THE LOVE AND THE LIE
PC: Andrea Gandini
The first breaths of love passed through her and out of her ecstatically, but more or less as she had planned. It was an ecstasy she waited for all her life. An ecstasy she had in fact expected. She kept all her secrets tucked into this one expectation. Secrets so deep she herself wasn't even aware of them. And then he swept into her life like a fall of autumn leaves painting the world red and yellow. He was the father she never had and the friend she always wanted. His perfect eyes and angles mirrored the beauty she always wished she was, and by choosing her she knew that at least she was beautiful enough for him. He listened intently to her stories and she found that in the curve of his attention her life was justified. She wasn't famous, nor was she extraordinarily talented; yet wrapped in the veils of his love she could finally believe that none of it mattered, that love would redeem every flaw and elevate her beyond the rest. She settled back and closed her eyes to the places where his lights could not shine. She kept her eyes closed so long in revelry, by the time she opened them again the landscape was overgrown and unfamiliar and the feelings that had been home to her for so long seemed strangely out of place. She didn't expect love to transform into this strange place - an unmarked space on an empty map. The darkest valleys inside her carved ever deeper into her heart, and she found that despite her expectations love did not redeem her. Even under the glow of his attention, she had been perfectly ordinary all along. The magic was gone, and with it went the lie. Now she can't remember if she ever loved him afterall.