'The Switch' by Jane Roberts
He said he could see a lustre bursting from deep inside me - burning, effulgent, enlightening everything around. No one else could see it. It was like I was the light and he was the switch. First love: we clicked; we sparked; we exploded into brilliance.
My light would take us through every kind of darkness. On obscure winter evenings coming back from the pub, I would keep us from harm’s way. In emotional turmoil, a beam from me would elucidate our issues. Was it just me, or did he become jealous of that radiance? I shone so bright that other men couldn’t help but notice my illumination, couldn’t help their need to steal some glimmer of love. Could he not see I shone for him alone?
Then. Flick. He switched me off. Just like that. As the current ebbed, my light dimmed, my outline eclipsed and faded into the darkness – a power cut.
I forgot about my own power, you see, forgot I had my own switch. He noticed my light, sure, he basked in it, but he didn’t turn it on; he had no right to turn it off. So I have decided to short-circuit him, bypass him, to switch myself back on.
I think I will be an energy-saving light this time around. I won’t use up all my energy on one bloke. I won’t shine so bright for anyone that I will be powerless to do anything else. He will be left with a defunct switch and the empty satisfaction from controlling it, blindly flicking away in the shadows.