There were base notes of musk that lingered on the crease of his shirt.
There was also this unravelling contradiction that was masked by a mistaken masculinity at what he thought was so real but kept blowing me back down into the seat of a deafening night club.
I’m not sure if this was where the nausea began.
It might have been one more man telling me that he had always “wanted to try meditation.” I was forcing myself to be so enthralled in the loudness of the music, but honestly, anything was better than the familiar sound he felt was symphonic to my ears.
It might have been one more feeling of a warm breath invading my facial area as he screamed into my eardrum that he found me “sexy.”
It might be the firm “no” when I am asked, “Do you want to come back to my place?” And without surprise, not hearing from him again afterward.
These are just the moments in public; I will not talk about the moments I’ve had in private.
I will no longer apologise for being who I am and the reasons I behave the way I do. I will not apologise for my distrust.
Roses have thorns.
But we are not asleep anymore. After much trauma, I can see that it is getting safer for a woman to awaken to her beauty without needing the approval of another.
We no longer need to prick ourselves on thorns to familiarise ourselves with a pain we once easily encountered. We can say, “No thank you—I love myself more than that.”
There may have been moments when all we saw was the rose-tinted colour, without even needing glasses to see it. But while there are many roses among us, with thorns and all, we know there is enough illumination now to see these thorns.
We may have been high in the towers or dungeons and felt locked behind doors, but still caught in the depths of the fairy tale.
We may also know what it feels like to experience a real happily ever after. It is knowing that there are times when we need to walk a path on our own, without owing anyone an apology.
There is no in-between state. This state of mind can only be described as a dissociative way of life that feels drawn out, yet we choose to be there due to being face-to-face with a price tag that others have marked upon us.
Since when were we the object of anyone’s affection?
We’re not. We are worth more than that.
Let us walk through life knowing this and have patience with ourselves with the time it takes for us to get there.
This is my wish for us all.
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