Tuesday, 9 February 2021

To Love

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I ask him, feigning impatience. Inside me is a racing heart ready to burst at any moment. I wonder if it's my excitement or just the fear of getting caught by the PT teacher.

"You know what I'm going to say." he says. I almost roll my eyes. 

"Are you going to say something or not?" 

He shuffles his feet awkwardly, unsure what to do in this situation. We're at the corner of the playground, trying to be discreet in the middle of noise and hustle. 

"Okay." he says, breaking into a grin. "I love you."

I grin back at him, matching his level of awkwardness. What now? Do I say it back right away? Well, fortunately at the moment (or not?), the bell rings. We dash back to our classrooms with stupid grins on our faces. 

Love. That was back when we easily tossed the word back and forth having barely understood it. We knew what it was to us. That excitement you had for that someone. That tingling feeling you get when you're near them. The giggles you can't stifle when you think of it all. That was love. And it was good. It was fun. It was a happy time.

Years later, I find myself sitting in a dark corridor hugging my knees. My sensitive self giving me just another tough time. I feel weak and silly for being irrationally emotional. But I can't help it. I can't gulp back the lump in my throat. My hand is then held by another. Firm on my tender palm, as if the mere grip would keep me from falling into the abyss of diffidence. And it did. It kept me from falling. It brought me back to the surface. That very moment to me, that was love. To make an effort for someone. To see them, value them, and be there for them.

Over time I let the walls around me fall, having saved up enough of trust. Love walked in and made itself at home, and I snuggled in happy as can be. They'd warned that love would make you blind. But for me, it only helped me see more. I could see more of myself, the good and the bad. I swaggered and faltered alike. I doubted sometimes and believed at other times. I put myself first, and sometimes second, and wondered which times were supposed to be which. This was love. Complicated once you dive in a little deep.

And in this complicated whirlpool came times when the demons were let loose, when the worst side of me breathed into life and left behind a wreck. It's scary to get back in there. It's scary to face that side of you. But for what it's worth, you do all that you can to confront it and put an end to it anyway. For, that is love. To be willing to work on your flaws for it, to strip ourselves of our ego.

And yet, on a casual day when I'm doing the most mundane things with the partner, I find myself in love. Simply to be blissfully free, to not have to hold myself back, to feel comfortable with myself. This too is love. To be able to be yourself with them. To find happiness in their presence.

Love is a myriad of things; a journey, a revelation, a source of immense energy. It is bliss and it is pain. It is sacrifice with much to gain. It is all of these and more that I am yet to learn.

This is love. 

And I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.


This blog post is a part of the Petals of Love Blog Hop hosted by Swarnali Nath

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