Be Prepared to Bleed

Author’s Note: It is interesting, to me, how one bit of lyrics can spawn very different ideas. The prompt lead to a fic focused on the first three lines, here, by Liana Mir.

My thoughts drifted toward the last couple lines, though, and were pulled in by a later part of the song to create this piece.

Be Prepared to Bleed

So strange to think of love like poison, but most of the time, it was.

Love drifted into her life, came in and inspired her, dragged her into the whirlwind, and then left her, pale and gasping, needing that feeling back like an addict needed his drugs, but she couldn’t get it back. Love only ever quit her cold turkey, leaving her thinking that all she could do was lie down, curl up, and die. She was gutted. She was ravaged. She was consumed.

She would think that she was getting better, back on her feet, standing tall again, and one small word, a familiar scent or sight, it would send her right to the ground again. She did everything she could to purge the memories and the emotions, but no remedy existed for the kind of hold that love had over her. Poison, it was poison, and she died a little each day as her soul bled out with the ache of it.

She picked up the paintbrush again, putting it to the canvas, shaping the lines again, the same ones over and over again, an image that would not fade, the one portrait that taunted her. Not only could she never manage to capture its proper essence, but she couldn’t stop herself from trying, every day, to get it right, as if getting it right would bring him back somehow, fill in all her missing pieces, cure the poison and the longing.

“I will get over you someday,” she said, her whisper a lie and mockery of the insistent words, and those lines that made up his face stared back at her, ready with a taunting laughter that she knew was all in her head.

He’d touched her, and it still burned, deep down within her. When her eyes had met his, she’d imagined that he felt it, too. His touch—no mere physical thing, not a passing moment where his skin met hers in a predictable way—had found a way to take hold of her, connecting and binding them in a way that seemed impossible to break. She was alone, he was out there somewhere, and he carried with him a part of her, whether he knew it or not.

She set the brush down, walking away from the canvas. Her hand catches the light switch on the way out, settling darkness on the room, making his face impossible to see. She knew it would not vanish in the night. When she returned, he would still be there, in those lines of paint, until she covered them over.

Even if she did, it wouldn’t matter. Loving him meant he was always there, that little poison that ate away at her each day, the one that made her bleed.

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