“But I love you, Enny,” he says as they sat on the couch in Eniola’s living room, his voice quivering and unstable. His pleading eyes looking directly into hers, begging her forgiveness. Eniola didn’t recognize those eyes that once provided her with a sense of comfort and security. The warm brown of his eyes that used to reassure her of a love that would last forever is replaced now with colder gray. She shivered and looked away. Tears clouded her eyes as she felt him breathing next to her on the edge of the couch.
Her mind wandered to a year earlier, a happier time, when she had been actually aware of his breathing as they sat on that same couch. Her heart pounded that day as she glanced nervously into his eyes, unable to hold her stare, yet unable to look away. It was that particular day that her heart decided to surrender itself to the magic of first love. And as she sat beside him, overwhelmed by the uncertainty of her love for him, she struggled to say the words out loud for the first time. She wanted to scream to the world that her heart felt bigger than her body that she was in love and nothing could take away that feeling, but no sound came out of her mouth. As she fidgeted with the edge of the pillow, he gently placed his hand on her arm and looked directly into her eyes. His soft stare soothed her nerves. “I love you, Enny,” he told her. A smile formed on her face as her heart began to beat quickly and loudly. He had known that night, just as she had and he had felt the power of the realization of love, just like she had.
But that power is gone now, she reminded herself. Returning her from that distant memory to the present moment like a slap in the face.
“Doesn’t it mean anything to you that I love you?” He asked. “Please, I’m so sorry.”
“But you can still hurt me, right?” her response rather harsh. His hands reached for her face but she ducked her head to avoid his touch. It became too painful when she found out. He had told her three days ago over the phone that he had slept with another girl. She had sat in stunned silence, unable to move or speak. She sat now in silence, not because she doesn’t know what to say, but because she is afraid her voice will deceive her and began to quiver.
As she started to speak, she looked into his eyes and stopped herself, wandered if she would be making a mistake. Maybe it can work, she thought, and she imagined his arms around her, hugging her head tightly to his chest, making everything okay like he always did so often in the past when she was in need of his comfort. But Eniola knows that if she doesn’t speak up now, he would never change. “I can’t do it, I can’t take you back I’m sorry. You hurt me. You really did and in the worst way. I thought we’d promised ourselves to stay pure, I remember you making that promise to me that night but on the very first chance you get you forget all the worthless promises you made to me. No, I can’t deal with this.” She explained why it was so hard for her to forgive him.
Now more than ever, she ached for the comfort of his arms and for the reassurance of his warm gaze. But it is not possible, for the trust is gone and their love had been scarred. His gaze was no longer warm neither did his arms provide comfort. She struggled to find the words that she knows must come out of her mouth, not like before when she knew the words would lead them to a place of magic on the part of their relationship. She struggled to find the words that would end that path.
Not that her love for him has been taken away, she knows her heart can never again feel bigger than her whole body when she’s with him. When he got up from the couch to leave, the pain in her heart felt too strong to endure, and she had to stop herself from calling after him. She sat frozen on the couch for a long time after he had left; the only movement in the room was the tears that ran down her cheeks and soaked the thighs on her jeans. She takes out her phone to play I will survive by Gloria Gaynor. She wondered how she could possibly go on when she felt a part of her was missing. Her mother once told her the human spirit is stronger than anything that happens to it– so now she’ll wait for time to heal the pain and raise her to her feet once again, so she can start a new path, her own path, a fresh start.