The Love Story

Submitted into Contest #101 in response to: Write a story in which the same line recurs three times.... view prompt

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Romance Coming of Age Sad

It would be easier to hate you, but when I think about you and the memories we shared, all I can remember are the good times. I can’t remember the way you shunned my calls and avoided seeing me. I can’t even remember the way you shamed me in front of your friends about how I’ve lost my mind. I only remember the singing boy with his bouncing step and pink school bag. The boy who was always ready with a smile and a joke. The boy who smelled like cigarette smoke.

Darling, that isn’t love.

Sometimes, I think about what could have been if I weren't so stubborn and insistent about what I want, but instead, stopped to appreciate what I have.

Do you know what it’s like for a flower to love a butterfly? Flitting between sweet moments with spaces in between. It is where we do not touch, the separates of our lives, but knowing that one will always be drawn to the other. 

But it is simply human nature to desire and it is human experience that humbles us. Happiness isn't tangible. It cannot be bought or found or won. We mistake endorphins and adrenaline for happiness which is why we pursue love so heedlessly.

I always imagined that you were the butterfly. Wonderful and free. You always did as you pleased. Perhaps as a flower, I always envied the butterfly’s effervescence and ability to brighten up every flower she lands upon. When she landed on me, I felt like I was special. The best thing to have ever happened to me. Unjudging and blind to my flaws or the ways my leaves drooped and browned. A butterfly who saw me for me.

Heed me.

I may have led you to believe in a false perception of myself because of what I wished to be. A knight in shining armor. An admirable hero. I wanted to have a girl who thought the world of me. I must admit, I did a pretty good job. It was easy to be a boy you could love. All I had to do was show up, make you laugh, hold your hand, and never promise you forever.

Heed the one who stands by your mistakes even as each wrong choice of yours is destined to push him further and further away. The one who truly loves you, never truly leaves you. Isn't that what they say? 

Darling, that isn’t love.

Isn't that the truth?

We were something else. We weren’t best friends, nor did you fall for me at first sight and neither did I. But we were something else. When the butterfly lands on a flower, everyone stops to watch. We made each other look better than we do alone. Best of all, we elevated one another and everyone else. How many times have we single-handedly brought the party to new heights simply by being in the same place?

It is unfortunate that we are taught to test our love. Again and again, battering it like a drum. If you love me you would stay. If you love me you would accept me just the way I am. If you love me… But even drum skins need replacing.

Parties end, my love. I’m sorry but they do. For a brief period of time, it did seem as though life was one big party, and all we needed was booze. But we can’t stay intoxicated forever. We needed to join our places in society. You are a butterfly, and I, only a flower.

It was only normal, I guess, for you to push me away the way you did. I can’t pretend like I expected it. I thought you were my constant. I have put you through worse and you never wavered. Yet, the moment I decided I was serious, the moment I decided to commit to you forever, you shoved me away like I was only ever just a plaything.

Perhaps love is a trap that we build ourselves. The time we spent together served only to fortify the cage that welded me to you. It was easy to love you, a girl who wanted the world. Your eyes were so bright with a future that blinded me. Maybe the flower loves the butterfly for the endless possibilities life could go, the way a flower’s life never could.

I understand that people grow tired and they get weary. You can't expect to treat people like shit all the time and expect them to continue to worship you because they love you

When the seasons change, we grow. It is as simple as that. We are shaped by our experiences and a flower that expects the butterfly to be fickle will soon choose to love something as enduring as he is. Maybe a rock, a tree, or a flower… But never another butterfly.

Darling, that isn’t love.

You aren’t the only one who has ever been burned by love. It is a ravenous fire that takes more than it gives. For simple warmth, you must first make sacrifices to the flame. You know the story of the girl whom I wished for. A dazzling girl who came by a meteor, a shooting star. I wished for her beauty, but I forgot to wish for her heart. When she came into my life, the flames licked me dry, and you were there. You were there. When I had nothing left to give, you were there. You told me she was beautiful, and I told you that her beauty couldn’t compare to yours. When I told you what she had done and bared my soul, you told me that I still had the world.

You told me once, if there came a day we couldn’t be together, you would be in my heart where you’d stay forever. Did you know that day would come? Was that your way of saying goodbye? You were always just a phone call away, but now we’re strangers on the phone. Forgive me for reminiscing about the past. I cannot forget how you always made sure I had more than I needed, how we snuck around like thieves and how I thought that it was going to be forever, but the only forever we would ever have is a memory.

In another life, we might have found our happy ending, but not this life. This life wasn’t ours to spend. This life was our chance at learning what we needed to know so that we can learn how not to hurt each other again. So learn your lessons, baby, and learn them well. Because I don’t know how I could ever bear another life with so much pain.

I was destined for greater things than staying in a city where dreams eventually die, and you were never going to leave a home that is your entire world. But our stolen moments in parking lots and hidden cafes live in the recesses of my mind. Clearly, they mean more to me than they ever would to you. 

You have only ever loved my admiration and love for you. I have heard your tears and they don’t cry for me. They cry for a pedestal. You only want me in the recesses of your heart. A deep dark secret you will never set free. Baby, this isn't love. Admit it. You never saw a future with me.

July 09, 2021 18:34

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1 comment

Abbey Long
15:56 Jul 19, 2021

This story is amazing! It's so sad, but heartfelt at the same time. I'm assuming from the italics that there are two perspectives in this story? I felt for them both, and I understand both sides, and I hope they find happiness in the future. A lovely read - well done.


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