[[ content warning | death mention, addiction mention ]]
Mama says the difference between symbiosis and codependency is reciprocation. You might think she’s talking about love. If you’re a cynical type of person, you might think she’s talking about addiction.
It was both and neither. Mama was talking about magic. That that was the ultimate danger of magic—that you needed it more than it could ever need you, and that was why it was better not to find it at all. Because once you found your magic, once you met it and shook its hand and tasted it in your mouth, you would love it, you would need it, and you would never be the same without it again.
Magic doesn’t care about you, she would say. Magic will take and take, and worse, you will give and give, until there’s nothing left of you, and then magic will find someone else.
You might wonder why Mama thought this.
We’re talking about magic, after all, beautiful and glorious and miraculous and awful, in that old sense of the word where that meant ‘awe full’. But I never wondered—you saw it all the time; someone met their magic smiling charmingly at them in a shop or on the road or, if they were really unlucky, in their bedroom.
And give or take a few weeks (or months or years, but always inevitably) that person would end up buried a husk of themselves, drained to death, and magic wouldn’t even come to the funeral. Sure, there would always be a legacy of terror or wonder left behind, the children of a union with magic, but that was the point—it was always left behind, never carried forward.
So I listened to Mama and swore to myself that if my magic ever introduced itself to me, I would turn it away.
Oh, but I didn’t know that that was easier said than done. I didn’t know anything at all—I thought all those other people were fools or weak or desperate, and I was none of those things, I was smarter than them, I had Mama’s warnings etched into my mind.
Magic doesn’t care about you.
I know better now. Magic was never meant for our world, and without us it can’t be, and therein lies the problem. Magic doesn’t want to die. It doesn’t even want us to die.
Just like anything else, magic wants to live.
But magic wasn’t meant for this world, and we are inextricably of this world. It burns through us, like fire and like love, and leaves us wasted, through no fault of its own.
But I’m going to change all that. My magic came to me, took me by the hand and kissed me on the mouth and said it needed me, and I learned Mama was wrong. It’s not codependency.
Or it will be. It will be. I just need to–
prompt via request by modeans3
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