They told me that I’ve never known love…
I was too young to call it love when the boy in middle school first made me blush. Too naive for it to be love when I met the boy whose voice was like vanilla and eyes were as cold as ice. I was too selfish when love came knocking in the form of my best friend. I was too casual for love when it came in the form of the boy who would have laid the world at my feet for nothing.
Too stupid… too cavalier… too obsessed…. And I was beginning to think that maybe, love just wasn’t for me….
But then you entered with everything that Love could possibly be…You came in with the racing of my heart, the butterflies in my stomach and the weakness in my knees. When I saw you, it was like the Universe had decided to set things into motion so that everything that had happened so far in life was finally coming together to bring me to that exact moment where I would meet you… when the stars had magically aligned themselves to create that one perfect second where it would all make sense – the instant when our eyes met.
You smiled at me like you had been waiting for me all these years and I was torn between the impulse to run at you and pull at your grey t-shirt and angrily ask, “What took you so long?” or to wrap myself around your neck, and never let you go and say, “Thank you…thank you for finding me…” But then we did neither. Like modern decorum requires, we danced around each other with our words and went home that night knowing fully well that from that second on, home to us would always be where the other is.
We talked about the world, and yet the only world was us. We laughed, we cried, we spent it in silence. The nights were long and sweet, we barely slept and when we did, I slept with my face on the palm of your hand and your smell on my skin. Every time we moved, it was in tandem, you were like the sun exerting its pull on me in a perfect collision-free orbit. We dreamt about the future, we made babies in our dreams, with my eyes and your dark hair. We talked for hours about the cosmos and matter and half of it didn’t; we argued about the books we read, the movies we watched and the music we heard, and it was like our minds were involved in their own peculiar mating ritual.
Tell me, how is it not love when you brushed your fingers against my lips and I forgot every touch that I had ever felt? Was it not love when I laid against your chest after a long day with your hands in my hair and your beating heart being the only sound in my soul? They say love is not when it runs through your veins like a drug, they say love is about being best friends, but then what is this called when content and passion comes together?
They tell me love is only when it ends in a happy ending. I do not tell them that I had finally found it, because even if you aren’t there anymore, even if this is taken all away from me in a second, I do not want to hear that this hasn’t been love.
To me, Love came calling my name. Love is you.
When I broke the vase at home and stood uncomfortably on one leg in front of my mom telling her that it was me who broke it, my mom told me it was okay because mistakes happen and what was most important was that it was brave of me to admit it. I learnt that honesty was a virtue. In the summer with all my cousins at my grandparents’, when my ever-so-strict grandmother asked who had been scraping off the bath soap and wasting it, I raised my hand tremblingly waiting to be punished. My cousins were silent and looking at me waiting to see what would unfold. But my nana (that’s what I call her) just smiled and told me not to do it again. She taught me again that truth is respected.
And then came the books…I was an only child in a big empty house and my books were my siblings. They took me to places and showed me magic and fairy tales. But they also taught me that good triumphs over bad, courage and strength make an individual, and that loyalty is for life. They taught me to not scream out loud in pain and to bite down on my lip and say am okay even if I wasn’t, because in the core of myself, I wanted to be the strong one. And every time I got an injection or had a tooth pulled out, I never cried. Not a sound. My eyes would fill up but I knew strong people don’t cry. I was the first person to jump into the deep end of the swimming pool when the coach wanted us kids to, because I wanted to be that one with resolve and determination. And my parents validated it and told me they were so proud of how strong I was. I remember coming home from school one day and telling my parents scornfully about how a girl broke her arm and had tears streaming down her face in front of everyone, and if it were me, I wouldn’t cry. I remember my mom saying softly that she must have been in pain…but it flew right across my head that time.
I wanted to save the environment, join Peace Corps and save the whales, I was that kind of a person. I wouldn’t say that kind of a girl, because neither the books nor my parents taught me the difference in being a little girl and a little boy. It was about becoming a good person. To me the world was fair. Cinderella got Prince Charming not because she was beautiful, but because she was kind. Soft porcelain hands did not mean beauty to me, it meant being gentle. Prince Charming was desirable not because he was tall and had a square jaw, but because he was strong, noble and a good ruler.
Now now, this story isn’t about how I was taught these values and then later grew up to realise that the world is such a dark twisted place….This is, maybe, about how when I seemed to teeter on going the wrong way, it was what I had read that still made me want to be what I have always thought I should be. The time when I realised that the world was not a fair place and began to believe in ‘survival of the fittest’ was not the happiest time of my life, not because trust was broken, not because betrayal reared its ugly head and introduced itself to me, but because I lost myself. Lying and being selfish seemed like the way forward to get to the top of the world because life seemed like a cut-throat competition, but I realized it wasn’t worth it if I only ended up hating myself. And that’s when I began reading again, and the light flooded my eyes. I was not meant to be ruthless, sly, cunning, disillusioned or broken. I was the characters in the novels, strong, good, accepting and brave. Being broken, damaged, cold and brooding has been romanticized. Being whole, pure, and a golden honest solid ray of sunshine is any day better. This was what I was brought up on and what I hope to die as. Wit beyond measure, is not man’s greatest treasure. To be human is.
You don’t remember when you first met him. You just remember him always there since the moment you opened your eyes. You can remember how mad he made you when he pulled on your pigtails, when you were six. You remember how you welled up with tears of anger when he laughed meanly at your glasses. You swore to yourself that the man you marry will treat you better than him, and you walked away, turning your nose down on him, and buried yourself in the book you were reading.
