Short Stories, Tale Africa

Reminiscing: What we call love

By Ayanda Xaba, South Africa:

I remember the first day I saw you. It was partly cloudy, almost cold but I couldn’t feel the chill at all. I remember because you mentioned cold and we were both wearing jerseys. Memories of that day are still so vivid, it's like we met yesterday. Your face was the cutest thing I had ever seen; your body was perfect. There wasn’t any shade of imperfection in your being. I was mesmerized, completely taken by you. I knew from that day on that you were the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.

I know I was young, almost 21 years old and had just escaped my first love. You were the breath of fresh air I so badly needed. You were 20, energetic and awfully handsome. I had just come out of a bad relationship where I felt unloved and left to soothe my heart’s bruises. I was broken almost to the point of no return. There was a point when I thought I wasn’t good enough for you but it's your smooth words and warm embrace that made me feel comfortable. Through your eyes I foresaw jubilation, a beautiful future. Your smile used to light up my world and there I saw hope. I fell in love. Yes, you were the love of my life. There was nothing I wouldn’t do for you, for us. Heck! Everybody knew what a great couple we were. The intimacy; intense and out of this world. I remember how we used to cuddle in a cold house with no windows just to feel warm. We would take any opportunity to escape reality and just be together. It was honestly the first time I had felt loved. I had never been shown affection before you and this reassured my thought of spending my whole life with you.

But as people have been known to preach; love isn’t easy. Our relationship slowly shifted from perfection. It seemed as if the more time passed the more we drifted apart. We had the most ridiculous fights. We emotionally drained each other; I admit I was exhausted by you.

I remember the last day I saw you.

Two years later; we have become familiar strangers. We hardly spoke even when we got together. What had become of such talkative lovebirds? That day I saw you at the kitchen door as I came round the corner of your house. I saw the ugliest face on earth. When I looked at you something in me died. That hug I used to love so much; felt horrible. The kiss was disgusting and those are the only feelings I remember; disgust and pity. I pitied you.

We are now young adults and you haven’t changed a bit. You’re still the child I met at 21 years. You still think the same, speak the same and I now don’t appreciate your tone. I don’t know when exactly but somewhere down the line we lost the love. We fought as we tried to make it work but to this day I don’t know how such a beautiful thing could turn so ugly. It is a pity; you were a young man with such potential but never seemed to reach it. What made it sad is that you didn’t see the need for growing up. The more we pushed to make it work, the more the relationship died. Sometimes I wonder if you ever truly loved me. Many people act; maybe you’re a good actor too. One that made me believe there was love between us. I wouldn’t be the first to be fooled, neither would I be the last.

Anyway; now this is my impression of love. Love is not loyal…

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