Things change. With that simply said, love changes too. I read, somewhere, once “it is a lucky thing if you find somebody that loves you through the change.” I think I read it when Mandarin was still my stronger language, when I used the words ‘I love you’ too easily and when change meant dying my hair Auburn Cherry Red from Blonde-Orange.
Love changes, though. We used to sit, one millimeter of space, against each other spilling molecules and sharing every fiber of our every bodily hairs. Our legs rubbed upon one another’s, our fingers always dancing and squirming together, our cheek to lips, lips to teeth— we were that close. I remember the nights I giggled in forbidden air and you whispered out-loud sugar that filled my tongue, nights we dared to break all the rules and days we kissed in such a way to tell the public that we were somehow the few lucky ones to have made it, in a way to tell everybody in the room to trust us.
It changes though, no matter how old you are when you fell in love with each other, no matter how young you still want to feel. Love changes and the hardest part about it isn’t the fact that it isn’t the same, it’s adjusting and realizing that with real love comes accommodation. With real love, comes compromise.
You reach a sector of your relationship where you find yourself so completely different from who you were when they met you and who they were when you met them. It’s so so so normal, though. Everyone is lovable in the beginning. You’re trying your damn hardest to be the epitome of what they want and need. It isn’t until later when you start to become comfortable and well, yourself.
There is no such thing as ‘being right for each other’, it’s about being right for yourself. In loving somebody so much comes a point where you really reevaluate and find the crevices where you lack in loving the parts of you that they love, that you don’t see. And that’s why love really is all that it’s cracked out to be and all of the hoo-ha. Loving someone almost more than you love yourself really gives you a new sense of well-being, of who-am-I-really and who-do-I-want-to-be?
So no, we don’t do the same things we used to. We don’t act the same way, we don’t breathe into each other’s face in public. Our butterflies have probably died a hundred deaths only to leave behind caccoons for new ones. Butterflies don’t live that long, anyway. I like to joke around and tell him that instead of butterflies, I have pterodactyls .. and those never ever go away. It hurts sometimes, I won’t lie. It really really hurts. But love entails in breaking and rebuilding. Our lips lock in our most clandestine moments, our secrets are told in the dark with walls as our audience, love exchanged in privacy— where it belongs. Our love isn’t put so profoundly out there for everyone to know anymore. We figured out that we didn’t need to be every minute of eachother’s every day. We’ve grown in and out of phases and we probably still will a thousand more times before we grow into the same one, together. A thing about young love is that having the commitment to someone sometimes makes you forget that you have a commitment to yourself. You need to grow in ways that you can’t, with them.
We sit across from each other now, occasionally sitting together only if the seating is awkward or the sun is in the way of somesort. Instead of looking in the same direction, seeing the same background, we watch each other. And in place of all the physicality and the frissions are words and conversations. Yeah, we’ll softly kick the other’s foot or make faces from across the table. But sometimes, we look up at the same time to share an intimate silence of acknowledgement, an unspoken I-know and a smile followed by a childlike, “What?” when really, it’s just a rhetorical question that screams my love hasn’t changed.