Love is a burden I wish I didn’t have to carry. A burden so heavy it has my body and mind drowned in regret. Why did I let you love me knowing it would only cause me pain and heartache? Why do I still keep you while it breaks my heart to do so. Why do I need your love? I crave it knowing it would destroy me.

I have heard it said that loving someone and having them not love you back is painful. And it really is. But being loved and not loving someone with the same intensity they love you is torture. You have to deal daily with the thought that you are a bad person, wishing that you could love them and hating them for putting you in that position yet unable to leave them because you are selfish enough to endure the pain for that whole hearted love they give you. When you look at me the way you look at me, I feel it. But I simply don’t understand it.

He was supposed to be the love of my life, father of my kids, the man I foresaw myself waking up to every morning for the rest of my life. But lately I have been contemplating leaving him. His love for me feels like a punishment and mine a duty that I have grown wary of. I no longer feel the need to please him or be with him, whenever we are in the same room I feel strangulated like someone is out to get me and is deriving me of oxygen.

His touch, like thousands of tiny insects crawling all around me. His kindness destroys my heart and I find myself crying as he slips into me. I do not just lie there, I use my hate for him to drive my passion, I rage and roar in that bed, and when he is spent I turn and curl into myself, wait until he sleeps to slip into the bathroom to wash his touch away. Scrubbing my skin so furiously with scalding water as tears stream down my face. I wrap myself in a towel later and go to the guest room. Slip in between those sheets that smell of nothingness and sleep. Sweat heaps as if my body agrees with me and wants to pour him out through my pores.

There are two men in my life, they could be more but this lover isn’t stingy with me which I find appealing and also addicting. To not be wanted the way you are used to is alluring, a challenge that preys even the strongest of wills. Our desires as human beings to have one over the others ensures we are also slaves to their whims. See, I feel only a keen sexual attraction for this man, his mind does not intrigue me nor his persona. If it weren’t that we’ve lain on the same bed and whispered moans and sighs to each other’s skin, I find that I wouldn’t like him. So why is it I find myself in his bed, and him in me as often as I do?

What about him makes me risk my relationship with a man who adores me? His meanness and willingness to discard me? Maybe I think he will transfer some of it to me, or maybe it’s that my boyfriend is so lax about life, content with the little that he has. They are a lot of maybes, spite, good loving, or just youth. His fierceness in loving me, animalistic lust that leaves me feeling eaten alive each time.  Every night after we have feasted I stay awake as long as I can, enjoying the feel and sound of him sleep.

“The love you think you’ve lost was never worth pursuing. A woman who loves you will not come to you smelling of another man. She will not delight in the feel of having another wrap his arms around her as she dances into the night. A woman that loves you will not lay naked with another and smile at your gullibility. I am not good for you and to be honest don’t want to be. I don’t want to be good, I have been good all my life, all through it I have done what is expected of me what has that brought me? I really tried to love you, I tried to be good for you, have you only, need only you but I couldn’t. Your heart and love were not shelter for me but shackles. He was not escape but a harbor, even as I laid with him and spasmed I thought of you. But is love ever enough? Most people crave this love. Go in search of it, are caught up in myriads of it, and those that find it sometimes find that it wasn’t what they wished for and it has brought them woe. You were not wrong to love me; you were wrong to expect me to love you back with the same single-mindedness. In this I think you also failed at love. “

I wrote him this letter two years after I left him. He still lived in that same place that came to mean prison for me. I still loved him acutely. Two years later I still craved his love. He had moved on. Had a woman and a child. A child that wasn’t mine and his. I  knew if I called him he would come, he wouldn’t leave her, he was too kind for that but he would come and he would love me with the same intensity he loved me then and this time I would be the other woman. I didn’t though, I didn’t call him or make it known that I lived in the same neighborhood, meeting up with different men and women to give me a fix. These men and women weren’t lost, like me they had run from prisons. Prisons that loved and cared for them. Prisons they cared for or maybe even loved but couldn’t stay in. Why were we like this? Why couldn’t we settle? What were we looking for?