Lipstick by Hawra’a Khalfan

Questioning love, fragile and insecure, she lit her cigarette and inhaled. She could feel the confidence ooze from her inhaled breath into every ounce of her body—missing only her skin. The cigarette made her feel good for a brief moment in time, but in the long run? No, in the long run she was unhappy. She picked up her matte cherry red lipstick- wondering. Red is the color of love. Love? What is love? Love is the mystery of all mysteries. It is the acquaintance we all wanted to have. But, what is love but a mere feeling? It is the same as being sad or excited. It is a mere feeling. It is the mother of all feelings. Why is red the color that is linked to love. Why not yellow?

She applied her lipstick in an attempt to allow her confidence to reach her skin. Sucking more on her little cancerous stick, she found a faint outline of her lipstick on the bud. Hmmm, she thought. I feel pretty. With the cigarette in my hand, and the lipstick on my lips, I am complete. Without these petty little addictions, who am I?

Reminiscing to when she clasped her arms around his body, and with the beat of his heart, she inhaled his scent savoring every moment. I know I’ll miss him. “I love you,” she sighed, “you don’t understand how much.” She picked up her purse, looking down at the ground. Unable to let her tears escape her eyes, she turned around and walked off. And, he let her. She wasn’t sad that he doesn’t love her back, no. She wanted to be sad, but wasn’t. She was happy she knew how he felt, that at least he respected her enough to be honest, to move on. “Wow,” she sighed, “has it really come to this?” He was just another one of her addictions; he completed her, just as her cigarettes and lipstick do. “Who am I?” She asked herself aloud, looking down at the cigarette ash. “What the fuck am I doing?”

His heart was pounding, he loves her and he has never loved anybody this much before, but he was always bad at showing his feelings. He leaned in to plant a kiss on her lips, she didn’t see this coming-it happened fast. Next thing she knew, his lips were kissing hers. She was frozen, partly because she didn’t know what to do, how to react? Pulling back, she looked into his eyes. “No, this is not okay.” She whispered, staring at his lips. She couldn’t take her eyes off them.

“What was that for?” He whispered back. “Why’d you pull back?”

“You know why,” tears formed in her eyes.

Her lipstick was smeared on his lips, she wiped the faint red off, “because you’re getting married,” she said. “This is not okay,” her eyes were now filled with tears.

“This doesn’t change how I feel,” he looked at her with desperation.

“I know,” she sighed, “but I won’t be the girl that kisses someone’s fiancé.”

“Then don’t be that girl,” his lips slowly twisted into a devilish smile, “be the girl that is kissing the man she loves? Be that girl.”

“No,” she rummaged through her bag, looking for her car keys, “I’ll never be the girl that kisses someone’s fiancé, Bader.” she said, wiping the tears off her cheeks, “I came here to say goodbye.”

She couldn’t stop the cycle of thoughts that captured her mind hostage whenever she allowed herself to think of him. He didn’t say a word. He let me leave. He chose her. He didn’t fight for me. He never truly wanted to be with me. He should have fought for me, for us. He should have loved me, as I love him. That was the last time they saw each other. Saying she misses him would never have given justice to the amount of mourning she felt for losing him. He is dead to me, she thought. He is the reason behind all the pain she felt, and the reason she questions who she is. I hate him, and I hate myself for still loving him. “Who am I?” She asked herself aloud, “what the fuck am I doing?”

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