Hell Hath No Fury

Red is no longer the hue which symbolizes a fierce anger and sweet revenge or a passionate attraction and two bodies intertwined.

Red is the color of humiliation. It is the uncomfortable silence during a confrontation, the prick of unspilled tears in my eyes, and scorching cheeks. It is the intimate flame in my chest after being recognized as a Burden.

Red is knowing that the hands which once fit in mine so perfectly are now rubbing salt in my gaping, bloody wound. The wound that his raw words made. The earth’s rotation slows to a lethargic pace as my heartbeats crescendo. Tar has replaced the blood in my veins, and my throat is thick with shame.

Red is being lost on a road once familiar. When the person who publicly proclaimed his admiration of my beauty is suddenly repulsed by my newly apparent flaws. The little details he once adored have withered into mere nuisances.

Red is realizing my blemishes are no longer accepted, and the pungent smell of disgust hangs in the air as I lie awake, alone. His coarse candor is an unwelcome stranger.

Red is understanding that the duality of my presence unnerves him. I am too much and I am not enough. I am enticing and I am dismissible. I am intoxicating and I am toxic. I am underwhelming and I am overwhelming.

Red is a sunburn. My body stings and recovery is painful. I peeled away the delicate layers of my psyche, only to be charred by his ego. I burn, and I wallow in my Icarian failure.

Red is the sour taste I leave in his mouth, and with the same lips he once used to kiss me, he spits me out unceremoniously on the side of the road. He doesn’t look back. He wants to silence me. He succeeds.

Red is believing that all of the warnings were legitimate. The trepidation that once haunted me has been released, an unwelcome apparition that panics me, leaving my mouth dry and my vision hazy. I see scarlet whorls and begin to lose balance. This is an epiphany long overdue. A wave of chagrin drowns me with a bitter truth.

I should have noticed he was unhappy. This is on me. Was I so blinded by my wildest fantasies? I must blame myself.

Red is violently rehashing every moment spent with him, every hour he draped himself on that familiar corner of my bed, every time he looked at me longingly, every time he touched me, every time he listened to me. Was I supposed to expect this?

Red is standing ankle deep in the wine colored clay on the edge of the lake near my childhood home. And I breathe. And I wonder. When was the moment that he knew he was done with me? Did it come to him in a bolt of lightning? When did his heart finally tell his head, “Enough is enough. Let her go.” Did it gnaw at him like a ravished lion, or was he nonplussed as usual?

Red is hearing all the words I want to say to him rattle around my mind. I will bear this scarlet letter, an S for shame, and I will remember this day. This day of red-hot reproach. The apex of my embarrassment.

Red is bidding farewell to the final shockwaves of his last words which ripple through my body. I’m left in the shadow remorse. With the scarce hope I have remaining, I pray that acceptance will embrace me soon. In time, other colors will penetrate my vision, but tonight I am left seeing red.


This piece is an organic essay of sorts, one that sprung from the recent ending of a relationship. Some may say our months together were too brief to be meaningful, the amalgamation of upsetting feelings that were born the afternoon that his feelings died, disprove such a claim. While my use of red as an instrument to express my overwhelming sense of embarrassment may seem redundant, it is simply supposed to echo the way that my thoughts methodically played out in real time. Binding my emotions to a bold color solidifies the presence and validity of my sentiments.

The melodrama and thematic metaphor of my writing is meant to be taken with a grain of salt. I am young. I realize this is not the end of the world. I will get over this boy. However in this instance, my impressive tendency to be fully swept away by any painful emotion that crosses me was met at a particularly paralyzing junction with my feelings for a boy, and I was crushed (in my defense he dumped me over a three-sentence-long text). This dichotomy birthed tearful yet therapeutic prose that might strike a chord within someone who carries their emotional debt the same way I do.

London Lordos

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