I had given up on love.  I had sworn to myself, that no matter how sweet the wine of love would be, I'd never taste. I'd taken a cut and decided never to love again. Love was a bitter pill, which made me want to puke my veins out. Love was a battlefield; one which was accustomed to my unparalleled swordship, but I had fought severally, and I had lost it all. I had given it my all, and I'd had my heart torn into shreds, and smeared across my pale face. So, I had made the vow, never to love again.

The thing with love is, it comes unannounced. It is mostly sandwiched between when you are basking in unsavoury solitude, or when you are emotionally in need of company. It coaxes you and lures you into its ark of beauty. It takes over you, niche by niche, and by the time you jolt to realisation, you have being enchanted and caged by its facade palatability.

Unlike many kids of my age, I grew up not knowing the man who fathered me. I lived with my mother, who was my one and only family. Not having my father didn't bode so well for me, as my mother felt the workload on her was too much to bear. Occasionally, anger would flare up inside of her and she would take it out on me. She would spit her guts out, call me names, throw me out, make me sleep on an empty, growling stomach, and what have you. I could never recall a moment when she took me under her umbrella and showered endearing motherly  love on me. So, I grew up not knowing a mote about motherly love, not to talk of love as a universal term. It wasn't in my dictionary at all. 

All through Junior High School, I never boasted of people I could call friends. Well, I had the usual on-and-off cronies, who occasionally waved at me and left for their homes, which mostly beamed with parental care and love, while I trotted begrudgingly to my hellhole. Mostly, I withdrew myself from the midst of people whenever I felt the world's eyes on me. I would either take my favourite story book and read, or curl up into a pit of tears around a corner. That was pretty much my life summed up. 

However, in secondary school, the tables turned for the better. I would meet Helena, and my whole life would take a mighty turn. She would make me understand that not everyone I saw on campus, was as fiendish and sinisterly as my mother. She would help me enormously, and that eventually became my weakness. I had fallen in love with her, even though she wasn't axiomatically the most enthralling girl on campus. There was something about her which made her stand out from the rest. Maybe it was because she showed a certain infinite passion and care, which I loved to think of as 'love.' Well, I did a few searches about the mystery which was the highlight of my life (love), and learnt a lot. It led me to concluding that love was real, though seldom did it come in genuine form. I'd get lost in her love world and we would drink love's fine wine, for the most part of secondary school. Eventually, she left for the States and I never saw nor heard from her again. Some months later, I learnt that she had come back because she couldn't adjust to life in the States. It hurt me so much that she never cared to check on me, despite having opened my eyes to the sweetly sharp effect of love. 

That was as far as my story with Helena went. I completely moved on from her, though the road was bumpy with pothole reminders of the amazing times we shared, lost in each other's love. The event also opened my eyes to the sharp reality of love; no matter how sweet love is, it has a bitter part- the bane of love's destruction. I would fall in love severally, and have my heart broken on those occasions. Never did I have the temerity and coldness to break someone else's heart. I was always at the receiving end of the poisonous bite. It was the rationale behind my decision to never open my heart to any girl. 'Never again would I do that,' I decided.

©Evans Khojo