When the mercury retrograde came two Decembers ago, I was twenty-five and madly in love.
Step 1: Do not argue with those important to you
She liked my left eyebrow. Her middle name was Rose but she thought it was too cliché or something. I thought it was cliché and beautiful. Our first physical meeting was anticlimactic. We both loved Drake’s “Sacrifices,” so I planned to start singing it the minute she came to pick me up from the reception of her hotel. But she made me wait too long. After all the things she planned to do with my body we hugged as though we were friends. “Do I undress and wait for you in the room or…” she had texted the previous week — and now this brief brother-sister hug. I was still scared of her back then, I think. Terrified of the possibilities of her. I wanted to observe her from a distance, but she was always pulling me close, come and sit here, why are you sitting far from me, investigating my eyes. We connected in the [LT1] strangest ways which stupefied me because I had believed after my previous relationship that there was no one else in the world for me. So who was this girl? Where did she come from?
She wanted me to write about us but I was against the morality of that, living a life just for the sake of writing it. She wanted me to stay the night. I wanted to go back home but of course I knew I would stay — how could I not? She wanted me to stop writing and look at her. I wanted to finish writing the romantic parts of my novel before I fell irrevocably in love. I wanted the distance of being loveless to write love. She wanted to stay with me in the shower while I bathed so I locked her out. When I was done, I came out and met her on a stool next to the door, scrolling through her phone. She asked for permission to hold me on the bed. We held each other for hours even though we both hated cuddling. She gave me her diary to read. Full of poems of a recent love that nearly destroyed her. I was excited and sad at the poems. Excited that I had fallen in love with an artist again. Sad that I had fallen in love with an artist again. I love alternative music. Her playlist consisted of old Nigerian musicians long dead. I begged her to dance with me. She begged me to come back to bed. Of course we couldn’t…