When I think of love, I remember little. They say grief blurs your memory. I believe they are wrong. When I think of love, I remember little, but what I remember, I remember clearly. Love is an accidental streak stain of red wine—a cheap cabernet—on the white corner of my otherwise spotless apartment at three in the morning. The broken glass serving only as an interrobang as it fell in synch with my falling heart. The base oscillating, stem still attached, surrounded by shards of broken glass until it came to a halt.
Love has been a long road paved with eggshells between two cities three thousand miles apart. It has been losing all I stood for only to continually talk in rote sentences and prescribed vocabulary, my words being pulled like a hapless marionette. It has been the fear of how a single word in the wrong intonation might spiral into an argument at eleven in the night after a long day working two jobs, only so I could afford a flight to visit for the weekend. It’s been running at the airport with the agonising pain of a torn ankle, phone in hand, doubt in mind, but boarding anyway.
Love has also been waiting. It has been waiting in a café for a date who never showed up. I believe a part of me never left from that little chair. I wonder if it’s still there, and if not, what does my ghost haunt now? Love to me is waiting for a promise of meeting again, of spending years holding on to the hope of insanity. Only for them to return, to tell me how they expected me to have forgotten, and how it was only natural for promises to break. It has been a masterclass in patience.
Love has been a museum of broken hearts—not all exhibits my own. But, love has been grieving for someone who is not dead. It has been a stalemate. Love has been begging for someone to stay, not for love, but only to lend a hand for a week; the fear of being left alone as your life fell apart. Love has been many things, really, but it has not for a moment, not even for a second, been kind.
And yet, a faint echo from somewhere deep within me tells me: it gets better. And so, I sit here—a sliver of hope on the table and my heart on my sleeve—waiting.