She had big dough eyes and a thin nose. She smiled mockingly at me and loved red. I liked it when she wore her red silk dress and whirled around like a ballerina. She always had her hair tied up but they perfectly fell on her face.
Her eyes gleamed as she used to say, “I would go away”. I did not believe her who would if you ask me? The way she worshipped me in between silk sheets and sleek poetry that reflected my existence as her God. She was divine with her words when she told me that she liked to kiss me after I had smoked or how she loved to claw her nails in my arm each night as we made love.
I had bruises every night. I smiled at them every damn morning!
I looked at her sprawled up on the bed like a delicate doll that might break with the slightest touch but then she looked me in the eyes, many times and said, “I will only build you up just enough to break you down. ” I did not believe her when she said that and her stare turned cold for she always leaned in and kiss me after that. She touched me tenderly and wrapped her legs around my waist not wanting to let go. If I go down she might crumble as well, I used to think to myself.
“Love is a gamble and I never play fair. I give off the illusion of putting my heart in the gamble but in reality it is just a rotten box, instead.” She used to say this whenever I claimed to love her. I told her that I want to carve a hole in the box and stay there but she told me during lonely nights that the box is rotten with termites so there is no use of staying in abandonment. Love for me was war with the world to keep her by my side even, if the Gods were against me I swear I would have fought till my last breath.
She smiled in her silk red dress and wooed me every time. She told me all these secrets about her but asked me to never claim her as mine.
Till, one day, I returned home and she was not there. The bed was neatly done and not messed up with her in between. The air didn’t smell of her perfume and I noticed the red dress was gone as well. I found no notes or goodbyes, just emptiness in the air. I waited for her, maybe she would come back? I realized that she was gone like all the things she says she eventually leaves when she sucks the life out of them. I spent the night drinking and smoking.
I did not shed a tear like betrayed lovers do, for she always told me that she would leave but it was I who never believed. I kept looking down the lane at every car that passed me by hoping that maybe, she changed her mind.
As each hour passed my hope died as well, the lady in the red dress had done her job well. She took out my heart and replaced it with a box and at 5 am there were no bruises on my back or hickeys on my neck but a feeling of termites making way inside my heart shaped box. Nobody recited Hemingway for me and I watched the sun come up,
I went to work like all men do, but deeply knowing,
“I fell victim to a black widow dressed in red and nothing else.”