That was the year he reminded me that our love was abundant. Abundant and unstoppable just like the blue waters of the ocean. Full. It perplexed me to imagine love as being mutual. That I loved him in the same way he loved me. Even more perplexing: to imagine that I would love someone in a way that was unstoppable– did he imagine that the poems I write at midnight are about him? That I gaze the ceiling at night, with a smile stretching my face and teeth brightening the room, thinking about him? That I was mesmerized by his eyes, as he was with mine?
To imagine love as a mutual feeling is rather naive and unintelligent: some people are meant to love more than others whilst others love themselves, more than they love others.
Of course, I was not going to tell him that I longed for my former lover each time he leaned in to kiss me. I stared him deep in the eyes as if I was looking beneath his soul and wondered how a man so intelligent like Orapeleng, a man who completed his undergraduate and postgraduate studies at an elite university in the world, could not see that his affection and love suffocated me, made me want less of him, but more myself. Yet I still kissed him– I kissed him hoping that he was Tumelo– that his lips weren’t as lonely as his presence. Isn’t this the worst kind of betrayal– your mind wondering off to your former lover, Tumelo, yet another man loves you uncontrollably? But isn’t it more devastating when he tells you that you’re the sun, the moon and the stars, the universe, yet you still feel that is inadequate because your universe is being in another man’s arms?
When the sun, the moon, and the stars aren’t enough, you convince yourself that perhaps someday that this person will become your universe. Although your heart will love him out of pity, you will hold his hands even when they are soaked with sweat, and try to forget about the grip of your old lover. You will write poems and share them with him– poems about unconditional love and defiant love. Although they will not be about him, you will tell him they are about him– because that is what you do when you love pitifully.