So this is the last piece in the Return Mail II pie :)
Thank you to all the writers for sending in their pieces. This literally wouldn’t have happened without you guys.
My piece is a tad long. Okay, not a tad, more like a lot. But hey, I’m going to take the liberty and hide behind my ‘as it’s doing you‘ clause. And while I’m at it, all errors, grammatical or otherwise (my tenses are a bit all over the place, I think. The lines separating past, present and future are a bit blurry right now) are mine.
It starts in your toes
At least according to Colbie Caillat, it does.
I’ve been in love twice, and both times it started with butterflies. With him, it was light and pleasant and easy and airy. I liked seeing him; liked kissing him. I liked his smile; seeing him smile made me smile. Spending time with him was a good end to the day. We’d sit close to each other in the dimly lit corridor in front of the stalls, watching people pass by while sharing a coke or ice cream. The darker it got, the fewer the people, and the bolder we got; stealing kisses here and there, and just generally fooling around. On days when the force was strong with us and we couldn’t wait for the passersby to thin out, we’d go to the open aired theatre and pick a spot high up, adding our count to the number of other lovers scattered around in different phases of necking. It was fun. It was nice. The feelings were strong and horizontal. When its time came, there were no vertical roots to hold it together, and so it it ended.
Then there’s you. The butterflies started a little lower with you. And then they spread, slowly, insidiously, till they imploded and became a calm fire that burned steadily.
For y’all to reach these heights you gonna need G3
…we be all night…
Lol, I’m not even going to go here, okay?
But you know.
We both know.
And you’d think that after sixty three million, seven hundred and two thousand seconds, it’d have tempered, right? But the exact opposite has happened.
Lucky I’m in love with my best friend
We really became best friends didn’t we? Without consciously trying. Going out was always a problem because we’d rather just chill at home with a movie and conversation for dayssss about everything and nothing. Talking, laughing, playing, praying…We shared our fears and hopes and dreams. We made plans. We told each other things we hadn’t told anyone else before. Some days, we didn’t even need words; we spoke with our eyes and all of our other senses. Some days, just the silence was enough. On the days we couldn’t be together physically, technology aided us be together. Constantly. BFF behavior.
We also shared in our flaws and insecurities. I’d do something extremely selfish, but you’d take it. You’d bottle things up for too long, and then suddenly lash out verbally, slashing wildly and cutting the person standing closest to you- usually me- and I’d take it. Sometimes we let stuff slide, other times we’d call each other out, and have ‘pointed’ conversations. Lol. BFF style.
Nothing I know can break us down
…together we got plenty superpower
“I know you feel it in the air…even the babies know it’s there…”
Bey knew what she was saying. Together, we were invincible. Or at least we felt invincible, like we could achieve anything. We had plans to build an empire. A dynasty. And we were both powerful in our own individual rights. Together? The world was at our feet, ours for the taking.
I love it like XO…You love me boy XO
That thing. The one that even scientists can’t explain. Indescribable, but potent as hell. Undeniable. That thing. That you can’t duplicate with anyone else. Not for lack of trying too. Just that thing. The one that made me a ‘girl’ with you. Like I became a giggly, gushing, blushing girl. With you. With only you.
Soul sister: “Omg, I can’t deal, you’re sounding like the heroine in all these romance novels”
Remy: “…the same one? The one that had you playing kissy face all over the place…But really though, that’s not the Ada I knew. The Ada I knew was solid…did you always have it in you or was it him?”
The one that makes it okay for you to release air biscuits at will when we’re together. Lol, I mean it’s not just okay, it’s become a ‘thing’. Thing. That Thing.
The thing that won’t let go of us.
Home is where you are
I really thought I was content
Counting sheep and staring at the ceiling
You came and showed me what it meant
That home is not a house but a feeling
I need a place to rest my head
I’ve looked North and South, East and West
Slept in the most comfortable bed
Without you here, I can’t get any rest
‘Cause when you’re around
My world is rosy
When you’re around
You make me feel so cozy
Home is where you are
Home is where I wanna be
Wherever you are
You can come home to me
You’re my downfall
“Do you want to stay and work it out or walk away?”
“It’s too late. I’ve started something with someone else.”
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.
It makes no sense. Makes no sense that someone who represented all those other things to you, can cause you such pain. Reduce you to a person you don’t recognize; a person who can’t get up off the bathroom floor, after emptying their guts in the toilet bowl. A person who wakes up in the morning and does not want to be awake. A person who can’t work, can’t eat, can’t… A person who is struggling to breathe. A person who thinks an exit would not be so bad; after all, this world is not our home…A person who’s just trying not to die.
