I love you

August 8, 2012
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I love you. Anna waited her entire teenage years to hear these three words. She would practice every day after school in front of her mirror. A mirror was convenient. If the answer was not the expected one, she could see how she will react during the fatal moment and eventually master in the art of showing indifference, some tiny bravery and not the misery hidden deep inside herself. Never did it occur to her why she anticipated this moment so much. Never did it occur to her why was it so important to tell him that. I love you. Was it his hair (blond, messy but beautifully soft), the way that he talks (always adding gestures to his words), the way he orders everything precisely (chocolate on the side please, not on top of the cake)? She asked herself the same questions she had at the age of five. Ten years have passed and the questions remained unanswered.

Do you know how much I love you? Her mother was the first to daunt her with these inexplicable words. Her mother repeated all the time that she loved her: when Anna woke up, before she left the house, when she went into the living room to take a pen, when she did a break during her piano hours, when they sat on the couch to watch a movie. So much that sometimes Anna would forget the meaning of them and lose the appreciation of pronouncing them. So much that it became a habit rather than a declaration. So much that it bothered her to tell these three words.

I love you. Three simple words, only eight letters. A simple subject-verb sentence, nothing too complex or too reflective, nothing to be alarmed of, nothing too grammatically challenging. It felt emotionally smothering though. Before moving her lips, before even forming the words in her head, she imagined herself drowning in an ocean, barely seeing the light of the sun, moving her body but never being able to reach the surface.

When she was five, her best friend decided that she would be the love of his life. She quivered at the sound of these three words: I love you. She knew what they meant but she loathed the expectations and symbol they held. At the age of five, she practically loved everything: the pink bike with purple ribbons on the pink basket her father offered her, the grass, jumping on the grass, laying on the grass, sleeping on the grass, painting flowers on every piece of paper she found, being pulled up by her grandfather and her mother in the streets. She never fancied the idea of loving a boy. Her best friend’s love flattered her. She thought she began to feel butterflies in her stomach when it hit her: she didn’t love him back and she was certainly not ready to love him back or even pronounce the fatal words. She was not interested in holding hands with him or sitting on the bench with him during breaks while her friends played. These three words imprisoned her in a world she was not ready to be in yet. Ten years later, she realized she was still not ready. The butterflies she felt were the aftermath of being introduced to an unraveled world, to a different world from the one her mother cocooned her in. Looking at her mirror, she decided to wait and view the world as it is: unexpected moments interconnecting between each other.





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