told you. And you began to wonder what was true and what was not.

 

You lost confidence in your sense of judgement and that confusion made your head hurt. You couldn’t put the feeling into words. But somehow you knew, your mind was getting exposed to a disease. Then the blame game began: It was your fault it rained in the morning. The food at the restaurant didn’t taste as good because of you. He lost his wallet because you didn’t answer his call… He turned every molehill into a mountain. Termed your strengths, flaws. Your artistry, a parody. Your kindness, ignorance. Nothing you did was ever good enough. He picked at every bit of you and when there was no flaw, he manufactured one and shrunk you to a size that kept dwindling day by day. You struggled to measure up. Once, you were satisfied by the fact that he could see and appreciate the real you, but now you are thirsty for a scrap of appreciation from him.

You began to put in more effort, and the more you put in, the farther it took you from attaining it. There, you sensed his joy in the gradual slump of your shoulders as his puffed up from matter drawn from yours. And sex became your only reach to him. You nestled closely, trying to catch that man who first charmed you, but with each grasp, you felt the air sip out of your palm. You pleaded and your silent pleas met a wicked grin. Some days, sex was the whip he used to beat you, taking it when he wanted, denying you when he didn’t. And fight as much as you did, he always had his way. You reached out for help. On the left, they said it had to be your decision. On the right, you were told to stick it out, all relationships go through rocky days. But you knew, they were not just rocky days. It was a rocky death. You were feeling your death begin. Yet, you were confused. Could it be? Could it not be? What if you had a little faith? Aren’t all humans flawed? You thought and the narcissist found his sport! He upped his callousness, and the end came when you trusted your senses and self.

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