The first time I mistook love for infatuation was at 15

it was the middle of sophomore year

and his name was Carlos


He said I love you

three weeks after meeting me

and of course I said it back

it's hard not to profess love to the person who fills the void


I didn't think I was pretty

but the word gorgeous poured from his mouth every time he saw me

and he smiled to no end


I hated my body

but he said he loved it

and we had sex with our shirts off and the lights on


I was lonely

but his presence engulfed me

and made me feel as if he’d always be there


I think we filled each other

but never loved one another


And of course this same event happens again

and again and again and again


How silly of me

to think this teenage love affair would last

with our undeveloped frontal lobes

and raging hormones


Even I know how drastically a year can change a teenager

but I still want to believe I’m capable of loving evolving people


That I can adore this rose

as a seed

and as a sprout

and unbloomed

and wilted

and still think they’re pretty all the same


Or maybe it's not about that

maybe it’s not cute and wholesome

maybe this is me wanting to stop hurting


It’s me hoping you love me because my parents don't

It's me not knowing self love and hoping you can provide it

it’s me trying to find fulfilment through you


And I think many relationships thrive off this

which is why most of us don't know how to be alone

which is why being left on read means something bad

which is why we can't spend a day without talking

which is why a break up feels like the world is ending


And isn't that the saddest part?

that we’ll hold onto someone so tightly for so long

that we’ll begin to mistake each other for one another

that letting them go feels like letting ourselves go


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