I didn't believe in broken hearts. How did hearts even get, 'broken,' right? A conundrum life was waiting patiently to reveal. Now, I must say, I am not stoic. I have loved and unloved, I have given and received. It all seemed easy; loving. Until she happened. Hers was a different kind of love, one, my heart can't seem to let go of and one I can't seem to wrap my head around.

It wasn't the kind of clothes she wore, I am sure of it. The rainbow coloured airbrushed tees with prints like 'showgirl angel, ' the bubble coats or the faded jumper jeans and Baby Phat jackets. The reason I loved - scratch that, love her. No it wasn't.

Her beauty was unfair, an ebony thing, the type that graced the covers of glam magazines, but that wasn't the reason I loved her. It definitely wasn't her stunning nonchalance. It wasn't her voracious appetite for the trouble that always seemed to have a way of finding her either, getting in cat fights with the boys in the hostel – 'hood' she called it, refusing to take shit from everyone and anyone.

It wasn't her charming creativity and self-expression, those bold lipstick choices and eyelashes that dancehall queens envied. It wasn't her semi-dreaded natural hair that attracted stares from strangers.

It wasn't even the soft feel of her hands when we touched. It wasn't her strutting me along to the nail salon, or how she styled my boxer braids and mini buns, or how she prettied my face up like the Instagram slay models. It wasn't because she dared to be her true authentic self without interruption and apology.

It wasn't the colours I felt when our lips touched for the first time, or the butterflies that danced in my tummy whenever she purred my name. It wasn't just the tingles that flowed through me when her tongue found its way to my nipples nor the tender warmth in her embrace after hours on end of exploring the skin and folds beneath my waist.

It definitely wasn't the way she teased my breasts, pulling at them, laughing at their rather small and perky size (in public!). I definitely wasn't alarmed when she did that at my birthday party.

No, it was that I had fallen for her at all. I wasn't sure if I had fallen all at once, or if I had fallen for her like a thousand crystal shards of broken glass. It was the way she made me feel things I had never felt before. Love. A strangeness. An uncertainty. An abomination we dared to brave. Yet, my love for her was an oscillating thing, never stable, like her. And so when her cupboard was bereft save for a note, I already knew what it would say.

She was gone.

Right there and until this moment, the conundrum remains. My heart aches. I’m uncertain whether to call this a heartbreak. How do you describe the emptiness of mind, the longing for what it knows it cannot get a hold of? The burning in your lungs; a breathlessness, as though rowing away from a terrible ghost. The grief that comes in waves, stealing appetite and sleep alike. It stung at first, but now I’m numb.

Just numb.

Photo by Suad Kamardeen on Unsplash