Love? 

I’m going into be honest with you… I have no idea what REAL love is , looks like or sounds like. 

At first I probably thought it was a given. You know like you’re born and your parents love you. They ohhh and ahhh at everything you do. There are hugs and kisses and gifts and smiles and happiness. And the words.. “I love you “. That’s love right ? Your whole family.. well maybe half of the family expresses love with affection and kind words, where the other half expresses love in gifts and quality time .. perhaps somewhere in the middle. Or at least I think that’s what happened. 

As time goes on, people enter and exit your life. Friends, neighbors, classmates, teachers, relatives, lovers, strangers.. and somewhere in those interactions you realize that what you thought was love, wasn’t really love. 

Your mom can’t say the words but show it. Your dad shouts it from the roof top but there is no action. Your brother kinda just floats somewhere in the middle. You, your friends and family may do and say hurtful things and still stick around or disappear into the past. Confused? Me too. 

Ok so maybe society is right.. maybe love is sex; intimacy. That one on one private time. It’s special. It’s sacred. Until you get come out of the bathroom and he’s gone. Ok.. maybe let me try again with someone else. A handful of late night phone calls, I miss you’s, I only like you as a friend, what’s good for tonight, who’s your friend?, some condoms, some trust, maybe even a few “I love you’s”… and still no love. 

Am I too tall? Ok I’ll hang out with girls my height. Am I mean? Ok I’ll smile more. Do I talk too much? Ok I’ll be quiet.  Am I not generous? Ok I’ll buy that for you. Am I too fat? Ok I’ll lose weight. Am I a prude? Ok let’s bone. Am I boring? Ok I’ll take up a few hobbies. Am I ugly? I’ll get some makeup. Am I stupid? Ok I’ll go to an Ivy League. Am I too easy? Ok I’ll be celibate. 

What is it? Why don’t you love me? What do I need to do to get you to love me? How many time must I be fooled by false love? How many more times will I question my worth? How many more time will I fear the words? How many more time will I give up my body just to feel closeness?How many more nights will I go sleepless? How many more times will I cry to God that he stop playing with my heart? How many more times will I mistake love for loneliness? How many more times will I fill this emptiness with hopelessness?

To tell you the truth, I’m not sure I love myself at this point. Maybe I do, but then again I have no idea what REAL love is , looks like or sounds like. 

-Candace