An Empowered (wo)Man

The zooming lights of hurried tricycles zoom below me. I grasp the railings of the balcony, steadying myself. The cold air chafes me and I curl my scarf tighter across my neck. A minutes time, a minute passed. My pocket vibrates, another message. I read it; I don’t reply, but I read it. It is tossed like all the rest of the unreplied messages from him into the delete bin.

All my life I’ve been taught not to show weakness, that to get what we want, we battle it out. I’ve created so many masked faces to put on that no one could see what I feel. That when I feel hurt, or sad, or mad, I could still smile at him. I don’t reply, replying gives him the power, when the power should be mine. I put on my unemotional face, my fun face, my smiling face whenever I saw him.

And now it all crushes down. I’ve been trained not to feel, to suppress emotion, as if through suppression we get something better. As if a true woman does not love, does not feel. For the sake of everything, I want to be strong for myself. Pretend that I could keep sleeping with you with no attachment, no entanglement, no ulterior power, no motive, no love. If he were aware he was in a game, he would’ve won. He has won me but he’ll never know it. And through that, I win.

If it were possible, I’d hate myself. But I hide my emotions from myself as well.



THIS IS THE TAROT CHALLENGE, a 78-day writing challenge where everyday I pick out a random card from my tarot deck and write something about, against, inspired by, based on the card by the day’s end. The works can range from poetry to fiction to drama. When the card is from the major arcana, the title of the work should be the card name. When the card is from the minor arcana, the title can be different but the card drawn should be revealed at the end.