In the beginning… the Word…God…Love
This is where love begins. Everything before now? Side dishes. Now, the main course has been served and you have to decide if you will spit or swallow. You’ve seen all of them. Seen how happy they can make you. Seen how they complement you. Seen how they seem like your perfect fit. Seen how selfish they can be. Seen how they have the power to hurt you. Now, you have seen it all. And now you can start to love them.
Love endures through every circumstance
It’s a decision to stay no matter what happens. A decision to go through with the main meal because you’ve tasted the appetizer and you know there’s a possibility that dessert will be even more amazing. You just have to grit your teeth and get through the main meal first. But how can you make such a decision based on a possibility? Especially with someone who’s hurt you? Someone who’s presently hurting you? It goes against everything human in you. Deciding for them means forgiving them. Means being vulnerable with them again. Means trusting them with your heart, knowing how much they can hurt you. Even if they haven’t hurt you yet, how can you be sure it’s the right decision? What if you make the decision with the wrong person? How do you know if it’s the right person? Where will you get that assurance from?
…and the greatest of these is love
You can only get that assurance from Love. Because Love is God. And God sees the dessert; He prepared it. And when He gives you the assurance you need, He then shows you how to go through the main meal…how to love perfectly. Which if you think about it, is where you should have started from. The world spends so much time propagating its own version of love and we gobble it up like starving orphans. The version of love that is about ‘me’ and how the person makes ‘me’ feel. The one that’s all about receiving. If they make you feel good today, then you love them. If they don’t tomorrow, you leave them. If you’re scared, you leave them. It doesn’t matter that your leaving them would destroy them, as long as your own feelings are protected. I’m one to talk; I lived out this version too. And it led me to destroy one of the best gifts God ever gave me. Mercifully, He saved me from myself. So I took it back to the owner; the maker. The manufacturer of a product knows best how the product should operate. Doesn’t it make sense that the one who made love…who is love, should know best, and show us how it should work?
Love never gives up
Love cares more for others than for self
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything (Love never gives up),
Trusts God always (Never loses faith),
Always looks for the best (is always hopeful),
Never looks back, but keeps going to the end (and endures through every circumstance)
Love never dies.
I saw this part of the bible for the first time a few months ago. I mean I had read it previously, but I really saw it for the first time. Go on, see it too. Read each line slowly. Chew. Digest.
At first I wondered if it was really possible for humans to love like this because it goes against the basest human instinct of an eye for an eye. We’re wired to give what we get. But He then pointed me to the cross. We messed up really badly; He sent his son, in human form, to fix it. Showing us that it’s possible. We hung His son, and His son, still in human form prayed for our forgiveness. Even now, I hurt Him constantly, sometimes knowingly, and He still loves me like that. He knows the exact times and ways in the future that I will hurt Him, but He says to me “It’s okay baby, I’ll never leave you.” This is what love is; a one way street.
And when you love like this, the fear of them hurting you or having the power to hurt you goes away. Because perfect love casts out all fear. Because you know where your assurance is coming from. And so you put your trust in Him, not in them. Your trust is not in that they will never hurt you. Because they just might. Not intentionally, but they might. Because humans are flawed. So you put your trust in His ability to help you forgive them, and bring something better and deeper out of whatever. Your trust is in Him and in His assurance of sweet sweet desserts always.
At first it seemed scary to me. Being this open and vulnerable. Not having or playing any cards. No power or mind games. It is scary at first, but before long you start to feel more liberated than afraid, and soon enough, all the fear is gone. Because again, perfect love casts out fear. Can you imagine how beautiful it would be if two people in a relationship loved like this? Both persons giving their all, so that each party received the others’ all? Yeah well, my partner isn’t like that, you say. Then show them the way. Love them like you’d want them to love you. And before long, you’d find that they start to get it. Kind of like with us and God. We love him because He loved us first; He showed us how. When I realised all of this, I remember thinking “someone should’ve put this in a book and given me to read years ago.” This isn’t a book, but if you’re reading this, I hope you get it, and it helps you along somewhere in your own journey.
Chu, I once said to you that love wasn’t enough. That was love as I understood it then, and truly, that version isn’t enough. It’s too selfish to produce anything lasting.
But love? Love as it truly is? It’s not just enough; it’s everything.
Love is. Not was, not will be;
(Read her piece from last year here: Return Mail: This Place)