I want to know what love is, I want to fly on eagle wings, I want to soar high up the heavens , I want to be a princess and leave in the castle, I want to be inlove, bask in the bliss of love and have someone who loves me back as much as I love him.
I just want to know what love is and not just think it, see it and wish it.

I want to know what love is.
But all I have come close to love, is only love in photographs .
You see, I have never been inlove, not  once, but I have seen the love people shared, I have seen the love my parents had, it was heaven,  it was beautiful,  it was bliss.
They smiled into each others eyes,  they laughed with genuine happiness in their eyes, they kissed each other with such pure love and they loved each other till the other breathed their last and the other followed.
And all I have left of them are these pictures, this love they had as I stare at them in the photographs in which they took, the only evidence of their love, their undying love towards each other.
And I wanted a love as beautiful as this, I wanted a love as strong as this, I wanted a love that I could capture in a photograph that the lenses of my camera can pick out, I wanted a love that even when I wasn’t here , or alife walking the earth, someone can take up our pictures and smile at our loving faces and say this….”I want a love like this, I want a love as beautiful as this.”
You see, I wanted to know what love is,but all the love I came close to was just in the photographs . But I want to love and be loved.
I wanted it all.
I wanted it all.
So when I ran into him,  that beautiful stranger that whisked me off my feet, I felt that this was it, this was the love I wanted , needed,desired. This was the love I have been waiting for .
And I fell hard for him,i fell for his words,i  fell for this body,and I fell for his soul ..and I was happy, yes I was happy.
But sometimes the euphoria of happiness can be an illusion 
Because I never saw the writings on the wall,I never felt the ground shaking when the earthquake began, I never felt the rain on my face when the heavens opened up and poured. I never felt the cracks on the wall and I didn’t see the building coming down, but at the end of the day,before it was too late, all I saw was just debris on the ground..and my heart broken to pieces underneath the rumbles of the earth.
No, I never realised that what he felt was just infatuation  while I basked in the bliss of the love I had for him.
And so, that ship sailed.
As I stood by my window, watching him go away, I wondered if this was what love was supposed to be, I wondered why love made me cry on most nights, I wonder why loving was hard and that why wasn’t love as easy as everyone had said,I wondered how my parents were able to do it, for long thirty-five years,  I wondered if all I saw in those photographs were all a lie, the smiles,  the happiness, the joy and the profound love that I felt from them being with them till they died.
I wonder, was any of that real? Because as I stood there by my window watching him leave, I wondered why love was hard.
Yes, loving can hurt, it can hurt . But you see I wanted love so bad that all I thought about was falling inlove ,being inlove and dying  inlove, but…This love, this pain I felt within my chest wasn’t the way I envisioned about love .
I didn’t understand why he had to leave, I didn’t understand why he said it was all over , I didn’t understand what he meant when he said he was just passing time and that it was fun. 
I didn’t understand that,  that was why when my chests constricted and I felt the tears, I didn’t stop it. while the tears followed and I watched him leave …I wondered why love was hard, why love hurt so bad.
I stare at the empty photographs on my table,  we never had our love in the photographs taken , he never wanted it, he said it was too cliché and wanted to know why it was important to me…
I told him…it means so much to my parents ,to capture beautiful moments , those memories that can’t be relived and keep them safe not only in your hearts but in a state of art that others might see and be inspired by our love, It was memories we made for ourselves,  where our eyes were never closing and where the memories can be freezed in time and where even our deaths can’t take away..  that that Love in Photographs  was perfect even in our deaths .
But he had laughed , shaking his head telling me we didn’t need those, that our love was as real as it gets. 
But I guess there was a reason why he never wanted our photographs taken, he didn’t want us, he never wanted us 
So he took the lid off from us as you would pull the wig from a burning flame and put it out , then he walked out the door and never returned .
I stood there watching him go, I stood there wondering why he let  me go, I stood there hoping that he would turn back and tell me he was coming right back home, but I stood there, he never turned…he never did return.
And all i was left where memories of the moments we shared,how he kissed me and how he laughed when he was happy and how I felt so safe in his arms and how I felt this was it.
But loving is hard. It is.
So I turned away from the window and shut the door to that pain forever because holding on never brought me peace but misery.
I am back home, staring at the walls ,wishing for that love that would break through walls,that love that would hold my hands and not let go because staying is all that matters. 
But ..maybe those kind of love never existed, maybe mother and father were the last of true loves, maybe love like that never existed. 
Or maybe I should let my heart love again and see if maybe this time, this time would be different .
And so I fell inlove again, a familiar  stranger he was , someone I had seen one time too many, who smiled when he saw me, who seemed to even like me.
He was sweet,he was gentle ,he was amazing and I knew that…Loving again was the best thing  that could have happened to me, because this felt different.  It did.
But I guess the difference was the fact that it was a different face,a different heart and a different name .
But it all ended thesame way with him walking away and leaving my in hurts and in dismay.
I thought finally, a love that is real .
But the novelty of such bliss wears off eventually, because just like the first,  he leaves , he says my love chokes him,he says my love makes him unable to breath,he says he isn’t ready for a commitment,  he says we could be friends , he says he wanted to see other people,see his chances and maybe we could come back together if he doesn’t find what he was looking for.
I held the door open for him when he left, because I had hoped that by standing close to the door he would see that I was  holding my heart open for him still, not for him to leave but for him to stay.
But, this love didn’t , this love places a kiss to my cheeks,tells me to take care of myself and leaves. This love leaves, and he didn’t come back.
I stood by my door watching him go, and i couldn’t hold back the tears that flowed,I let it flow  and I let it flow.
Why was love so hard,why was it so painful, why was love  not all about love, why was love hurting me so bad?
This wasn’t the love I envision , this wasn’t the love I wished for,this wasn’t the love I wanted in those photographs. . This was pain, and I didn’t want it anymore. 
Love wasn’t real, love was all an illusion, it was.
I was done. 
But I lied to myself. I lied 
Because when I saw another walk through the door a year later, and swept me off my feet i flew in the bliss I hoped he would bring,  i did.
But the saddest thing was that,  just like the first ,the second …they all started beautifully only to end in a bag of chaos, and just like the others,  they left.
There was something wrong with my love stories, because it never worked out, because they never stayed.

