Love is complicated as we know it. One moment you feel connected to someone in ways that are incomprehensive. Your Universes become so intertwined you think it’s the same. You become one in spirit, soul, and mind that the only representation of what differentiates you is that you are two individuals with two separate pairs of eyes that see the world the same; two separate pairs of ears that hear the world the same; two separate bodies that interpret the world the same.
But one day. you’re two complete strangers wondering if texting something as insignificant as, “hey” makes you weak. So you don’t.
I don’t remember exactly how we stopped talking. I just know that one day we just weren’t. Taye and I were everything. We watched the same movies, read the same books, listened to the same music and laughed at the same type of jokes over and over again until our cheeks hurt.
We were friends first before anything. He would come to my house on rainy days with just two sachets of green tea and we would watch reruns of ‘The Cosby Show’ and judge ourselves later that maybe this showed our support for Bill Cosby and other bigots and predators alike. You can say it was our guilty pleasure.
The first time he told me he loved me, it was on one of those rainy days. We had run out of episodes to watch and had begun reminiscing about childhood memories and how fucked up everything was. He was quiet for only a few seconds but I caught the moments. I turned to ask him why he was quiet. But he just sat there, staring at me and saying absolutely nothing. I felt my cheeks go hot and I touched my earlobes because I suddenly became nervous… they were cold… I realized his stare made me shy.
“Why are you staring at me, yam head?” I blushed like it was the first time I was speaking to my childhood crush.
“Nothing,” he replied, and then picked up our empty cups and walked toward the kitchen.
I wasn’t sure if I wanted to follow him. I just sat there and watched his retreating back; like his stare had opened up something I didn’t know was there.
It was that day I started to notice how tall he was and how broad his shoulders were. I realized he had a perfect butt and his biceps became unusually larger than they normally seemed.
When he got back from the kitchen, I had taken a sleeping position on the couch; backing the TV.
“Aha! So you’re legit going to sleep and leave me? Na wa oh,” he dragged the duvet off me. It tickled. I laughed. Then we got into a conversation, but this time he was talking and I was staring.
“Why are you staring at me, yam head?” it was his turn to ask, mimicking me and being so unsuccessful at it. He was no longer smiling, just staring. I don’t remember exactly what I was going on about; I just knew I was talking a lot. I do that sometimes, talk when I’m nervous.
“I love your soul,” he said. I heard him but didn’t respond and he said it again. “I love your soul, the entirety of your universe. I love all that you are and represent. I love this person right here, right now. And even if you’re not sure of how you feel about me, it wouldn’t matter. I’m just satisfied knowing that you’re aware of where my heart, soul, and body stands when it comes to you.”
“I had thought of so many responses but none quite seemed appropriate. So I kissed him. I kissed this man who had seen me, truly seen me and still chose to love me. Do I regret it? not in the least bit. I didn’t want to think about tomorrow, or next week or next year. I just wanted to be in this moment with this man who claimed to love me.