#LoveLiteratiContest – ‘Love Afraid’ by Fasusi Ayobami

Love Literati contest - shortlisted submission - elsieisy blog

 “I love you, Shirley”

I closed my eyes and bit my lower lip as his voice filtered through the phone. “I know, Bryan.”

“So, why are you holding back?”

I exhaled slowly to ease the pressure welling up in my heart. Fresh memories of my past heartbreaks resurfaced in my mind, leaving pain and doubts in its wake.

“I’m not…I…I…just—” my voice trailed off.

I opened my eyes and began fiddling with the pink wristwatch on the table, which Tunde got me when our love was sweet and intoxicating like freshly tapped wine. Oh, how I loved him!

I loved him with such intensity that overwhelmed me. He was my first and the watch was a gift after our first kiss on Valentine’s eve, last year. He kissed me with such a longing that made my nipples stand erect and groin tingle with wetness.

He whispered sweet nothings to my ears and called me a beautiful flower that blossomed with unrivalled beauty.

I was head over heels in love.

I fell so deep in love till his voice drowned the voices in my head and the gates of my soul opened to him of its own accord. My body knew his touch and it would move sensually in response to his caress.

He became the focal point of my existence and I worshipped him in a way that made God green with envy.

Then, it happened.

Like a power-drunk ruler with no restraint, he ripped my heart apart, reached for the root of my soul and yanked it off, leaving me desolate, defenseless and broken.

I mourned!

I mourned my shame and vulnerability. Depression became my companion and knew me by name.

Like a woman scorned, I sought revenge. But the fury engulfed me like a thick cloak till my breath came in gasps and life began to slip away. I had to let go of the reins of vengeance and fight for my life, my sanity and peace.

Time heard my story and came to my rescue. It healed my wounds and propelled me into a fresh start—a second chance at life.

And here I am, a beautiful flower, girded with strength and protected by thorns, blossoming again without restraint but scared to love again.

“I won’t hurt you, Shirley.”

“So he said…Till my heart became his playground and he trampled on it like ruthlessly, without conscience.”

“I know you have been hurt. So have I.”

I scoffed, “You don’t understand.”

“But I will. Walk with me, let’s love each other with our brokenness and heal together. Your heart needs love and mine needs yours. And by God, I will treasure it like a priceless work of art. I am willing to love afraid, with you.”

A lone tear rolled down my cheeks. I picked the wristwatch on the table and walked slowly towards the door. I held the watch for a few seconds and dropped it gently in the trash.

“I am willing, too.”

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