I need to write about love.
I need to think and think and write and write about love – otherwise, my soul won’t survive.
It just won’t.
So here it goes.
The very first person I fell in love with was a woman.
Her gentle caresses and the curvaceous nature of her body just had me in complete awe.
You can kind of say it was love at first sight because I loved her from birth.
I wanted to be able to control my love for her, so that I wouldn’t be the one to end up hurt.
But, the love I had for her was overflowing that it couldn’t be contained within the confines of the heart, instead it spread like a cancer, overtaking a part of my body one at a time.
When I love, I love hard, as I have said before.
Before I met her, love was only a word; a word I couldn’t even pronounce. She came and gave it meaning, until the day she broke my heart.
I still remember, like it was yesterday.
It was in 1990. I had just woken up from a nap and I saw her laughing and playing with another child. The same laughs and smiles she once shared with me, she was sharing with someone else. A complete stranger.
Little did I know that this was a scene that I would have to watch over and over again over the years.
Because she broke my heart again in 1992, then in 1994, once again in 1996 and finally in 1998, when she gave birth to my two brothers and two sisters.
It was stupid of me to think I would be the only one she would need, especially as she had other children before me.
Why did I expect things to be different with me?
What makes me so special?
All these questions began to engulf my thoughts.
Because you see this was the first time I fell in love.
I didn’t know any better. I wasn’t meant to know any better.
And the first time you fall in love, it is like a narcotic. At first it brings a euphoria of complete surrender. The next day you want more. You’re not addicted yet, but you like the sensation, and you think you can still control things. You think about the person you love for two minutes then forget them for three hours.
But then you get used to that person, and you begin to be completely dependent on them. Now you think about them for three hours and forget them for two minutes. If they are not there, you feel like an addict who can’t get a fix. And just as addicts steal and humiliate themselves to get what they need, you’re willing to do anything for love.
This was me.
And I know I am not the only one who has felt like this.
The truth is, is that love, although its very nature is fragile it isn’t like life. With life we believe we have absolute control over our every step, that we are fully conscious of our decisions, and are capable of choosing the object of our devotion.
With love – it arrives, moves in, and starts directing everything.
So love tracks me down again in 2008 whilst I am in Sheffield studying. I am walking through the student halls of Opal 2, here to visit a friend of mine and I get to thinking a little too much, and then my thinking turns to brooding, and that’s when it catches up with me. She comes upon me all silent and unexpecting, like a thief in the night. She doesn’t need to show me her badge. I know her very well. I guess we’d been playing a cat-and-mouse game for years now. She had tried to catch me in 2004 to 2007 but I narrowingly escaped. Thank God. Lord knows I couldn’t have handled another broken heart.
Hence, why i am a little surprised to meet her in this building at my friend’s flat.
This is no place it belongs.
I say to her, “How did you find me here? Who told you I had left London to come to Sheffield for University?”
Love, always the wise woman, says, “What – you’re not happy to see me?”
“Go away,” I tell her. I am trying to focus. She then goes on to say, “I might have to tail you for the rest of your time here. It’s my assignment”.
“I’d really rather you didn’t,” I tell her, and she shrugs almost apologetically, but only moves closer. Then she frisks me. She empties my pockets of any sadness and hurt I had been carrying around from my first love.
Love even confiscates my identity; but she always does that. She starts interrogating me, which I dread because it always goes on for hours, weeks, days, and sometimes even months. She’s polite but relentless and she always trips me up eventually. She asks why I haven’t trusted anyone else since my first love broke my heart.
She reminds me of the beautiful relationship my best friend has with her boyfriend; she asks how I feel when I go to a restaurant by myself. She asks (though we’ve been through this line of questioning hundreds of times already) why I have given up on her, why I can’t see how beautiful I am, why I can’t see my own worth. She asks why, exactly, I don’t think I deserve a good guy. She asks where I think I’ll end up in my old age, if I keep living this way.
I turn around and I walk back home, hoping to shake her, but she keeps following me. Love has a firm hand on my shoulder. I don’t even bother eating dinner; I don’t want her watching me. I don’t want to let her into my flat, but I know that there’s no stopping love from coming in if she decides that she wants to.
“It’s not fair for you to come here,” I tell Love. “I paid you off already. I served my time, 18 years, back in London.”
But she just gave me that warm smile, flashing her dimples, settles into my bed, fully dressed, puts her feet around my legs, pulls the covers over herself. She’s going to make me sleep with her again tonight, I just know it.
But what I didn’t know was that I would enjoy sleeping with her for many years to come. That she would be the person that would give me the courage to stand up in front of my family, friends and God and declare to spend the rest of my life with my best friend. I felt so deeply, terribly happy. I thought to myself, “Whatever this feeling is – this is what I have been praying for.
I pray that love tracks down everyone one day. Because in every love lies the seed of our growth and the strongest love is the love that can demonstrate its fragility.
*Hugs & Kisses*