It’s Complicated

“I love you,” I said.

“But how will I know for sure,” my love said.

“Because I just said so,” I answered, “I. Love. You.”

“I need proof,” my love said.

So I called up my family, each one turn by turn. My parents I called at their home, my father was napping and my mother was soaking pistachios. I then called my sister, who was on her honeymoon in Tangiers, and my brother who was working in a refugee camp on the outskirts of Raqqa. “I love her,” I said to each of them. My parents said, “That’s nice.” My brother and sister both said “Of course you do.”

“But I still don’t know for sure,” my love said.

I got a tattoo. Across my left bicep, curling text proclaiming my love for my love. It hurt even though the tattoo artist said it only hurts when the needle travels over bone.

“How can I believe it,” my love said.

I ran through the streets. Up and down the arteries of the city, proclaiming my love so loudly that I was coughing blood when I was done. My calves had swollen, round and pulsing like hearts. Some people laughed and cheered me on when I ran past them screaming of love, many told me to shut the fuck up and stop being such a goddam nuisance.

“I just don’t know,” my love said.

So I killed all my love’s enemies. Anyone that had slighted my love ever, in even the smallest way. I found them, all over the world, wherever their lives had led them. I slit throats, crushed windpipes, smashed skulls, and punctured lungs. I used the blood of each one to write “I love you” on the wall next to their corpse. You must have heard of it. There was a global manhunt. I was never caught.

“I just wish you’d commit,” my love said.

Despairing, broken, weeping, I opened Facebook and changed my relationship status away from “single”.

“Thank you,” my love said. “I love you too.”

Sami Shah is a writer and comedian. His latest novel, “Boy of Fire and Earth” is now available in paperback. He also has a non-fiction book, “The Islamic Republic of Australia”. You can find more on his other works, and upcoming live shows at

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