I thought love was trembling under your body in the dim lighting of my room. That it was the hushed whispers we exchanged before we snuck a kiss in the hallway at 3 am. Love was your shuffling feet outside my door. Love was the way you brushed my hair back from my face, the way you hugged me when my dad was sick. Love was what it felt like when you held my hand for the first time, when our cold feet touched under the covers, when you cried the first time we had sex. Love was all the songs we listened to on my record player, all the nightmares we had lying next to each other, all the times you slept with your hand below my bottom rib.
But there were so many things that love was not. Because love is not being embarrassed that I always had to say it first. Love is not avoiding eye contact with me when we pass each other in public. Love is not you only texting me when you’re drunk. Love is not letting go of my hand to share a joke with another girl, or spending time in her room more than mine. Love is not having sex every night, but only kissing me once a week. Love is not a 5-minute phone call breakup.
So if love both is and is not all these things, what is it? In the end, how do you truly tell?
I sit here at this bar and I drink my drink and I pretend to be a woman, but in reality, I am just a girl. We are all pretending to be adults, all of us here in this strange, bluish room, but we are lonely and we are empty and we feign maturity. We know nothing of what the world has to offer us; we know nothing of what love is or what it will ever be. So we sit here and we laugh and pretend to be okay. We sip our drinks and we smile and it is a farce.