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Where Did The Love Go

By , St. Johns, Canada
I remember the year my mom got her second divorce. At the ripe age of eleven, I was caught somewhere between the childhood stage of my life and the rebellious teen years that were yet to come. At that time of my life it was almost like I was trapped in a protecting daze that only allowed little fragments of reality to slip into my young mental frame.

It was a rainy day. Water dripped off the ledges of our big red house and created little pools of cool water on the thick green grass as mom sat me and my younger sister down at the long brown table. Her voice was low and breathy as she broke the news. Her hair was sticking up on end from the previous nights tossing and turning and her pretty blue eyes were lost in a sea of red veins from the salty tears that lined her face. She tried to be as gentle as possible as she explained to us how her and my step-father just didn’t love each other anymore, how any love they had was gone.

I didn’t understand what she meant by that. The love was gone. Where did the love go? Did it run out when I had left the front door ajar, like the cat we had that refused to stay indoors? Had it been washed down the sidewalk by the rain? Perhaps it had trickled into the muddy puddles at the bottom of the street and all we had to do was go scoop it up with our colourful shovels and pails that rested in the hall closet, waiting for the next beach trip.

I was convinced that all we had to do was find the love that had seemly vanished out of thin air. My eleven year old mind had wrapped itself around the idea that if we found the love then mom and Tony would stay together. Maybe they’d even have a second wedding ceremony to celebrate finding the love again. Mom would wear a beautiful big white ball gown that swelled up around her thin frame and had a long train that had to be held when she walked and Tony would look dashing in a dark rented tux with shiny cuff links. Then after the wedding, we’d go back to life as normal and forget the whole silly idea that the love was gone. Needless to say, this didn’t happen and Tony moved out a few weeks later.

Now, years later, as I sit with the lights dimmed and 80’s love songs pumping into my ears through my lime green headphones, I ask myself the same question. Where did our love go? The love neither of us admitted to ever being there. The love that grew and got fat from hours of laying together saying nothing. From my cheek pressed into your chest and your arms looped around my back. From the way you always breathed so deeply and the way you said my name.

I remember the first night I met you. How you yammered on about anything and everything to keep the awkward silence at bay. The way you wouldn’t let me walk on the road because you said that the drivers are crazy and you lunged to catch me when I stumbled over the gravel. I remember the first night you held me, the way you pulled me down on top of you and kept me there until I could feel your heart beating through the thin fabric of your shirt.

The depressing melody of songs I can’t name runs through my brain like a never ending script as hot tears drag mascara down my pale cheeks. Maybe our love had been carried away when I told people about you. Maybe it had been too new to have been spoken aloud and exposed for unrelated opinions to yank it apart. The cruel words and harsh actions might have caused it to cower like a wounded animal, away from glaring eyes and judgemental snorts. Or maybe it had yellowed and crinkled like an old forgotten newspaper and simply blew away in the screams of disapproval our elders fired our way.

Its been almost three months since our forced end. I thought I was over you, honest I did. But seeing you again sent me back to our last night together. The way I wanted to kiss you and didn’t, the way I hated to leave and go back to my own icy cold room. How I wanted to stay with you and hold you and finally tell you how I loved you. I had thought I would have tons of time to be with you before we had to worry about other people, I hadn’t known that it had been the last night I had with you. I would have kissed you and told you we had to fight for us, but I didn’t and now we’re not even speaking. Maybe every time I see you after this it will get easier. Maybe one day you’ll look at me and say, “Nicole, where did our love go?”





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