Today is my no make up day except for a red lipstick. I love to wear red lipstick because it brightens up my aura. It is also empowering in the sense that a woman can be both sexy and professional at the same time. Of course, it depends upon the shade of red; what I always wear is suited for office use. Now that I’m older and wiser, I look back at my past mistakes and realize how naïve I was at the ways of the world. Grey’s manipulation and our roller coaster relationship was the effect of how I acted and behaved as a young woman.

He often indirectly reminded me that I was a damaged good. Nobody would take me seriously but him. I could not make it on my own without him. When the pain and stress was too much for me to bear, there was a time when I talked with a random stranger though ICQ. I told him that I was in a roller coaster relationship and I was confused if Grey was in love with me or not.

“Let me put it this way. I own a sports car. I bring it every weekend to the car wash for its maintenance. I provided a nice garage for it so that when I leave, it is safe from dust, heat and thieves. I will use the sports car whenever I feel like racing. But it’s not my everyday car so I don’t really care as long as it’s safe at the garage. Listen, you are Grey’s sports car!

The stranger’s message hit me hard. I was crying in front of the computer. Somebody just told me my situation but I was too weak to accept the truth. Had I took his words seriously, I would have broken up with Grey immediately and end the relationship with self-respect and dignity. But instead, I convinced myself that Grey would change so his breaking up with me years later ruined the very core of my sanity.

Today, I am in a better position than a decade ago. The red lipstick left a stain on the white coffee mug at the office pantry. I looked at the mug along with the other mugs that my officemates used. The mug that I used, the one with the red lipstick stain, stood out among the mugs that the dishwasher would wash. Life gets better as we get older……

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