I will give my lover this; he does nothing by halves. If he drinks, it is expensive hard liquor he tosses back like cheap shots. If he gets high, it’s on uncounted pills that sink him into a sleep as deep as the dead. If he fucks, it is fervently, anonymously, dangerously. If he hurts, it is never just one punch, but blow after blow until knuckles split and bruise. And if he loves, he loves with body and heart and soul, all-consuming, submissive and possessive.
[conversations with gods]
Does the wick burn willingly for the flame?
The wick doesn’t have a choice. Without it, the flame dies.
Why is that the wick’s problem?
Why do you question everything?
Why don’t you?
First he tries pleading. “Beloved. Darling. Baby. Open the door. This can’t be like everything else. You don’t get to hide this from me.”
Then he tries threatening. “I’ll break the door down if you don’t unlock it. You know I will. Just let me in.”
Then he tries guilting. “Fine. Whatever. Die alone in there, if you want. I don’t care. I’m going back to bed.”
A couple minutes later he kicks in the bathroom door anyway, face contorted in a mixture of anxiety and anger that on another day would be highly amusing. But it’s hard to find much of anything amusing as I turn my palm over to show him the spatters of blood, little droplets to match those glistening on the rim of the toilet and drying on my chapped lips. The anger and anxiety leech away, along with the color in his face, and whatever he was going to say remains unspoken as he sinks down onto the tile next to me with a weary sigh.
“Fallen angel” is a misnomer. They didn’t fall; they were pushed. Banished. Cast down. Not a one leaped willingly or fell gladly. They were reaching up, grasping at something higher and greater than themselves, and for that they were punished. You could call them prosecuted or persecuted, expelled or extinguished, but never fallen. “Fallen” implies they chose the descent into darkness, when all they really wanted was to be closer to the light above.
What if Beauty stopped loving the Beast when he became human again? What if what she was really drawn to was the mystery, the anger, the subtle yet constant threat of violence? What if she fell for the Beast because he had the body of a beast and not because he had the heart of a human? There’s nothing interesting or dangerous about living with a prince. Once the magic’s gone and he’s back to normal, just a regular guy who buys her flowers and uses proper table manners, all the risk and risque romance would be gone. Would there be any point in her sticking around after that? Not everyone wants a prince, after all; some people seek out the cursed beasts of the world on purpose. What if Beauty was one of those and her love vanished along with the Beast’s claws and teeth and unpredictable temper? She probably didn’t even mean for it to happen that way. She probably fully intended to save the Beast with her love, lift the curse, and have them both live happily ever after. Maybe it was only after the Beast was returned to his harmless, civilized form that she realized she had fallen in love with the construct, not the man beneath it. You can’t really blame her, in that case. The heart wants what it wants. Still… how crushing would it be to finally regain your humanity, only to learn the person you love doesn’t want to know the real you?
You ask why the Moon murdered the Sun. But have you noticed no one else does, not even the Sun himself? I’m the villain; it’s just expected I’ll do something horrible. No one asks why a crazy person does something crazy, after all. They know these things just happen. And sure, I may not be a villain in the traditional sense, but I’m still the wretched one, the insane one, the cruel one. I’m still the antagonist, even if the protagonist loves me. So you know why I haven’t told you the truth? Because no matter how you tell the story, they’ll still decide I’m its villain. There’s no point in fighting it. I don’t have that kind of energy. He wanted me to be the villain, too, though for a different reason. At least with him, it was a good thing. Something that felt worthwhile, a role I could be praised for playing. But still, it wasn’t really my choice. I wanted– Well. It doesn’t matter what I wanted. Maybe I never really knew anyway.
My point is, stop asking. No one cares but you.
He asks, “What happened to make you so fearful? How can you choose this,” meaning the coughing, the blood, the wasting away to an inevitable end, “over the possibility of a cure? Or at least something to ease the pain? It’s irrational. What do you think will happen to you if you try to get help?”
What I don’t say is, No fear is irrational if it’s based on experience.
What I don’t say is, Not one more needle; not one more test or drug or locked door; I will choke to death on my own blood first.
What I don’t say is, I am more terrified of going back there than I am of leaving you.
All I do say is, “I was sent where all lost things go. I won’t return there, or to its like.” He’ll figure it out in time. If I’m lucky, it’ll be long after I’m gone. Until then, darling, count yourself blessed you even get half answers. This part of the tale isn’t for you.