There was something wrong with my love story because  there was something  wrong with me,  I concluded.
That was the only reason why,  no one was able to love me,  that no one had ever loved me.
“It wasn’t you, it was me” they told me.
But why did I feel pain,  so much pain? Why did my heart break every time they left and why did I feel as though their eyes never conveyed the truths their mouths speaks.
It was  because they lied, they lied.

it was me.

There was something wrong with me and I was the reason why no one could love me.
I was someone no one could love, no one could stay  for,  someone no one had ever fought for, I was someone who couldn’t be loved.
I was the Unloved and it was ironic because all I wanted and breathed was love. All I wanted was to love and be loved in return .
But all I got was back turned against me,doors opened and closed in my face and my heart’s leaving with them but dropped along the way when they forget me.
And so the fourth ,the fifth and the last left me standing by the door.
Soon, I forgot about what I wanted, soon I forgot about the dreams and wishes and desires I had. Soon I forgot all about the love I always wanted and gave up trying.
Soon I went back home, grabs the empty photographs and tossed them into the dustbin, I grabbed the photographs of my parents, that love that had disillusioned me and kept it under lock and key? Yes,i kept it far as from me, where my mind and heart and eyes never sees.
Love was deceptive.

Love was unreal.

Love was pain.

Love wasn’t all they said it was 

Love was a lie,a mirage, love was nothing and I wanted nothing to do with it .
Loving can hurt,  but it was the only thing I wanted,loved for ,desired and  wished for . It was the only thing I lived for and made me feel alife 
And I wanted to keep the love, my love , our love in photographs and make memories for ourselves and that the lives we shared together  will be forever frozen , I wanted this love so bad that when I thought I had it, all I felt was pain and pain and more pain.
I didn’t want it.

Not anymore
I was done with love.
I was.
so when I saw that stranger, when I saw that beautiful stranger , I looked away. 
Because there was nothing there. Never will there be anything there other than empty words and promises , empty emotions and turned backs and more walking out of the door.. 
No. !!
Love wasn’t for me.
You see, 
As a little girl growing up,  thinking of princes and castles,I had thought it was going to be easy, falling inlove ,loving every afterevers,  falling over and over again with the one you love, staying and growing old together in each others love …and letting the memory of your love with each other touch another to love too.
But I have since woken up from that dream.

