In Anticipation of Love

I am 21 years old and have never been in love. That’s not so crazy, right? I mean, I’m still learning to love myself. Yet, here I am, waiting, ever so impatiently for this feeling I only wish I could put into words.

i was getting ready
before you knew my face
in its entirety as lines
to make up a picture
of where i’ve been
for too long

My favorite movie of all time is “Moulin Rouge,” and if you’ve seen it, you know its famous quote: “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.” I have yet to learn how to accept love fully from others.

an alarm goes off here
to stop a step forward
every time not clockwork
but the sabotage of a climb
with no view of the top

There have been people in my life who have loved me, or at the very least, have claimed to have loved me, and I have been unable to reciprocate. For one reason or another, the feelings simply were not mutual, which is heart-wrenching. Here’s this thing, this ideal you’ve dreamt about for so long, placed right in front of you. Somebody loves you. But it’s not right, because you don’t love them back. In the end, it’s just heartbreak.

because there’s always beauty somewhere
i’ll find a reason to smile to your face
into your stiff shoulders
as if i’m about to cry
i’d never dare release
in front of your hope i know screams loud

There’s something inherently uncomfortable about a person’s first brush with love. When I was about 15 years old, I was dating a boy a couple of years older than me, and one day in the basement of my family home, he told me he loved me. I muttered back something like, “I love you, too” purely out of a sense of obligation. The words had tasted so wrong on my tongue that five minutes later I asked him to leave. I broke up with him the next day.

read into who has the right
to tell the other what’s gone wrong

In college, I slept in a bed with a man whom I know now cared for me much deeper than I did for him. He was a friend, and he’d come to stay with me for a weekend during a time when I was fighting a true and honest battle with myself, my depression and the world around me. I was trying to find my place. And when he put his arms around me that night, I knew that my place was not with him. Unfortunately, this was the end of everything we had.

more than a sweet disposition
only bitter tastes linger in the end

Most recently, I turned to a man whom I believe loved me (on some level, at some point in time), when I was feeling incredibly lost. I was facing an intense moral dilemma far greater than I’d ever faced. I needed someone to talk to, and there was no doubt in my mind that he’d respond if I reached out. He did just that, only he responded with a bitterness I had not expected. He’d hated that I’d sought out comfort from him, a friend, when I’d not agreed to give him my love.

just wait a little longer
i’ll get there
i’m only a little tied up
wrapped up in humorless
jokes you’ll never hear
on stage to keep
an audience sympathetic

Only once have I come close to loving another. He lived in my building, he was there for me always. I wanted to be in his arms, but it was never quite right, always a little forced. In the end, there was still that imbalance which leaves no one happy. I loved him more.

the one here is good to me
good for me
living right under
the parts i’m not ready
to show off

So, I guess I’ll carry on learning.

Like this post? Find similar content here: Star-Crossed: Not A Love Story
by byrei

My name is Rei, and I am simply a young woman in her early 20's, trying to make it in life. That's what I share in my poetry and my stories.


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