Love That Does Not Bear Fruit by Kemi Omisore

You can’t talk about it. Some can, and can weather the pity, the forced sympathy, and the revulsion sitting underneath it all that greets them as a response. I can’t. Pity douses me like a bucket of ice cold water and clings to me like a dark stain on a white t-shirt. I feel like I’ll never be able to wash it out. So I don’t talk about it. But if something is not spoken, does it exist? If there are feelings that are only felt within myself can I say they are real?  

In love, in the beginning, there’s no difference in what becomes tangible and what fades away. I love the idea of a relationship because every single one is a love story. You meet someone and you don’t know that they’re about to change your life. It starts the same way every time. I meet a girl. I look into her eyes and her smile unravels me. Her attention is a high that I can’t get enough of and I lose myself in her. It becomes a relationship between me and myself, the me I could be with this girl. I could be someone with roots planted firmly in the ground, tethered with the knowledge that my existence matters. Someone with worth. I fall in love with the girl, yes, but I fall in love with that me who is so close, who is just in my reach, too. 

And then, it’s over. I grapple up the peak of the mountain for a revelation and, with a look in her eyes that says I’ve nowhere further to go, crash. The crumbs of affections I took for a meal, that I held onto so tightly, turns to sand in my stomach, in my heart. And like that, that future me waves goodbye and slips through my fingers like grains. Like a closed door, like a cliff’s edge, like slamming face first into a brick wall with your arms wide open, it is over. 

How do you heal from a love that was never yours? Is the pain real if the only proof of it is the drying tears on your own pillowcase? When the dream is over and I find myself on my back with bruises only I can see, I wonder if I’m allowed to ache this much. If a love does not bear fruit, does it have any meaning? 

Kemi Omisore is a senior at the University of Maryland, pursing a degree in English Literature and Secondary Education. She loves lemonade, reading YA lit, and her hamster, Uma.

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