— Written in February 2014 —
“What a nasty little insect,” she thought as she watched the Emperor Scorpion climb its way up her arm. She wasn’t afraid of its stinger, wasn’t afraid of the pain she would feel if that stinger lashed out into her pale skin.
She couldn’t think, only feel, the emotion blasting through her as the tears fell silently down her face. She almost wished for that sting, knowing it would hurt less than the broken heart she somehow had to mend.
It wasn’t by choice that it was broken, but more so by some deranged plot twist. The more she thought about it the more she wanted out, wanted some excuse to go to sleep and never wake up.
But not suicide, never suicide; that wasn’t her. She was a chicken, too much of a wimp to even think about hurting herself. Scars weren’t her thing, and cutting would leave too many marks on the arms she had plans for. They were open canvas to her, and scars would wreck the plans for tattoos in the years to come.
It had been a painful month, one that left her awake at night while the world slept. Her brain raced, her heart hurt, and right now she would have welcomed the pain that scorpion’s sting would provide.
Racing through her veins to her heart, the poison would overtake her body and the pain remaining would give her a chance to think of something else.
But the scorpion was so much more than that. It was a symbol, a symbol of her life, of her, of who she was as a person. She had associated herself with the insect from the moment she could read. It was her rock, giving her meaning. It pointed to her zodiac, Scorpio, it pointed to the passion, the emotion she felt every day.
She gave herself up constantly, taking in the emotions of those around her. She felt too much, she loved too easily, and she paid for it daily as she was hurt over and over and over.
Her laugh was bitter as she remembered his words, his words of insult, telling her she always needed to be the center of attention.
That wasn’t it at all. Not even close.
Yes, she loved being with her friends, and showing them, in her way, that her love had no end, but she also got jealous sometimes.
It wasn’t jealousy of not being the center, it was jealousy of not being.
She got jealous of her step sisters’ love for each other, because she wanted to feel that sisterly love.
She got jealous of her friends and their perfect lives with their perfect boyfriends.
And she got jealous of him; but not of him. She didn’t envy his life. She didn’t want to be him in any way. She just wanted to be in his life.
She couldn’t explain it, God knows she had tried. She had tried to understand the hold he had on her. The hold that kept her texting him daily, yearning for the affection that he so obviously showed to others.
She wasn’t okay with just a text. That hadn’t been what she had signed up for.
She should have left well alone, but that stupid faith in her figured it was fate that had brought them together, and it was fate fueling the connection she felt.
She should have said goodbye, should have washed her hands of it, knowing he was bad news.
He wasn’t negative, hell, he was the first exciting thing she’d had in months. He made her laugh, he teased her, and he woke a passion she didn’t even know she had.
She wanted him. Badly. So badly it hurt. But she had hurt him. Hurt herself.
She didn’t know what had caused the connection, and she was almost 100 per cent sure he didn’t feel half of what she did. She could feel him slip away, but at the same time, every day, she felt more drawn to him, like a moth to a flame. He was her drug, her addiction. She wanted a passionate affair, one she knew she could have if he would just submit.
But that wasn’t right. Why would he submit to her, a stranger. He didn’t care what happened to her. Hell, if she stopped texting him tomorrow he wouldn’t even notice. She was just another girl fawning over him, another girl he really didn’t want or need.
“I have my own problems. I don’t need yours,” he would say.
He didn’t get it. She didn’t want him to have her problems, she knew they were her own, but she did want his friendship.
Hell, she really wanted to fuck him, to be more gentle, to kiss him, to worship his body, to make him feel loved. She wanted to do to him what her first had done to her.
Maybe it was because she had only ever been with one person, a person she had fallen for at a low time of need. Falling for the love given to her, for the attention.
For once in her life she had felt needed, and the more she felt needed the happier she became. She grew, she blossomed, into who she is at this moment. A goddess of sorts, floating on a rose coloured cloud, just as naive as she was at 18, falling for her first love.
And then he had come into the picture, so many months ago. She had felt an immediate connection as they joked about their matching tattoos. Both scorpions, both for Scorpio. But she hadn’t been single, and she walked away, not thinking she would ever see him again.
It was fate that brought him back to her, as she discovered his profile online. She messaged him, for a laugh, as a joke, thinking someone that good looking would never, in years, message her back.
But he did, again, and again, and again. So she lied. She said she was single, that she was looking for a friendship that could one day lead into a relationship.
She lied to him, and she lied to her love.
She became that person she said she would never be. She hated cheaters, she thought they were scum of the Earth.
“Once a cheater, always a cheater.” That was her mantra, but that fateful day, her mantra was forgotten and she sought out her scorpion.
She sought out that poison, and she relished in it. She bathed in it. The danger, the temptation, the passion.
She felt passion once again, something she had lacked in her relationship for months.
For so long she had been living with a roommate that slept in the same bed. They were close, best friends even, but they were no longer in love. Or at least she wasn’t.
He had even asked her to stop, to leave the scorpion in the dust. To delete him from her phone, to say goodbye, to never talk to him again.
And something held her back, told her to lie again, and to keep lying, piling the lies up until she knew there would be no dam to hold them back.
Finally they burst, the tears came, and she broke. She broke down, telling her scorpion the truth, expecting a hatred as she became just another person who had hurt him. But the hate never came. It should have, she wished it had, but it didn’t.
Instead he said he forgave her, and thanked her for being honest.
It was the sweetest thing anyone had ever done. She was always the one to forgive. She loved her friends, and she cherished their memories, and she missed them when they were gone.
