A STORY ABOUT LOVE

A STORY ABOUT LOVE

The first time you meet Lex is in a non-conventional way. It is at a meeting of community members. He looks so fine and fresh in his mostly-red outfit. You imagine you’ve seen him somewhere, but you can’t figure out where.

At first, you don’t really notice him. You are someone who is desperately attracted to dark skin – and Lex is light-skinned. However, when he speaks during the course of the meeting, his bashful demeanor stirs something in you, and from then till the end of the meeting, you keep stealing glances at him.

Because you’re an introvert who sucks at initiating conversations with people you are not acquainted with, you can’t go over to him to say hi. But when you get home, you log onto Facebook, and sure enough, there his profile is among the “People You May Know.” That is where you saw him before. And now that you are interested, you click on the blue “Add Friend” button, because for you, hiding behind your keypad to make friends is more comfortable. With social media, you can be whatever you want to be; the façade that comes with it aligns with your personality.

Within minutes, he accepts your friend request. He also sends you a message immediately after: a simple “Hi”. As you click open his message, you get a slight flutter in your heart as you wonder whether that means that he is interested in you too. The two of you soon get to chatting and you learn that Lex thinks you are cute and had himself been stealing glances at you at the meeting too.

When he asks and you tell him that you are single, he laughs.

“Cute and handsome guy like you can’t be single,” he says.

Thrill.

That is what you feel whenever you find love. It is a feeling that fills you up, every fiber of your being and every crevice in your body. You feel it reverberate through your entire system, sending multiple sparks of energy through your spine.

And Lex has started to give you thrills.

The next time you meet Lex, you are startled by how different he looks. He is dressed down, in more casual clothes, his beard and hair uncombed. Away from the glamour of his attire at the meeting, he seems a lot less attractive.

“You seem quiet,” he probes as you two stroll down the street.

“How do you mean?” you reply, feigning innocence. Even though you know that your countenance has betrayed how unimpressed you feel.

“The guy I saw at the meeting the other day was livelier than the one walking beside me now,” he says.

“I don’t do this all the time,” you offer.

“Don’t do what? Go out on a stroll with handsome strangers you met at a community event?” he teases.

You laugh. In truth, it is seeing him in his regular clothes without the freshness that comes with being dressed up that caused the change in your mood. Today, he looks more…regular. Like he is someone you can freely be yourself with. Days later, you would find out that it is this regular look that’d make you become so vulnerable with him – a vulnerability that would threaten to consume you.

You go on three more dates with Lex. It is on one of these dates that he says the L-word to you.

“I love you, Michael,” he says.

“I want us to be together,” he adds.

Then he moves to kiss you.

It is during one of these dates that you start to truly fall for Lex.

Lex has a bashfulness that you find very sweet. There is an expression he gets, an adorable contortion of his features when you say something he does not approve of, that fills you with a peculiar warmth.

Smiles.

You smile, even permitting quiet laughter, every time you remember that special expression of his – because, now that you have met him again, you are starting to fall in love with him.

You think about how fortunate you are that you are in this new place. This place that you’ve never been before, a place you’ve always thought you will never be in, what with the many years you’ve waited to feel the things you are feeling.

And now, here you are. These quiet laughs and silent smiles at odd times feel good. It feels so good that you don’t ever want it to stop. You don’t ever want to stop recalling something about Lex and smiling. These are the moments you want to live in, to cherish, to allow to be a big part of you.

Feels.

His touch gives you new feels, like pockets of fireworks shooting into the night sky. You crave for these feels. You long for them. You feel empty when you’re away from his touch. An emptiness that is hollow and sunken. When you hold onto him, you want to be consumed by these feels. You want eternity with him. You want to take him in like air. In those moments, you know that he has stolen your heart.

When your friend, Fay, asks you to slow down and keep a part of you to yourself, you don’t listen. You’ve always imagined love as you going hard or going home. So with Lex, you dive deep into these feels.

But like everything – you’ve come to realize – this ends. And in your case, it ends rather too quickly and brutally. One moment, you are up in your feels and smiles and thrills, and the next, you are crashing down. Down so hard, you feel you soul shatter on the ground.

Pain.

The pain is severe, threatening to consume you. You can feel your heart ache, burn like a house on fire. You cry and ask for an explanation, but you don’t get any.

“I’d rather not say,” is his response, and no matter how much you push to know why he no longer wants to be with you, he remains resolute in his refusal to tell you.

You tell him how important the why is for your journey to accept the end and move on. And still, he doesn’t budge. To you, he has suddenly become cruel. The bashful person that made you fall in love with him is now the wicked man who is breaking your heart.

And so, you find yourself in this pit of emptiness that comes with not finding closure. You want to curse him for causing you this searing pain – this pain that is dark and hot – but you can’t. You can’t because you know that you love him. You love him so much that you’d still give anything up for him. You love him so much that you wouldn’t think twice about it if he asked you for a second chance. You can’t even be mad at him because you know deep down, beneath all the hurt, that he is the reason for some of the most beautiful moments you’ve had in your life. He is the reason you discarded your earlier constitution that you could never love a man.

In fact, you think that maybe, this heartbreak is Karma coming after you for the hurt you caused the last man who told you he loved you. Dan – the guy whose love you could not bring yourself to reciprocate and who you cut things off with when his affection started to suffocate and embarrass you.

