Words by Erwin J. C. Davis
Heartbreak at twenty-one: a fictional, allegorical novel of which most can recall skimming the pages, myself included. What is it about that period of self-discovery that makes us fawn for souls that we know will take our hearts? Can’t see the axe for the trees, I suppose. Blinded by newfound independence of body and mind, we leap. And like a flytrap, wet at the stems with hypnotic intentions, it devours us with its salacious embrace – young love.
The wounds take time to heal but never fade. As it goes, “all is fair..” Maturity in love comes from scars on the heart, and we become grizzled by the casualties of affection.
Then, the hardest of loves: the second. How can we learn to want to try again? Is it even worth it, or for me? Time seems to lose itself as the years begin to wind faster and faster, each passing quickly though empty bedsheets and abandoned hands not held. Am I ever? Would anyone ever? Why can’t I? Those early instances of festered vulnerability continue to rot away the inner belief in our ability to love and be loved.
We think about what we could have done. We fantasize about what we would say if they knocked on the door right now and stood there in silence. We’d stare back. Softly, and with an air of relief, a whisper. “I missed you.”
“I missed you, too,” they’d say as the two of us embrace one another with that same autumn air rushing through our lungs like the first night we met. Two bodies rekindle and intertwine: one, once again. They’ll never leave us. They said so, and this time they mean it.
But then you blink. In your bed alone, the streaking moonlight is the only soulmate in your room tonight.
The last set of February fourteenths in one’s twenties invite defiantly inevitable visions of ‘those that could’ve been’ and ‘should-have’s that ran away.’ It’s in these enchantments that we must bring our true imaginings of love to the forefront. Those inescapable musings that evoke a sense of wonder, that which gives us reason to love.
A mother’s voice, damp from the kiss of undying affection; the crisp sunlight ringing over the mountain spine after dusk. The art of loving is in the creation of love, and the continuation to try love. We remain specters of solitude so long as we view our journey through this as such. A heart once loved is a heart able to be loved. This is an undeniable fact.
We must view these scenes projected into our minds and know that the story is unfinished. For love, there is always a ‘next act’ and we have yet to say, “action!” In our twenties and beyond, this is the key to finding love in our time.