You’d be forgiven for not being able to see beyond the light in Hail’s eyes and into the darkness of her heart. She puts up high walls around her to make sure no one really sees her but tends to forget how crucial letting people in can be.

Romantic relationships are particularly difficult ever since… Him. She’s met many wonderful men who seemed like they’d want nothing more but to make her happy, but she always pushes them away when things start to get serious. It’s not for a lack of wanting someone. She is, after all, in pursuit of that “great love.” It’s just that she seems unable to cope with the idea of giving someone her heart and receiving theirs in return. She fears the power they’d have over her, as well as the power she’d have over them. She is haunted by all the hearts she’s broken to let things get too far with the men in her life. She doesn’t want to cause any more pain than she already has.

Hail sometimes feels like she’s forgotten how to love. On one hand she craves it, and she also yearns to offer it to someone, but on the other, she feels like she doesn’t really want to remember how to love. She thinks things are easier this way, although they never really are. If anything, avoiding love has only made her life more complicated and her relationships more emotionally taxing.

Hail is burdened by the guilt and regret of hurting all the great potential partners she meets, but she tries to justify it by saying that in the end they’d hurt even more if she let things get serious. “It’s inevitable,” she keeps saying, trying to convince herself that she could never offer someone happiness. Not anymore.

There is a sort of fog in Hail’s mind, rendering her unable to focus, unable to think clearly, making her unsure of herself, unable to trust herself, her thoughts, and her feelings. To a certain degree, she feels like she doesn’t even deserve happiness. Like she doesn’t deserve to love and be loved.

Maybe she just hasn’t met the right one yet. The one to help her snap out of it. Maybe she never will. Or maybe she has but was too lost in her own mind and pushed him away.

Or maybe, just maybe…

This is one of many short stories I’ve been writing for Teodora’s drawings ever since she said she was bad at writing descriptions for them. I thought I’d enjoy helping her and trying to write something different than I was used to. I’d never collaborated creatively with anyone on anything before Teodora and I love the purpose she’s added to my writing and how she challenges me with each drawing.

We’ve taken a short break from ‘Kismet’, but it’ll be back very soon.

For more wonderful drawings, follow Teodora on Instagram @teoctobart.

For more stories, she’s got her own tag here.

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