He said he loved me, and my heart beat hard and fast in my chest. I said I loved him too, not sure exactly what I meant by those words. But if my heart beat would accelerate at a lightning speed and my entire body flush as though infused with fragrance from a thousand roses, then surely, I must really love him.
That was my first love, naïve, young and wide-eyed. it bloomed like summer blooms and vanished with the last gasp of summer. I thought it will last forever. Surely when two people say they love each other that meant they will be together forever, right? The answer is no as I have come to learn after that sultry yet innocent summer.
He said he loved me. With a slight reservation I said I loved him too. He was my winter love. After summer, I know those words did not guarantee forever, but with the cheerfulness of a once beaten, twice shy youth, I hoped this love will outlast the winter chills. It did not.
Two seasons was more than enough. They represent two unrecoverable years of my youthful life. I was done with love. Done with butterflies in my stomach, a fluttering heart and pleasant goosebumps. Of what use was love?
Love? Was that all it amounted to? It appears in the morning and is gone by noon. It doesn’t even stay till night, not to mention midnight. Why love if love will not last forever?
Now love calls me a cynic and I call him a hypocrite. He says open your heart to me and I say no way. I have been through this before, not once, not twice and sadly not thrice. I am different he says. I am the real deal.
I have heard that before I say. I am done with you. You cannot live without me he says. Watch me, I say with much gusto, ignoring the voice in my heart that said he was right.
I was done listening to that lulling voice as well. It had lured me once too many into giving in to love. It is as though it is bewitched by love to make me fall in love. It still seductive voice will say, “you need love, you know you want love, love is right in front of you, give yourself to love.”
“Shut up!” I’ll say and it will obey but only for a spell and then at the sight of love, any love, it would begin to gently thunder again, “you want love, come on girl you know you need love.”
“I don’t need love!”
“I have been hurt and deceived by love before!”
“It doesn’t matter.”
“Love is not real!”
“Yes, is it.”
“How do you know?”
“I know because deep down in that untouched, innocent pure, and impenetrable part of you, you know that true love exists.”
I laugh. Is there really a pure and innocent part of me? I thought my innocence was long gone.
“No,” the voice whispers. “There is still a part of you that no matter how many broken hearts or failed promises will ever remain unbroken.”
Is that really true? Could I really trust this voice in my heart and give love another chance?
“Yes, you can,” it says. “Because I am you. You can trust yourself to love again.”
“But what if love leaves me again?”
“No baby, true love will never leave. Because true love is not outside of you, it is inside of you.”