[image credit: Leo Hidalgo]

Love only used to be an idea. It was something elusive; something all around, yet something still so out of reach.

A grandfather drops his daughter off to school and kisses her on the cheek.

A husband buys his wife a bouquet of flowers, just because.

My mother makes me a cup of tea after a long day and I feel the warmth of her generosity in every sip.

These are all moments in which love comes alive – but for the longest time, I yearned to feel it with a man, to feel it in every ounce of flesh on my body. I hoped it would fill me up and bring me down, and that the extraordinary highs would outweigh the most desperate lows. I wanted it to change me. Reawaken me. Challenge me. Take me to a place some never get to go in their lives. I thought if I could love bravely, with everything I had in me, that there wouldn’t be a drop of possibility the love would turn sour. And so I did.

But the love went astray. It took turns, some of them so wide I do not recognize myself in the woman who became entangled in the madness. That woman fought with all she had; she held on for dear life even when she pained in moments he relished. He made her promises, and she accepted with hesitation. She made her fear his pride, her grief his comfort. She gave and gave, and he took and took.

And even still, through it all, she lived each day on thin ice for the sake of fleeting euphoria. Had it not been these moments of rarity, she wouldn’t have dug herself into a hole so deep it drained her every follicle of energy. But he was broken. She wanted to save him, so she could deny it was she who really needed to be saved.

Have you ever fallen into the kind of love that was so unfettered it was dangerous? I cannot reconcile with that woman; she took risks I never would have taken, had I been forewarned.

And yet, she had never felt so alive.



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