Love Muscle 

Love Muscle 

Towards the end of last year, an old friend of mine sent me a whole five-page document, stating how I had frustrated his efforts to develop a love relationship with me. No, he wasn’t complaining; he meant to apologise. Let’s just say it was a complain marinated in an apology. He spelt out how I had let him down, how I had crushed his feelings and reduced his self to a mere nobody. I won’t say I didn’t feel guilty. It wasn’t the first time someone was lashing out at me. I just shoved it away, till another friend of mine recently came across it, and decided that I was being too hard on myself and on others too. So, here is me being me.

I am a sucker for good friendships. I am really great at being just friends. I am a genuine keeper when it comes to friends. I see no big deal when I sacrifice for friends. I delight in the footprints left on my heart by friends. Their genuine laughter rejuvenates my soul. They give my life a purpose.

I love the spontaneity that comes with friendships; no attachments; no obligations. I love when my feelings are buoyant, like a never-ending stream that finds solace in sprouting mangroves. 

Ever heard of the cliché that friends last longer than lovers? It is my daily anthem. I recite it in my head any time these kind of ‘feelings’ try to cloud my mind.

I won’t deny the fact that I have been in love at least once in my life. Love is beautiful. It is that feeling that loosens the stiches at our nerve endings, the superficial thought of visible turgidity. You cannot hide love. The thing with love is that you cannot wake up one day and decide,” Hey, I want to fall in love with this one,” or “I don’t want to love this other one.” Love is an emotion that grows over time, and if not caged, to unlimited boundaries, replenishing our wells of affection; making us slaves of things out of our jurisdiction.

Love is magical.

I have loved before and lost it altogether. I came to realize that just like any other feeling, love is sweet at first, gets used to routine, then becomes boring. Yes, people will tell you to maintain the initial spark if you want it to last. How do I do this? What if my love muscle is one of the laziest in my system?

The way I am wired (and I tend to think that I am not the only one), I find it difficult to completely trust someone. I mean, is it a common thing that everyone lies at some point in their lives however minor the lie is? I find it hard to entrust my feeble heart into the hands of someone else. Yes, hearts are strong on the outside, but very brittle on the inside.

Now, a friend of mine asked,” Do you mean no guy ever hits on you? Or that your heart has never fallen in love?” Well, I wouldn’t say how many people hit on me on average. I believe every woman out there gets hit on severally. Saying NO to guys hasn’t been the easiest task for me.  I loathe every time I get the feeling that someone is beginning to get interested in me. I have had to feign sickness at times. I’ve told a million lies just to escape that web of feelings.

I have turned down guys I’d recommend to any other person out there. I have said NO to men who were the ideal ‘husband materials’, those that saw the beauty in my scars and chose to see the candour beyond the freckles, those that have walked the darkest of paths with me. I have said NO to men full of ideas that challenged my intelligence, the men I at times dreamt of building a family with. I have said NO more times than I could even count.

There are times I have cried myself to sleep just after saying NO, at times because I felt guilty of hurting someone so close to me, other times because I couldn’t help but think that I had lost my final chance at love. I do not hide my NO behind lengthy paragraphs in form of explanations. I just type the two letters and hit the send button.

No, I am not mean. I just love to have my space, to be myself with me alone; because I get scared of opening up to someone else, breaking loose and letting them see the vulnerable side of me. Most times I love opening up to myself. I talk to my notebook (like I’m doing right now) and it feels just great.

I believe that I am a woman with such a great purpose in life that still lies unfulfilled. I definitely want to be many things, but above all, I want to be myself. I want to be comfortable doing what I like, that which brings joy to my heart. I believe there still are many stones waiting to be turned.

I believe there’s greater to me than that which societal norms want me to be. There lie greater heights beyond falling in love, getting married, bringing forth kids then waiting for death. There’s much more to life than waking up each day, grinding so as to just pay bills. There’s more beyond love.

I do not know whether someday I will take the risks and say YES. I am not looking forward to that any way, but when it happens, I pray that the guy that gets this chance allows me to be the butterfly that I love to be, one that flies to wherever flower it finds pleasant, in search of sweetness and peace. I hope in the end, all will be well.<

PS: I am still working on my love muscle. I will catch up with you guys when it behaves. See you at the finish line.

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Meet Eunniah Mbabazi
Eunniah Mbabazi is an Electrical and Electronic Engineer with a deep passion for books and literature. She has authored Breaking Down (a collection of short stories), If My Bones Could Speak (a poetry collection), The Unbirthed Souls (a collection of short stories), and My Heart Sings, Sometimes (a poetry collection). She has also co-authored Kas Kazi (a novel) and When a Stranger Called (an anthology of short stories).

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