For a long time now, love has been a fever dream to me. It has been strange, vivid, incomprehensible, and extreme. It has been recovery through an illness I could not yet name, knowing only that I was boiling, seething, sweating as I lay with my eyes closed, unaware of where I was—trapped. And when trapped, I did not want to get out, not that I would know where to even begin. I did not know where the door was. Love was a creaky, old basement I had trapped myself in, like how a child wanders downstairs in curiosity, failing to realise the door has shut behind them. Like them, I have panicked only when the darkness grew louder, only to run up the stairs and learn the door was jammed. For almost as long as I can remember, I have trapped myself in love, not knowing the door has locked behind me until it was too late. I have gotten out of it in shock, baffled and disoriented as someone told me it was just a bad dream. I have only remembered love as something I am supposed to forget.
There is little I know about soft love, but I know it exists. I have known it has existed for a long time now. Perhaps, that is why I trapped myself in the basement in the first place. When we know something to be true, we scour all corners of the world for it. There is no other way. I am now learning to accept it when I see it, even if I see it once, even if I see it faintly. I see it in the way someone looks at me when I look away or how someone else remembers something even I forgot about myself. I often notice the possibility. The fever dream is all but over now, but I am not fully ready to wake up yet. Like how we sleep in, lay in bed after an exhausting sleep, I am taking my sweet time, too. If nothing else, my eyes are still getting used to the light. I have just left the darkness after all. I still see flowers in the dark.