It’s not that I’m scared of love, it was the time my best friend ran to my house in the middle of the night banging on our front door with oceans in her eyes. How she couldn’t even catch her breath because the boy she loved dumped her for his ex. It was the way her fingernails dug deep into my skin as she cried all night, swearing that it was all her fault. It was receiving texts and calls at 3 in the morning, how her feelings woke her up, and hearing the tears through the telephone line. She was convinced that she was to blame, how she believed she was not enough. That even months after she would still cringe at his name, her eyes never met the same glimmer like they once did.

It’s not that I’m scared of love, it’s the time my teacher went on leave for two weeks because she couldn’t bare to cope with the breakup. It was the way she sat at her desk when she gave us a free period where we did what ever we pleased. It was how she stared blankly at the background of her computer screen. There was something broken inside of her, like the hands of a clock suspended in time. It was the way she sighed, you could tell it was something else that made her act the way It was the way she smiled when she returned, how it wasn’t truly happy, it was like something was missing. I think when you love someone, the feeling never truly goes away.

It’s not that I’m scared of love, it’s the time I heard that my relative tried to take his life because the girl he was with for eight years left. It’s the way he woke up late at night and lit a cigarette out on the front porch because he realized she didn’t share the same bed. Its the way he hated his body because she told him he was too fat, it’s the pale skin, endless tears, and hair falling out. It was the way he pleaded for help from our family, asking for bullets to a gun. It was his hands shaking when he swore he didn’t love her anymore.

It’s not that I’m scared of love, it was when I met this girl at a party on Friday night. It was the change in her smile when she was no longer sober. It’s the way she poured liquor into that red cup, the way she drank to feel numb, to get away from her emotions. It’s when I held back her long brown hair as she threw up in the toilet. The way she shrieked and cried on my friend’s bathroom floor. It was how she looked at me when she begged me to answer, why her ex boyfriend no longer loved her. It’s the smeared eyeliner, muffled music, and the stench of vodka mixed with henney. I just hoped that one day she would be as happy as she pretended to be.

It’s not that I’m scared of love, it’s what comes after that terrifies me.