His photographs remind me of old paintings. Pure art, pure beauty. Portraits of the elegance within, he says.
“Call me Dorian” he told me, and I knew we’re meant to explore worlds together. His world, filled with a cold, distant beauty, the kind of grace he sees through the lens of his photo camera. My world, filled with a vulnerable, fragile love, the kind of love that left me empty and alone.
“No one sees me like you do” he used to whisper, while my eyes became a mirror for his own grace.
“No one’s willing to listen” I used to mutter, while his open heart became a safe place for me, to express unexplainable secrets.
Still, we never crossed the invisible line between friendship and love, trust and desire, confession and flirtatious talks. We kept a sense of beauty and purity in this bond that connects us. Me and my Dorian Gray.
I was the first to embrace him when he found his one and only. “Be happy!” I said with an honest joy.
He was the first to encourage me to rediscover my lost inner strength. “Stay strong” he said with a sparkling smile.
There’s something different in his eyes. We’re alone at his studio, the doors are locked and he’s dangerously close. The ferociousness in his voice scares me. This is not my Dorian Gray, but a stranger who’s gaze flickers with lust and greed. And his words make no sense when he asks me to take off my clothes for a nude photo session.
My logical arguments are met with an ironic smile. My moral values are meaningless to him. My distress goes completely ignored.
So I appeal to his heart.
“Imagine the woman you love, being in this situation. Your one and only, your love, pressured into something like this by a friend she trusted with all of her heart.”
“Imagine how she would feel. Imagine her naked body exposed for strangers to see. Imagine the secret places only you kissed, only you loved, now becoming a public target for lustful eyes…just imagine.”
He looks at me with cold eyes.
“I can’t imagine this. It makes no sense.
Because your prince-charming does not love you like I love her.”
My Dorian Gray gave a voice to the monsters inside my head. Yes, he is right. Still, he’ll never know that, through all the pain, I learned to love myself.
And to finally recognize a Narcissist when he unleashes his rage. Better late than never.
In tears, I’m closing the door behind me. I hear him apologizing, I hear him saying all the right words, but my soul now sees him clearly. And his ugliness is shown in all its repulsiveness.
Goodbye, my Dorian Gray.
All credits for the photo to A. H. from http://www.pixabay.com