Love was never meant to be toxic
When I was 10, I thought of love as the door slamming with a loud bang, the sobs escaping from my mother’s throat late at night, my father’s voice ringing with threats, and the open suitcase left lying on the floor.
I thought of love as the hushed voices at midnight, my father lying through his teeth about his affair, and my mother slumping down on the floor, her eyes closed in defeat. I thought of love as a battlefield; we were the ones put at stake as our parents fought for our sympathy, not realizing there was no real winner.
Love sounded like the wheels rolling slowly as my father dragged his luggage out the door and looked over his shoulder in stubborn denial. It smelled like my father’s strong masculine scent filling in my nose as he leaned in to kiss me goodbye.
Love felt rough because it left my mother’s eye and cheek swollen after another night of war. It tasted like the first cup of coffee I made, leaving a bitter aftertaste that carved itself into my memories.
I thought love meant departure because I grew up watching my father leave after every fight and my mother keeping the door unlocked, waiting for his return. It was love that kept my mother awake the whole night, fervently praying for my father to come home. It was also love that kept him from returning — it wasn’t the love meant for us.
I thought love was always meant to hurt but, at 20, someone taught me that love could be different.
Now, when I think of love, I think of traversing the streets of Dapitan with someone who slows down to match my pace as I listen to our footsteps, seemingly louder than the traffic noise.
Love sounds like the comfortable silence blanketing us in the coffee shop. It smelled like the sweat dripping off the sides of his face after he squeezed himself into the train to meet me after class. Love felt tender like the way he would pat my head upon seeing me. It tasted like the freshly brewed coffee he gave me after a bad day.
Now, I think love means staying because, no matter how huge the storm is, he chooses to stay.
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Madge Genele Resurreccion, 24, is a student at De La Salle University.
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