By Barrie Purnell
We met on a chill day in November
I was hungry, forlorn and frightened.
She offered me shelter and comfort
The bitterness of my life was sweetened.
She said come I can offer you refuge
I have an antidote here for your pain.
I will turn the light off on your nightmares,
I won’t ask you to confess or explain.
I was happy to take up her offer,
She possessed the flawless beauty of youth,
If I could have seen past that pretty face,
I may have cracked the code to her truth.
She offered me some liquid refreshment,
She told me to just drink it all up,
I didn’t know that the drink she offered
Was infatuation in a cracked plastic cup.
I drank deeply and felt myself falling,
The cup slipped from my hand to the floor,
As the smile evaporated from her lips
She said we won’t need that cup anymore.
You’ll be my partner descending to darkness,
For all my transgressions you’ll pick up the bill.
I said that I couldn’t, I said I wouldn’t,
She said sorry, but you must and you will.
I should have run, I should have departed,
For some reason I could not make that choice,
An invisible web seemed to hold me,
Spun round me by all the lies in her voice.
I had drunk from her cup of obsession,
From that moment my freewill was hers,
I became the foodstuff for her hunger,
Satisfying all her needs and desires.
She said now you must sign your surrender,
Put all of your inhibitions aside,
You abandoned yourself freely to me,
And you did it with your eyes open wide.
But she had mistaken need for desire,
My eyes too blinded by tears to see,
It wasn’t love she wanted but possession,
She wasn’t my saviour but my enemy.
She had invaded my whole being,
My mind now had a mind of its own,
Her mind was a mystery kept well hidden.
Behind the disguises that you were shown.
She let no one inside her defenses,
Never forgiving, always up for the fight,
Her guard always up never lowered,
No one really knew her but the night.
Her ears they were deaf to my protests,
Her eyes those from which tears never shed,
Her heart was like ice, only colder,
I love you were words her lips never said.
Having no moral compass to guide her,
Never driven to repay any debt,
Giving no one her heart’s secret password,
She never experienced pain or regret.
Why wouldn’t she give me my freedom?
Why did she write everything down?
Why was she always so close beside me?
Why were my arms always so tightly bound?
She was a terrorist in a black lace dress,
A switchblade hidden in her velvet glove,
Holding me to ransom for a million tears,
Stealing my heart but killing off love.
I was trapped by her burning obsession
I was desperate to leave and be free,
Whether you’re in a refuge or a prison
I’d found was only a matter of degree.
I asked my friends if they would help me,
But they said they couldn’t afford the time.
I asked for help from the arm of the law,
They said obsessive love was not yet a crime.
I asked my doctor could he prescribe a cure
For the sickness that I was speaking of,
He looked in every one of his healing books
But he could find not one cure for love.
Then I turned to my god for an answer,
I asked the Priest to take my confession,
I asked for a way out of my prison,
He said there’s no way out of obsession.
To love is one of God’s prime commandments,
Obsession’s just love by some other name,
You know love is God’s gift to all lovers
If you leave her God will know who to blame.
I was trapped and I could see no way out,
I walked to the bridge over the river,
She had consumed all of me that mattered,
There was now nothing else I could give her.
Despairing I climbed onto the parapet,
Looked down at the cold dark waters below,
When a hand tapped me on my shoulder,
It was a friend from a long time ago.
I asked her for help to find the answer
To where the antidote was hidden,
That would end my tormentor’s obsession
I’d already tried drugs, booze and religion.
She said the answer lies within yourself
It was my self-worth I had to address,
Only then could I break the chains holding me,
To one who didn’t love but sought to possess.
You told me if I broke free you’d be there,
You promised I’d never again be alone,
If I offered my heart you’d not take my soul,
I was reassured by your words and your tone.
You opened the door to my deliverance,
The vision to see through all of her lies,
I told her I would be leaving forever,
I saw the world anew through your eyes.
I told my tormentor not to follow,
If she found me there would be no reward,
Her passion had exceeded my allowance,
Her obsessive love I could no longer afford.
I could not afford all the suffering,
I couldn’t afford to live in her shrine,
I couldn’t afford all of her maintenance,
I just couldn’t afford to give her my time.
I left quickly without looking backwards,
Into your enfolding, forgiving arms,
You didn’t question me or pass judgement,
You didn’t moralise or quote me from psalms.
You saved me from obsession’s dark waters,
You gave me hope when I thought all was lost,
I was saved by your tap on my shoulder
You were my own personal Pentecost.
Maybe you don’t have all of her passion,
Or have the perfect beauty of youth,
But you have the honesty of experience,
And the matchless beauty of truth.