The day you call him to apologize for the misery you knew you’d caused him with your rejection, you almost wonder if it was a mistake because of the hope you heard in his voice – the hope that strengthens as he asks you to reconsider.

“All I want is a chance to love you and be your boyfriend,” he confesses.

But you refuse. You refuse because every time he told you he loved you and you were unable to respond, a part of you died. And you know you cannot encourage something that may one day end up with him resenting you. It is one of those life’s ironies that makes you give a sardonic chuckle as you end the call with Dan: that you can be in love with someone who no longer loves you back, while not being able to love back the one who loves you.

In the following days, you begin to try to forget, to move on. It is hard, but you try. You line up activities to distract yourself. Visiting friends and getting into some hookups; hookups that you’d earlier rejected or ignored because you thought you’d finally found the one with Lex.

But try as hard as you can, you cannot forget. You find yourself, in unguarded moments, remembering his smile, his warmth, the feel of his body on your body, his touch. You remember the time he first told you he loved you. You remember the first time he kissed you. You remember all the little things he did and said. You remember all the ways you two connected. You feel an overwhelming need to call him to beg him to take you back, so you can exist in his universe in whatever shape or form.

But this is exactly what stops you: this desperation to settle for whatever he can give in order for you two to be together again. You know that this is not love. Love shouldn’t come with conditions or in halves. Love should be all or nothing. And Lex had stopped giving you all. Whatever you may be able to get him to give you now could never be the same.

So you go back to forgetting.

Healing.

Weeks pass, and you finally start to feel good about your healing. You think you have moved on, that you now have your heart back where it used to be.

Then he shows up at your office, and for the first time since the breakup, you find yourself facing him. You try to act normal, to maintain your reserve – but you fail. You fail miserably. You feel your body burn hot and go cold at the same time. The roiling temperatures threaten to overwhelm you, and you excuse yourself and leave the office to find a quiet place to hide until he leaves.

Then you get home and you cry. Yet again. You wonder if this will ever pass. You talk about it on social media and friends tell you that it will pass. You believe them but no one seems to know how long it’d take.

However, time, they say, heals. It seems as though that chance meeting with Lex was the final step in your recovery. You needed to see him to know you can live without him. And in the following weeks, you find yourself truly healing. You are finally able to look at his photos without feeling the pain percolate in your stomach. You even find yourself being able to have idle conversation with him on the street and on social media. He clearly seems interested in being friends with you, and you think that maybe, you could accept that. You start to believe this when you two meet again at the wedding reception of a mutual friend, and you were able to talk, laugh and even hold hands at some point.

You have come to realize that Lex is someone you will always care about. Some friends had asked you to work on hating him in order to get over him, but you know you are incapable of feeling that for him. You will always love him and come through for him, should he ever ask. For once, while you thought you could never love anyone, now you know that you can, and that when you do, you could never un-love them. ‘Cos Love… Sometimes it hurts, and sometimes it lasts.

Written by Michael

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THE LUCKY ONES

We were walking down the street, laughing at jokes that only the two of us in the entire world could get. It was evening, and the combination of the florescent

7 Comments

    • Pink Panther
      February 05, 09:35 Reply

      You don’t say. You are getting over someone? Again?

    • Mandy
      February 06, 08:34 Reply

      After reading your latest Memoir entry, I can totally see the similarities. Men are scum sha.

  1. Legalkoboko
    February 05, 10:02 Reply

    This is some gospel-level truth. I can totally relate. 👍👍

  2. Mandy
    February 06, 08:34 Reply

    I will never understand this audacity that ex-romantic partners who break up with their lovers have to expect those exes THAT THEY BROKE UP WITH to stay friends with them. Like, how dare you??? how dare you fuck up my life and then waltz back in after I have tried to patch it back together to tell me let’s be friends. Amadioha fire you there! And especially in this Michael’s case when the Lex guy didn’t even bother to give him a reason for their breakup… Wo! Michael, you tried to even start smiling with him and coming through for him. He did you real dirty, and that alone should make you hate him or at the very least, not consider him a friend.
    This isn’t a story about love. This is a story about an asshole who got lucky with being loved by someone who he didn’t deserve.

  3. ChristianGayBoy
    February 06, 08:54 Reply

    I just think we are “too good” sometimes. It’s good to not be at enemity with people, that can be a convenient way to live really. But we need to also know that not being enemity doesn’t mean we have to be “best friends”

    You need help sure I’d come through for you. But certain people shouldn’t be occupying certain spaces of our lives they occupy. I have had multiple relationships, nasty heart breaks most of them and I have found myself creating space for these exes. It seems healthy but in truth it is not.

    There is always that toxicity showing up in covert and subtle ways, difficult to read because now we aren’t lovers so I shouldn’t call it toxic aye? But that thingy is real.

    I hope Lex isn’t going to be a bad choice. But be careful about who you let eat their cake and have it, it takes a really mature mind and a sincerely good person to not take you for granted after giving them such exclusive rights.

    Michael please just be careful. Especially for your heart sake.

  4. Mikey😘
    February 09, 18:01 Reply

    I can’t believe I love like this… I met the guy I wrote about here last night, he was teasing me and I was blushing unknowingly. My friends had to point it out lol I just couldn’t believe it 🤣

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