Words by Alejandra Silva Romero
“I love you” she says. What does that mean ? I heard this word so many times, in so many situations. What kind of situation is this ? I don’t know how to be. People, her, they just are so confusing. She is here and I’m not. Or at least I don’t want to be. I guess for me it has more meaning than three meaningless words. I want to leave so, I did. I didn’t turn back because why would I anyways ? People talk so much; they forget to think first. I don’t want any explanation, I want poetry. A straight forward, fulfilling poetry. Full of mixed feelings that the author tries to understand. An imprint of unconventional delicacy. I should tell her “write me a poem about love”, perhaps I would have stayed. We were face to face, in the middle of the street. Both of us, ignoring the strangers passing by. And finally, looking at each other. Both, there, in the moment. The truth is that I didn’t want to try. I won’t find an excuse because it’s just how I feel, I’m harsh, even rude, but I’ll tell you the truth. I want something real, bits of happiness that will fill our lives. I should ask her “what type of love you want” even if I’m not sure I can give it to her. I just didn’t want to try. Even if I left physically, I’m still leaving her… in my mind it’s not clear. I’ve been trying to leave her for the past few years. I waited so long for her. For those words. But now, it’s not as it was. I’m not the same but she is. So why ? I wish I could tell her that I wanted something sincere. Now, all these years seem like a waste of time even if it wasn’t. Walking through those busy streets and then an empty lane. Calm and narrow. I carefully take a step forward to an unknown way. People keep oppressing me. I want peace. I want to cross this lane. It felt empty all of a sudden. The noise dissipated. I’ve crossed this path way more than 1,095 times a day but I’ve had never seen this breakthrough. This lane has colourful walls. Beautiful graffities. I stop and look closely. One catches my eyes. It’s yellow. Such a pretty colour. I wonder when was the last time I saw it. And then I remember. The wheat fields at my uncle’s house in the countryside. The leaves wave because of the wind. The vegetation overcame my height at that time. I couldn’t cross the field but sometimes my memory forgets it. I want to remember as if, indeed, I crossed the field, I could see through it, when in fact it was quite impenetrable. I was excited to see my new friend. In my memory, I see her house with her chickens and dog, outside. The dog barks and she opens the door. She knows I’m here. Was she waiting for me this time ? I’d like to believe it. That’s the memory, the only happy memory, I have of her and me. But there was never an us. She was living her life; I was living mine. I was always the one willing to see her. She never refused me, now, when I look back perhaps, she considered me with disdain. After all, she was my joy but I always knew I wasn’t hers. It’s all a big hypothesis. I couldn’t move on because of those missed signals, untold things and misunderstandings. I know it’s my fault, that I’ve kept this illusion alive but I don’t want to say it. I’m afraid to lose my pride. I don’t want to feel miserable. It’s too late now. You will be the villain. I can’t do otherwise, today. We’ll see about tomorrow. I keep walking and end up in a busier street. Why do I feel so trapped. I follow the crowd. All in a hurry to a determinate destination. I don’t have a destination. I don’t have anything anymore. If I can’t follow her, I feel like I can’t follow anything. “I love you”, what does that really mean ? When I was finally able to leave, she told me what I wanted to hear. I know that she doesn’t wanted me to leave. At the end of the day, we all are selfish. Is it now that you realize ? She said it because she wanted to test me. Would I back down ? Start over for her ? How far am I able to go for her ? I’m not like that. I don’t want any ruse. I know her well enough. It’s okay, I understand. It’s scary when things change. I’m sad now, but please, do write me in a few years.
Cover Photography by Megan Carter