Something That Looked Like Love
Love: the tiny seed planted in the moment my eyes met hers. Not the first time. It happened after I’d heard her laugh - after I’d peeked into the recesses of her heart - before I had realized it.
Watered by her touch, inspired by her breath, drawn to her smile, climbing toward the light in her eyes.
I loved her.
I loved her with a love afraid of losing. She loved unafraid to lose, arm-in-arm with exes never more than a call or text away because who is a better friend than the one you once loved?
We fell in love the way those who fear loss and have never lost fall in love: intense and careless – hands synched – grasping and pushing.
I whispered that I’d never been with anyone as beautiful as her.
She murmured that I felt so good.
And it was good. The way we fit together. The way we could ignore the parts of us that did not fit because I could not stand to lose and she was not afraid of loss.
She’s a little detached, I thought.
She’s a little overly emotional, she thought.
But what is love, we wondered, but an acquisition to your partner’s needs?
And this was love, the way she shut down each time I lashed out. The way I beat against her walls, reiterating the validity of my feelings.
Still, we dreamed.
I found a black diamond because ours was not a traditional love. Prepared for a trek down a Black Diamond of life, designed only for the experienced. But were we experienced? Me, scrambling after a love that I’d lost, and her, strong enough to resist any love that could invoke loss?
And this was love, me pulling her closer into the circle of my words, and her pushing away into the solace of silence.
But sometimes love was hard, and her hand still felt like the home that I needed, like my words that still stirred her heart with the passion she needed.
Isn’t love about needs?
It was about needs, and she needed to say that we were not right. It didn’t matter that she’d walked into a bar and a voice in my head had announced: this is your woman. Or that she’d seen an image of us on our wedding day – her in a black gown and me in flowing-blush – hand-in-hand as our dog ran through a field of wild flowers.
And it is here, in a field of what could have been, that I stand uncertain and sure that I must sever the now infertile soil and uproot the seed, a spiny segment of memories – smiles, whispers, touch – something that looked like love, but was not.
Kristy obtained a Creative Writing MFA at Goddard College. She works at a community college, and enjoys writing as an exploration of what happens beneath the surface.
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