By: Syarah Amira
A Sociopath’s Lesson on Greed
The first thing I noticed were his kind eyes and the soft creases of his smile lines. They told me a story, but whispered the tale as a secret. It did not take me long to nestle myself in the comfort of knowing him well, and in the ease that came with him knowing me. What started out as seconds slowly rolled into days, years - I was losing track of time.
He was curious, as was I. We spent most our time together on a journey of exploration, discovering the hidden spaces and dark corners of each others’ souls. There was never a dull moment, in fact we were on a constant high for a long time. We were addicted to the relationship, thriving on the drug that was our love.
The thing about being an addict - the most lingering taste is the crash. When we crumbled, we collapsed instantaneously, tearing down walls and destroying all that we had spent months and years to build. The exposed skeleton of our relationship was horrific, deformed and mutated. I could not stand the sight of it. So I walked the city blind, sometimes with him but most times without. These were the days when I felt that I did not, could not possibly, know him well at all.
He lived in a dichotomy of ultimate passion and the complete lack of. I do not know how he could manage having both feet planted firmly on opposite sides of the ground, but perhaps that is why he could not move. I loved him fiercely, but there were many times I felt that it was a choice between salvaging myself, or saving what I believed we were meant to be. He ate pieces of me, and I let him.
What struck me the most was the fact that he rarely felt remorse. That he had to be coaxed into an apology, as though it was a thing to be earned and not a thing meant to appease the person that you love. I always needed to kick and scream before he batted me an eyelid, pushing myself to the edge in terms of what I was willing to say and hoping, no, begging, that he would finally tell me what I needed to hear. At times this meant I had to ask explicitly, other times it would be after I had lost my own voice to the wind of the argument. Each time, his words managed to cool the flames. But each time, I wore myself out from the struggle. I aged rapidly, and unknowingly.
Was it meant to be this difficult? Most days I failed to convince myself that it was, some days I turned to him to prove that it was not. He had a way of possessing me completely, I submitted wholeheartedly to his ideals although I pretended not to. He dragged me around like a puppeteer would to a decrepit piece of wood, with the strings around my neck, my heart and my mind. It was because he had could conjure magic in the smallest moments, create meaning out of thin air and give life to the things once dead. I saw the world differently, with a forced clarity that I would never be willing to give up. Giving him up would be giving up a part of me that had grown through his nurturing, my existence was now tied to his being. To lose him would be to mourn a personal death.
We fell in and out of love constantly, but the day he taught me about greed was the day he stopped loving me forever.
I sat across him, running my fingers through my hair in an attempt to rid myself of this excess energy and agitation. The truth was that I had to stop myself from pulling my hair out of its roots.
He sat in silence, barely catching my gaze, tapping his feet in an odd rhythm, like the pounding from a coffin that was being nailed shut. I heard the clock ticking at times, but mostly I heard the blood rushing to my ears.
‘When?’ I managed to say. He looked up, held my gaze, and said nothing at all.
I was asking a hypothetical question. I knew exactly when he started to have feelings for her, but I tiptoed around the giant and hoped not to wake it from its sleep. I stayed on the outskirts, prancing around in a desperate dance while he fell deeper and deeper into the core of loving someone else. But for some reason, I needed to ask. The human race prides itself on its common sense but does very little with it - here I was asking a question to an answer I already had and more importantly, one I knew that I would detest.
‘When?’ I asked again, choking on my tears. Perhaps if I was aggressively sad, he would feel some fear, and retract all that he had just said.
‘For some time,’ his voice was low, as though he was trying to bury the sentence under the floors that we stood on. I felt light-headed instantly.
It was immensely painful. I could feel my soul ripping apart slowly from his, each piece of skin that connected us stretched in the most agonising way. In my mind, I was sprinting around the room. The gravity of the Earth had lifted and I must scramble to keep things in its place. I must.
‘Why?’ I had a million thoughts, but they were materialising themselves in monosyllabic words making me seem even more of a fool than I was appearing to be.
He took a long breath, and rambled. He began to tell me what our relationship had lacked, how it was hollow and how he had faded away from it with time. That the act of desiring me belonged to the ghost that he once was, and now no longer.
That he craved something beyond what we could offer.
That he could see me, but that he preferred to see through me.
That he fell deeply and passionately for her.
That he was reborn.
I sat in disbelief. How could he possibly gather that this is what I had wanted to hear when I asked him ‘Why?’ He had stopped speaking, god knows how long his speech went on for. But his words echoed through the room, ringing, harmonising.
I imagined him feeling intoxicated with his new love, yet laying next to me to sleep at nights. In my visions, she craved him from a distance, looking down on me like the small creature that I had come to be. I could see his kind eyes and smile lines as he spoke to her, an expression that he no longer had with me. I must have sat in silence for a long time as I wept. After awhile, he stood up suddenly.
‘What are you doing?’ I reacted, jumping to my feet. The sudden motion made me even more light headed. ‘What are you doing?’
‘I should go,’ he motioned for me to step aside.
‘What are you doing?’
‘Stop it okay?’
‘No,’ I whispered.
‘I’m leaving, I should pack - ’
‘No,’ I had found my voice, but my mind still could not string sentences. ‘No, no.. no, no - ’
‘Stop it,’ he headed towards the bed room, I followed close behind.
‘What are you doing?’
‘Will you stop asking? What did you expect would happen? I should leave. I- I need to leave.’
‘NO!’ I pushed him against the wall. He stumbled, but he skirted around me. I was the giant in the room now.
‘Please don’t - ’ I said. But he had started yelling.
He loved her, he would not stay here. He needed to leave, he could not stay. It was insane, I was being insane. He hated everything about my insanity, he always had. It was all too much, he could not do this any longer. He needed to be away, he needed to be with her.
I could not believe it. He had stopped loving me for good. I could no longer reach into him, and pull out the part of myself that belonged to him. He had burned it all, set ablaze all that I held dear and close to my heart. I could not have him.
My world continued spinning, thrashing about constantly. I did not know which parts of me belonged to me. Everything was on fire. I dashed out of the room, and returned before he realised that I had left. He was almost done packing.
I must keep him. He would always keep me, so I must keep him too. It was only fair, right? I wanted to be the puppeteer now.
I plunged the knife into his heart. He gasped, but made no other sound. He looked at me, terrified, as I sobbed. I apologised over and over as he buckled towards the ground. I pulled out the knife, and stabbed him three more times till he was silent.
I held him as he died and wept uncontrollably. My tears trickled into the pool of blood he and I both created, and we merged as one for the last time. He had stopped loving me, but he would be mine, and only mine, to keep.BW
I am a 25-year old female who lives more in imagined worlds than I do in reality. I enjoy indulging in creative works and seeing where the story will take me, rather than decide on the course of the tale.