She had been taken by a man before, but she had never seen eyes like his. They were piercing: a pale sapphire. The same shade the sky fades into as it reaches the horizon. Something about them was familiar and illegible to her at the same time. When they locked eyes there was recognition and like the sky, an unexplainable vastness. As she held his gaze the world fell quiet and she felt a pulse that oscillated, pulling her heart deep into her chest, leaving her breathless when she looked away.
The tension she felt between them changed day to day. Some days it felt so tight that the only possible way to relieve it was to be close to him. Other days it felt painful, as if it was pulled too taut, like a strained muscle, inflamed and angry. She had never felt a vacancy like this before and she desperately wanted him to fill the void.
It was February and it had been two years since she had walked away from the relationship that opened up and cleansed all her unconscious wounds with lemon juice and she was beginning to feel ready to start dating again. Although, not realizing at the time that the man she felt so drawn to was a weak flame, one that couldn’t stand strong after a gust of wind. A flame that relied on lighter fluid and all the toxic habits that came along with it.
She wanted a love that consumed her. The electric touch that ignited sparks and gave you an intoxicating high that lingered on your skin. The remnants of this feeling is what motivated her to seek deep, passionate burning love, just like the one she once knew. What she failed to remember though was the unpredictable and possibly lethal destiny of a spark, the risk and unsustainability of a fleeting flame and the hurt and destruction that a burn was capable of.
However, it wasn’t the fire she needed to be cautious of, it was the form in which she was seeking it. She learnt this once she saw how quickly the sparks she felt for men either quickly disappeared or alternatively how they would ignite a forest producing inextinguishable flame and dark smoke that filled your lungs.
She needed a fire, not a flame. One that took skills to build and time to tend to. A fire that grew as each log was carefully placed and one that was sustainable to last the night. One that allowed her to see in the darkness, keeping her safe. A fire that produced exuberant embers that burst towards the sky and while doing so continued to keep her warm. She wanted the strength of a fire not the weak light and warmth of a flame and she trusted she would find it.
Jessica Jones is a teacher living in the Manitoba prairies. For the past year she has been actively writing and sharing her experiences with co-dependency, alcoholism, and the impact it’s had on her and her relationships. Her interests include psychology, photography, and her brand-new podcast called Mulch. For more stories and articles by Jessica follow her on Instagram @from.mulch, listen to her podcast Mulch or visit her website frommulch.com.