And then you both grew up. You topped the class and that was all you needed when you were eleven years old. You felt good about yourself. And there he was, the most popular boy in class, having his friends double up in laughter and the girls in the class giggling at everything he did. Everything came effortlessly to him, good grades and the careless way he dug his fingers through his hair, the way he would throughout life, when he feels a little stressed…
At 14, puberty hit. The chatter among the girls became more about him. He whispered something to your friend with the straight hair and the prettiest face and she blushed happily. That day, you found yourself unable to concentrate on your textbooks, you shouted at your mom and went to sleep early, feeling confused as to why you felt that way. Next morning, you looked at yourself in the mirror and saw the girl with big glasses, a pixie cut and braces. For the first time, you wished you could be as pretty as the girl he smiled at. When you entered class, he called out to you and pulled your hair, and somehow your day brightened up… Read More
She was beautiful. As she stood near the bed, he came over and hugged her from behind. She smiled and touched his head affectionately. He kissed the nape of her neck, and she moaned softly. Her long brown hair had golden streaks, which caught the light every time she moved her head to give him more access to her neck. He kissed lightly on the strap of her pink bra, and pulled it down with his teeth. She laughed and turned towards him, and kissed him on his lips.
He was rough as he slid his tongue into her mouth. He bit her lower lip and his hand ran up her arm to cup her full breasts. He could feel her nipples stiffen through the sheer red sweater that she was wearing. With one quick motion, he took off her sweater and threw it away where it lay as a crumpled heap on the floor. He pushed her onto the bed and began kissing her more passionately. She shoved him away and for a moment, it seemed that it was over. But then she was on top of him, unbuttoning his shirt slowly. His chest was broad and he was made like a Greek god. She began kissing him lasciviousy, light bird like ones on his shoulder, chest, as she caressed his perfectly sculpted muscles. Her kisses moved down lower and lower and she looked at him mischievously as she kissed his crotch and unbuttoned his pants. Her hair, that long brown hair trailed along his chest and he took a handful of it, and pulled her to him, her mouth to his. He held her by her waist and unhooked her bra and threw it away. He buried his face in that sweet smell of her flesh and flicked his tongue over her left breast. She arched her back and let out a deep guttural moan. Soon, the mood changed and there was now a desperate urgency to their actions. Both their denims joined her red sweater on the wooden floor, and there was only the sound of heavy breathing.
John closed his laptop. He cleaned his glasses with his shirt and pushed his unruly brown hair back. Vera had been badgering him for a few weeks now to get a haircut, but with his thin frame and his myopic eyes, his hair had always been the one thing he liked. He drove home for lunch. He punched in his password at the gate of his house, and smiled at the camera he knew was hidden in the side of the wall. He had just installed a new security system with cameras all around the house, which streamed directly to his laptop. It was expensive, but his Vera was so fragile and delicate, and he wanted to keep her safe. He loved her so much. His darling Vera, his perfect little wifey…what will he do without her… But sometimes she drove him so mad. She made him lose control, and he didn’t like it. He always felt sorry later.
He pressed the door bell.
“Hey sweetheart, you are home early. Is everything alright?”, her eyes were full of concern as she opened the door for him. His beautiful Vera. She looked like an angel in that red sweater and with that long brown hair shining in the afternoon sun.
The second time you fall in love…it will not be magical. You will not call up your best friends and giggle excitedly about how he said, ‘Anything for you, baby’. There will be no butterflies in your stomach and secret smiles. But the second time will still be special in that love will creep up on your heart and will envelop it in its warmth. It will knock on your heart and tell you, ‘Come on out, you can’t hide in there forever’.
The second time you fall in love – You will take it slow. Wherein the first time, you had rushed into it head first, the second time your head would put a danger sign in front of your racing heart and say, ‘Hey there! Stop. Let us not put ourselves through all that again. Remember last time? ’, whereas a little voice will whisper, ‘But I want to feel that way again’…
Wherein the first time, you felt madness, magic, kisses, ecstasy, heaven and sin, the second time would feel more real with warmth, hugs, friendship, care, concern and affection. Wherein the first time, you had swallowed up all his words wanting to believe in it till you lost yourself in the deliciousness of it all, the second time, you will weigh all his words with one cynical eyebrow raised, yet slowly you will let the words wash over you in the feeling of trust you begin to feel. Read More
I think of you a thousand times each day.
When I get out of the shower and look for shirts to wear for work, as my hand grazes over the light blue top, it takes me back to that sunny day with you, driving along the Pacific coast, with my brown tanned legs and the wind in my hair, and I can still hear us laughing
As I sit at my desk and type in the password of my laptop, it’s your name and it hasn’t expired yet, unlike us.
I sit with my best friend and the rest of the team for lunch. I’m the life of the table, and I tease the girl, who just got recently engaged, to tell us her love story. When people ask for mine, I cook up an obviously ridiculous story about how Prince Charming went down on one knee for me in front of the Eiffel tower and everyone laughs at my imagination…..Little do they know about you kissing me on top of the Empire State Building, as the lights of New York were glittering all around us….
It’s two, and I get up to go to the conference room for my daily meeting. I grab my phone and I think of you sleeping on the other side of the night, and how you always hugged me while you slept and told me how perfect I was… Read More