Love was all shades of shimmers and glitters to me, well at least that was what I thought at first. Love was that beautiful experience that one comes across and then it changes every single aspect of life. It was only gorgeous people like Nick Bateman and Kathryn Bernardo who played this game well.
Love sends rock and heavy metal at bay and replaces them with a playlist of Adele, Celine Dion and Ed Sheeran; beautiful soul touching music that sends chills down the spine with every note.
With love comes makeup, various bottles of lotions, perfume, foundation, primer, powder, lipstick, concealer. My ash-coloured hair disguised in black dye and tangled in attachment and long hair extensions, baggy shorts and pants go into a locked away part of the wardrobe and bumshorts and glitter short skirts come to play.
With love comes lengthy calls, calls that stretch deep into the night, calls made in whispers and mumbles and accompanied by deep-throated laughter.
So I knew what laughter was, admired and adored it from the safe distance of my paperback novels. Nora Roberts led the way and I gladly followed, walking gingerly behind as she led me into the dark mystery we all try to unravel.
But when Love came, it came in torn jeans and bathroom slippers. Love did not come in the bridegroom’s suit, well-tailored and ironed to a crisp that could pierce the finger at a touch. Love admired my hair cut to an inch and my dreadlocks.
Love gave me his pants to wear when we went on a walk, and I had to use a scarf to hold up the sagging pair of trousers. Love said he loved my natural face and called me a painted masquerade the first time he saw me on makeup.
Love never said,”I love you” to me on the phone and never stayed more than two minutes on the line with me.
Love instead held my hands and looked and my face and said those words, I shook like a leaf at the touch of Love’s calloused fingers.
Love did not have that perfect English accent or a beautiful baritone. Love did not have a singsong voice, the type Nnedi’s love had. Love sounded like an opera singer who had lost his voice.
Love stood contrary to everything I learnt about it.
Yet it was Love, his familiar voice ringing in my heart ever so steady. “Do not doubt, it is I.”
I untangled all I learnt about Love and opened my arms to this new, weird Love.
So when you finally meet Love and I, do not expect to see Cinderella and Prince Charming, we are not pimp and proper.
I’m more like the Disney princess in Brave, with wild, untamed hair and Love might just be the Beast. Yet I’m no Belle and do not dance either.
“I actually choke when it comes to the balls.”
I unlearned and relearned Love.