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[ Personal Narratives ]

The Temptress

She joined me on sidelines, and pursued him without hesitation. We sat side by side; the stable and ordinary, the beguiling and cunning. I waved furiously and offered him a safe home, a meal and a hot shower. She quietly indicated that the possibilities were endless.

He was attractive, unassuming and friendly but privately struggling with angst and insecurities left him vulnerable, ideal prey. He was receptive to her innuendos, enticed by the opportunity to forget his anxieties made it easy to succumb to her pitch.

I shouted, “This is the one I warned you about”, but in the flesh she was beguiling. When she whispered subtlety in his ear, “Come with me; you’ll never miss this life” a classic war of good against evil began.

Their relationship was isolating. She quickly dominated and he forgot to eat, feel and communicate. Her highs took his breath away and the lows left him debilitated.

Family and friends began to miss him and discussed his departure with confusion. Individually they developed opinions about the relationship, some were convinced he was lost, the majority prayed for a break up, while a few, like me, fought. I rationalized with him at every opportunity, spelling out her flaws and failures.

“She leaves you hungry, lost, confused and alone. Don’t you see she is cunning and she breaks her promises? Look at her entourage, the sheer numbers who were enticed and deceived”. 

I looked for signs of his old self, anything that would give me a foothold in his mind that had been eroded by her lies. This was a mental kidnapping, in fact we were all bound, barely living, praying she’d moved on. Despite her abuse, their engagement shifted from beyond an emotional craving to an intense physical requirement. When it was clear he was committed, she laughed knowing he needed her so desperately that he would never feel unfulfilled.

Intermittently and unexpectedly she’d loosen her grip, and if I remained close I could occasionally capitalize on those moments. Exhausted he’d acknowledge the trauma. My solutions were realistic and painful. Having tasted her dreams I was unable to shield him from the darkest nightmares. Knowing that the appeal of my options diminished at every return, I would push him to escape.

Periodically, he would find the courage to leave and would live through the hellish consequences of the break up. The torture was real, it could be measured. If he withstood the pain and endured the test of time, glimmers of his old self would return. He would recall the sweetness in simplicity. Although he became stronger, she would be omnipresent, incessantly calling, seducing him to return, “It will be better this time”. Eventually his new found freedom would become novel and boring.

Back in her clutches, I’d mourn his recapture alone, the others having grown tired of the repeated cycle. Her approach became more venomous; convincing him that he was unloved and worthless. Conversations became difficult, his mind remained with her. I texted him pictures of home and his family hoping to break the amnesia and prove his value. He dug deeper and pushed her away. 

After a few months without her presence I felt more confident. He became healthier and life began to resume functioning, until he ran into her again with his friends. She told him how much she missed him, and reminded him how much easier things would be if they were together again.

Today she has him captivated. I hate her, deeply resenting her undermining our lives and stealing his future. I speak her name, warning others of her power, Heroin.

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