They could hurt her over and over, and she would cry, but then they would come back, and she would forgive, forgive, forgive. Then it would happen again, and forgiveness would creep back in.
And now here she was, asking for that forgiveness, and to her it came. She panicked, she had been expecting the sting, only to get one more life, one more save.
Then her scorpion turned into a snake, winding its way around her heart, tempting her the way Eve was tempted in the garden of Eden. And boy, was she weak. She fell right into the trap, and the fangs closed, and this time, there was no venom, only sharp betrayal as her scorpion told her she could never be trusted.
She had let it go too far. She had been at his doorstep, hand raised to knock, ready to take that plunge. But she felt, in her heart, that had he opened the door, she would have run for the hills.
She had never wanted sex, or play, or whatever he felt the need to call it. She had just wanted a friend, a brother, a guy in her life that made her feel special again, someone she could trust with her life.
She had played right into his hands, playing the role she thought he wanted her to play, thinking the only way to achieve what she wanted to be was to become someone she was not.
She hadn’t thought, she had acted; it wasn’t the first time her actions had spoken louder than words. More caustic too.
A fool, a fool wanting to feel again, to feel the kiss on her skin, the taste of romance on her tongue.
Her thoughts were brought back to the present as the tickle of the insect on her arm stopped. She must have moved, startled it, as its stinger swung from side to side.
She closed her eyes, wanting what came next, waiting for the sharpness, so much like the sharpness she had felt when he had called her out.
“I can’t trust you.”
Those four words cut like a knife, shattering her soul. How in the hell had it come to this? This wasn’t her, this wasn’t her at all.
But then again, who was she anyway? She had changed so much in the past couple of years, looking in the mirror most days was a surprise. She never really knew the face staring back at her.
He had called her out, and she had understood. Apologizing, she once again hoped for the cut of the string. For the relationship to be severed, for him to say “leave me alone” and to be done with it.
She didn’t have the strength to cut the string herself, but she should have. She was weak, she failed, not only herself, but those around her as well. She didn’t think she would have to be strong. She was waiting for those three words to come, the ones meaning she could crush that little scorpion to bits.
But they didn’t come, in fact, they were soft, sweet, telling her that she needed to be happy with herself, with her relationship, before she could move on.
Another sign, another slap in the face from fate, she cradled that scorpion in her hands, placing it back in its habitat to come out on a better day, when the sun was shining and she couldn’t hide in the shadows.
Every day she got deeper, and although the poison from the sting never reached her heart, she could feel herself falling into an invisible hold.
He had her, owned her. He didn’t know of course, except for what she told him. She held a lot back, not wanting him to walk away. Because as much as she needed him to walk away, to leave her so she could get on with her life, she felt that losing him would crush her, would send her over the edge into the dark abyss.
So much so that her own relationship became a joke, a joke that was in serious need of a punch line. The scorpion severed that as well.
She traded her love of the innocent to the pain of the damaged, because that was what he was, her scorpion, he was one damaged little bug, scuttling around, from glass wall to glass wall, hoping for a crack that would be his way out.
She wanted to provide that crack. She wanted to show him life could be good, she wanted to be his desert hideout. She felt he just may need her in ways she had never been needed.
This wasn’t the needed that called her for a ride every day, or the kind of needed that had her paying all the bills. No, this was the needed that had her wishing she could hold him, kiss his pain away, trace her fingers from his face, down his chest, and lower, showing him she was a woman and could make him feel like a man.
She wanted it so badly, and that want never really went away. Staring at the scorpion back in it’s glass cage, she knew she had the power to walk away from him, but she needed that poison first. She needed to feel the hurt, the insane guilty hurt of being with him, before she could fully leave, fully go.
It was a pain she looked forward to, a pain she didn’t want to live without.
She didn’t know, exactly, what to expect, and the deeper she got the more confused she became, but daily she looked to her phone, waiting for that text back, saddened when there wasn’t one.
He always had excuses, he was tired, he had to get up early. They were the same, all leading back to a gentle let down.
She wished he just told her the truth, that she was just another potential notch in his bedpost, leading her on was just another game.
She didn’t know what he was thinking, and she knew, should she ask, the answer wouldn’t be straight. He would skirt the question, laugh it off, bring something else up. It was what he did every time, but yet, every time she fell right back, into the trap that would be the death of her.
He said he had issues trusting, and she trusted too easily, opening her heart for let down each and every time. She felt herself falling, falling for what though, she didn’t know.
Was it that she wanted to fix him, gain his trust only to break his heart? Or was it deeper, was the connection she felt something more? A connection that ended the life that had been so good, a connection that had her sitting alone pining over a guy she really had no business having feelings for.
She didn’t know what was next, she didn’t know how to feel, but as she watched the scorpion in its tank she felt a tinge, a tinge of something raw, something powerful.
She knew she wouldn’t stop, she knew herself. It would take the poison, the pain, the hurt, and the inevitable death, before she opened her eyes. This wasn’t the right thing, this wasn’t even close to the right thing. He was a danger, a hazard, and she had fallen hard, and now, it was do or die. Go big or go home.
Tomorrow would be another day, and she had no idea what it would bring. Part of her didn’t even want to know. She would wake up and look for his text, and it would most likely be there, as she stretched lazily in bed, excited at the prospect of another day talking to this man.
She would pay, hell, she was paying, but she couldn’t let him go. It would have been so much easier if she could.