There’s a kind of delicious schadenfreude in inhabiting you. Everything you’ve done, all of the steps you’ve taken, every checkbox on your silly daily to-do-list serves to make you more and more irresistible.

It’s hard to pinpoint when our paths cross. Sometimes I’ll find you in the depth of your beautiful despair. In all your wallowing, your spirals, I can be greedy. I can take openly and boldly. I can consume you with reckless abandon, decimating the silly boundaries you think will stop me. The beauty of being so wanton is shame. As the circles under your eyes grow and nausea wracks your frame, you’re too ashamed to acknowledge me. You think you’re familiar with my tricks, my schemes but I coerce you into soft, choked silence. You stare at the ceiling, consumed with dread, trying to convince yourself that I’m not really there. Admitting your shame, your guilt, your pain comes too late, scratched on paper as I drain you of your essence.

Of course there’s a thrill in the hunt as well. I can find you when you’re celebrating. Like a termite, I insinuate myself deep in your world, when you feel at your most invincible. I must be subtle. If I overplay my hand, I only create more work for myself. I have to be content embezzling small margins, skimming your profits and achievements. I have to sow doubt and take a passive role. I can’t lie to you, darling, it’s agonizing to stand back, letting you make the decisions. I want to be in charge, I want to feel you submit to me. But it’s a dance and at times I must lead and at times I must let you. When your defenses falter - and they will, I will be waiting. I’ll sweep you into my warm embrace. And with your guard down, I take my liberties and feel you relinquish your power, your progress to me. I let you taste moments of your glory, reliving your highs as your world falls into disarray. You reminisce and deflect as I quietly take from you. Small things at first, smiles and moments, victories and appetites, until I ransack your future. And finally you are mine.

This is my favorite way to savor you. Your essence is exquisite, your pain delectable. Your fall from grace, into my arms, is a symphony. Our courtship is tantalizing from the gentle, subtle inception to the glorious crescendo. Love and pain and possession and belonging is glacial in nature, a steady march to the inevitable finale.

But for you, my dear, I am endlessly patient.