I’ve been taught by my mother that love is another type of cancer. The kind that kills you slowly, by infecting your organs one by one until it turns your body against itself.
And maybe there is some truth in that. I grew up watching parts of my mother disappear with each and every lover, shrinking into herself like a new sweater tumbling in the wash. That’s why I let my spine stiffen, my tongue sharpen. I built myself a suit of armor made up of excuses and wore it every day.
Please don’t come any closer. I’m fragile underneath. It’s better for both of us if you leave.
But then came you. And piece by piece, I shed my armor.
I know you can hurt me, but I trust you not to. I don’t want you to go. Please stay.
My mother would be surprised to see you and I together because instead of fading away, I become more of what I am meant to be.
I still hesitate when I say I love you because the words feel foreign in my mouth. Sometimes I don’t call back because I forget that I have someone waiting for me at home. But I am learning.
So maybe love is neither the sickness nor the cure. Maybe love is simply the catalyst.