By Emmeline Bisiikwa, Uganda
She set out to teach a lesson. She wanted to make him tremble, shiver, doubt his charm and place in her life. After all she had been stripped of her own self-worth years ago. She had lost all sense of who she was and what she wanted for a time. And now she was ready for her revenge.
She hadn’t always been dark. In fact she had always been sweet and trusting. It all started one day when she thought that she had met the love of her life. That day translated into years and years where she foolishly believed in love and men. She thought that she had met the one after the one and all they did was crush her.
Love killed the naïve girl she used to be. It turned the ones she loved into liars, such that they may appear worthy. It forced her to make excuses for their shortcomings such that they appear deserving. Then, it tore her apart with raw truth. After love left, it left a hollow space that acted like a vacuum sucking in negativity and pain. Eventually that built up into something smothering that needed to be let out before it consumed her.
One day, she set a fire and she watched entranced as the flames danced and burnt everything in their path. She envied the fire its freedom and power to raze everything in its way. It had no restrictions or rules of morality to hold it back. It was free and there were no consequences. She waved her fingers over the smoke and absently watched her fingers make a path obstructed by the smoke. It occurred to her that life was fleeting like the smoke, so easily dispelled.
The fire empowered her and she started to imagine that she just like fire, she had the power to change things. She realized she liked to set things aflame and watch them burn. It occurred to her, that there was something much more interesting to set fire to: people’s lives. She liked feeling like she could destroy the world if she so chose. That power was a thrum of energy, filling her with a sense of purpose for the first time in a long while. Yes, she would be a force to reckon with. She would no more cower like a victim.
At first she had held out for an apology. Even one out of the hundreds of people who had used and abused her could have been enough. Now it was a little too late. She didn’t want a measly sorry. She wanted blood and she would get it.
The thought of revenge gave her life. Purpose. Yes, that’s what she had been missing. Suddenly there was a spring in her step as she got ready for the next chapter in her life. She would be untouchable just like the fire.
She smiled, but it was empty. There was nothing there.