“…So nearly one are love and hate, the two most powerful and devasting emotions that control man, nations, life.”
~ Edgar Rice Burroughs
I sit here as the sun slowly drips down the horizon, my legs motionless, my hands frozen in place, wanting nothing more than to pick up the phone and call you.
To hear your voice. To talk about your day. My day. To laugh together, our smiles like slices of sun bubbling with lemon-scented, effervescent joy.
But the thought of talking to you also makes my blood boil; it makes the flowers in my hair singe angrily, the paper in my hand turn to ashes with a fierce plume of smoke.
So, I don’t call.
Because I love you—oh, but I hate you.
I miss you, but I can’t stand you.
I’m better off without you, but how I long for the saltiness of your lips.
I need you next to me; I need you to get the hell away from me.
It is impossible to know love, without also knowing hate.
In moments like this, the two twist together; they push and pull, like screaming twins, braiding into something f***ed up, becoming something oddly beautiful, something unbearably intoxicating—like an exquisitely expensive perfume that beckons us to a dark, forbidden forest paradise.
In moments like this, my thoughts turn bitter, my smile turns sour, and I wonder if love is nothing more than addiction; if hate is the natural rebellion against that addiction.
In moments like this, though, I stop trying to figure anything out, because the pathways and tunnels to truth are not written in the mind; they are forged in tears—in pure, honest, unfettered emotion.
So, I surrender to the shaky pulls of my heart. To my trembling breath. To my fear.
Because to fall in love—to be in love, to let love in—is pure terror, electrifying, but maybe it’s the scariest thing that could ever happen to us.
Love barrels through us like a fierce breeze, infuses our veins with lusty stardust and sweet whispers, and reveals everything inside—especially the tender, fragile, lace-like places we like to hide.
But right now, I don’t hide.
And if I’m really, tenderly, heartbreakingly honest, I don’t hate you.
I hate that we can’t be together.
I hate that we f***ed up a beautiful love because we’re both stubborn and uncompromising.
I hate that you can’t read my mind and appear to me, standing in the doorway with purple roses in your arms as we talk for hours and days, making everything right.
I hate that I’m imagining ridiculous scenarios from romantic comedies.
But more than anything, I hate that, maybe, our fear is what bled into our love and wedged a great distance between us.
Love uplifts and love can destroy; somehow, ours did both at the same time.
And right now, we couldn’t be further apart, but the connection between our hearts is not severed. The fibrous roots between us are not weakened by the fact that we haven’t seen each other in months, that we’re angry, distant, cold as the iciest winter.
The roots of our love only grow deeper, pull harder, cling more fiercely.
Maybe we will always be connected.
Because I swear, I can feel you in the breeze, whispering on my neck, telling me your secrets, like you always used to.
I love you. I always will.
I surrender to that, right now. We can’t take back our minutes and hours spent together; we can’t take back our delicious kisses, the way this love changed us beautifully, completely.
I will always love you. There is absolutely no shame in that.
But love does not guarantee forever.
And right now, I sit here, hating the fact that we have to let go.
I am already jealous of the woman who will someday know exactly how to love you—the woman who will make you hers.
But as I breathe, as poetry pours from my fingertips, as the cool rainy air soothes my enflamed feathers, I feel strangely at peace.
Maybe, the space between love and hate is not indifference—
But rather unselfish understanding.
The deep, clear knowing that this love was a little too delicious, a little too raw, and we did not know how to handle it properly. Our hearts just weren’t equipped at the time.
The knowing that we were both to blame.
The knowing that we must pick up our tear-stained a**es, get on with life and infuse our stinging heart wounds with the gentlest whispers of grace.
We both got burned by this love that burned too bright.
But we sure as hell learned a lot.
You were, and still are, a blessing of the most exotic kind.
Author: Sarah Harvey
Editor: Toby Israel
Photo: Drew Osumi/Flickr