Bonus Winner | Season 4


- Hema Vaidyanathan

Temptation. It beckons. In the shared smile, the shared thought. I understand, it
says, and I’ll welcome you any way you are.
Temptation. It waits. Sits at the table, and reaches out a hand. Scooch on over just
a little, it says, join me on this side.
Temptation. It sees. In the swiftness of a glance, it aligns itself beside you. I see
you, it says, and I’m not looking away.
Temptation. It hides. In another’s mind and yet invades your thoughts. Give them
over to me, it says, and I’ll cherish them as mine.
Temptation. It touches. With glances too brief and yet limitless with possibility.
Reach back, it says, and I’ll hold your hand.
Temptation. It listens. For the softest break, for the tiniest sigh. I hear you, it says,
and will keep your secrets safe.
Temptation. It attacks. Over the rim of the coffee cup, across the final dinner
crumb. I’m the one, it claims, you have no choice but surrender.
Temptation. It adores. The fault lines, the cracks, the fear, the lows. I see you for
who you are, it says, and all of it is mine.
Temptation. It soothes. Fills the mind and coddles the soul. Come rest a while, it
cajoles, for I know you’re tired and I can give you peace.
Temptation. It curls. Around your time, your life, your mind, your heart. I’ll grow
with you, it murmurs, we’ll share ourselves entwined together.
Temptation. It steals. Your breath, your peace, your sanity. You’re mine, it jeers,
without space, without escape.
Temptation. It flatters. With words, and gestures, and caresses of the mind.
Centre of my universe, it says, for you I will make the time.
Temptation. It brightens. Flooding warmth envelops the heart. I’ll be your sun, it
blazes, and brighten your every day.
Temptation. It promises. A time of magic and faraway breeze. Come sail away
with me, it dangles, there are sunsets and moonlight and conversations under a
Temptation. It lulls. A place of peace, a moment of silence. Be calm, it murmurs,
I’ll take your worries away.
Temptation. It shines. A beacon off the beaten path. Look at me, it says, I’m the
light to chase the darkness away.
Temptation. It tugs. A little at a time. What are you afraid of, it whispers, when I’m
here to pull the weight?
Temptation. It destroys. Your perspective, your truths, your life. Don’t lie to me, it
threatens, for I know how to make you mine.
And yet…

Siren. For you, I will answer the call without delay.
Adventurer. For you, I will make the leap without fear.
Lover. For you, I will yearn without shame.
Shapeshifter. For you, I will search.
Sensation. For you, I will crave with no respite.
Audience. For you, I will speak with no reserve.
Attacker. Against your onslaught, I will not defend.
Adoration. With you, I will stay loved.
Safe harbor. For you, I will reach.
Friend. With you, I am rejuvenated even as you take life from me.
Thief. To you, I will give all I have, of my own free will.
Flatterer. With you, my reflection will never age.
Star. With you, I’ll find my light.
Promise. For you, I will live my fantasies.
Balm. For you, I will still.
Light. With you, I will find my way.
Rope. With you, I’ll pull myself up to safety and air.
Destroyer. For you, I will not regret…not a minute, not a second of everything you
For you, I will not lie.

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