He pictured her the way he pictured tigers. Trapped behind bars of malice and bitterness and tears. He wanted to hear her roar just for him. To squirm and fidget and swipe at him with her claws, knowing that she’d never reach him. He wanted her to know that he was more powerful. That her bone crushing jaw and legs strong enough to jump chasms any man would gawk at could not conquer his ability to cage her.
He was a cruel man with white teeth that seemed to glow in the darkest corners of her mind as he chewed at it. He had big, selfish hands that he used to grab and snatch at tiny, defenseless things. His eyes were cold and calculating marked with a smirk that some would be foolhardy enough to mistake for mirth. His lips dripped with old lies. He was beautiful, like shiny swords and rabid dogs and every poisonous flower known to man.
He couldn’t bare the thought of having her unbound. He felt so big by making her feel small. He told her all the time that she was his and his alone; each letter from those words was another brick in a wall and the wall was her prison and he, he was her jailer. He loved keeping her. It made him higher than any drug could, brought him more pleasure than sex could. The smell of her tears was his favorite aphrodisiac. When he heard her whimper in pain, his heart would beat out of his chest in a frenzy of arousal and excitement. Blood was his favorite lubricant, but only from open wounds. He was a sick man, a very sick man.
He’d say to her, “I love you, baby, you’re everything.”
She’d smile as bright as fifty thousand suns.
She’d say to him, in earnest, “My heart, it beats for you. Without you I am less. With you we are one.”
She spoke in parables and riddles like a lunatic or a wise man, for who can really differentiate between the two. He thought her to be a fool in all of her wistful ways.
He’d answer her, “You fool. Who could love you?”
She pictured him the way she pictured angels. Like gifts that we are not worthy of receiving. She saw him float above her like a bird, and figured that’s the way that things should be. She only wanted to make him smile. To bring him joy, to make his heart feel light. She clung to him like the sunlight to the earth and would not let go for anything in the world.
She was a saint. Her hair shined as if it were a halo. Her eyes were bright and beautiful, filled with hope and love. Her smile held pieces of sunlight she was to share with the world. She radiated with benevolent power and unconditional love. She was gifted with a curse that burned her always. She could see nothing, be nothing and do nothing but good. Her heart was so attuned to love and kindness that she would walk into hell to save the cruelest man.
She was such an unfortunate soul. She had yearned for love, had found a man she thought was true. And though he broke her daily with harsh words and disloyal actions, she could do nothing but see him as good. She wore her sorrows on her chest like clothing. She collected her tears and sent them to him each day. She sat quietly in the cage he had constructed, and said nothing as he ripped her power away.
She’d tell him, “I have faith in you, I love you.”
He’d answer, “Faith is the blindfold of fools.”
She’d shake her head as her tears hit her skin and burned like acid.
He’d collect the blood that fell in water skins.
He pictured her the way he pictured tigers. The way the evil perceive things inferior things. The only joy his evil heart could garner was the high he got from hearing her roar-like screams.
She pictured him the way we picture angels. Like gifts that we should cherish steadfastly. She never imagined that he had come to break her. To steal destroy and lie and murder and cheat. She chased him as he ran away from her. And when she would stop chasing he’d come back. The poor saint could never see that she’d been trick. The tigress would remain within her cage. The sick man would get sicker and sicker still. The saint would die quicker and quicker still. Until one day she would be gone forever. And neither would have ever seen it coming.
She’d fade like all good things do in this evil world. He would cry and curse his retched fate.
He whisper to the grave, “I loved her truly.”
She’d thank her maker for sparing her soul such pain and taking her away.