Nice To Make Your Acquaintance.
by Samatha Galloway
I’m well acquainted with unrequited love.
The first time we met, I was 7.
I had just gotten home from school.
I went into my parents room to greet and hug my father.
As i was making my way to his side of the bedroom I heard him call me, what later became my
childhood pet name, chubbsy wubbsy.
After our hug and kiss, I left his room and went into mine,
shut the door, stood in front of my full body mirror, and looked at my body in disgust.
Our first encounter branded my self-esteem.
We had met up again and again throughout my formative years.
Sometimes during the night when my father would ignore my goodnight air kisses and well
wishes for him to get to work safely.
Sometimes during the day when my sister would ditch me for friends or lovers, even though I
asked her to stay.
Thus came the branding on my security.
In high school, we still kept in contact through my father.
He’d still ignored the same person he helped create,
had me feeling like I was the biggest burden on his plate.
Watching the favoritism between his three kids became too much to bare,
because the moments where i felt he loved me became more and more rare.
At a certain point I thought he absolutely hated me,
and when I brought that to his attention, he asked me, “how could that be??”
“you’re my child, how could I hate you??”
In that moment I wanted to respond, “well, nigga you my father, so act like it fool!”
These moments branded my ability to receive love, this being the closest we had ever been.
Time started to pass and when the world went to shit, we became less than friends.
I was 18,
learning how to create a home in me,
trying to find that security,
trying to find ways to trust in me,
trying to love me.
I thought I was successful, but a year later we met up again.
This reunion showed its attendance had no end.
Their presence came in the form of an unanticipated friend and “lover”.
Initially, when this person and i met there was a slight romantic spark that hovered.
That spark ignited into a dimly lit flame,
as my anxiety became too great to tame.
That unrequited love birthed emotional turbulence.
I slowly became disgusted with myself,
and the thought of anyone loving me didn’t quite make sense.
I sat on that mountains peak,
fearful that what would come after equated to more misery.
I was eventually forced into deep waters.
What I drowned in, I learned to swim through.
What was once a hurricane, became still waters.
I floated to land to birth my ripe fruits.
I created the home I longed for.
I restored the security that once was dismantled.
I created the love I desired from outside.
We create ourselves. We’re always what we are looking for.