I no longer wanted love in photographs  

I no longer wanted to dream and wish and hope and desire.
I no longer wanted to know.
I never wanted to love again so I shut my heart , my eyes, my ears to love.
And I closed my thoughts of it like borders  being closed off two connecting countries. 
I wanted to protect  my heart from it all.

And I wanted to wake up from that slumber I had been deceived into for so long. And I did.
I did.
There was no love , no love of mine worthy of being in photographs .
There was none.  I gave up on love a long time ago.
That is why when he came into my life, I didn’t realise that he would be the most important person …
I didn’t realise when it all happened,I didn’t realise when the butterflies came because I had long since kept them at bay 
I didn’t realise when my heart began to beat fast and slow because I had long since forgotten the tune.
I didn’t realise what love felt because I had long since forgotten what love is.
Or maybe , just maybe I never knew what  love  really is, ..
And when he came ,he showed me what love was , what love is…What love was love.
But you see , I never realised all this, I never knew it..
Indulge while I tell you how it all began 
How we met, and how the story ends.
You see it was a funny story actually. 
It was my best friend’s birthday, and she had wanted to go out into the city, have fun, drink and scream at the top of her voice . 
It was one of those days I wouldn’t dare refuse her .
“What I just want to do is go out. Take a few selfies. Look pretty, smile and cut my cute cake ”  she had told me as she applied mascara to her lashes. She was dressed in a lovely flowery short gown. Her face a prefect beat. Her smile engaging. She looked pretty. She looked happy. She looked another year older.
“And would that make you happy??” i asked as i sat on the bed and watched her .
You see I didn’t understand the whole excitement about birthdays and cakes and parties. I was the kind of girl who just liked to stay in,and cross another year off my calender and not scream about the fact that was a year older but not everyone was like me.
“Yes! ! Yes it will. ” fiona, my best friend  replies me.
I watched her as she continued to touch up her face.
She was a drama queen , a perfectionist and if it wasn’t good …it wasn’t good and she went about it making sure she looked perfect and I wondered if she was just going out to have fun or she had some other interior motive behind her birthday outing.
We turn as the door opened ushering the two  more of our friends.  I  blinked a couple of times because, I was here thinking my friend was over dressed but I guess her friends beat her to the game.. Fiona whistles,  the girls laugh, twirl  around and takes a pose
“Yeah we know…we look good” they said in unison praising themselves
“Yes good. Too good infact.  Are you both trying to make the poor guys wag their tongues at you and pop their eyes out of their sockets? Surely you have a heart..””?  I shake my  head. The two girls had on little to nothing to cover their body. Cleavages in perfect view. .a dress revealing beautiful thighs and too tight. I even  wondered if they could breath or take in water, atleast.
“Its a free world”

“They are allowed to drool ”

“And we don’t mind the eyes popping out. ”  They both replied as they go to take turns hugging the birthday girl and blowing kisses into air
I sigh getting up “just don’t steal the day for the birthday girl though, it’s her day so try not to dampen her good looks okay with your all too slutty ones” I smile, they stick their tongue out at me.
I laugh staring at myself in the mirror. Barely a few months ago,  one could find me in a dress, literally. 
Too slim, less womanly. But in less that three weeks my chicks grew some flesh, my  too slim features gave way for a more curvey figure. Slim and curvey . Even my eyes shone in appreciation when my cloths sitted perfectly on my  body. 
Its been a while i felt this peace, its been awhile i was living for me. It’s been so long , so long i had been sad and unhappy, and after a long time in a long while i was me, content with being me.
I had a good job,i had a friend who loved me as a sister and i loved her back, and i had a home to go back to and i has moments like this to share with someone i cared about.
I didn’t concern myself with things i never had, that i wished i had but that dream of love  and forever afters was long gone.
I was content in what i had..and that was me.
Unlike them, i had on a black knee length dress, i wasn’t one to show too much flesh, i was shy like that. 
I turn back and took in Monica ‘ s and Sabella’s look. Even the devil wouldn’t be able to hide his blush and stop his jaws from touching the ground.
“I am ready! !! Shall we??” Fiona called out breaking me from my reverie .
“LawReaTaa? You should you don’t want to wear something more…erm you know…revealing, you know you have been stuck up in this singlehood  thing for so long I begin to wondering you want to go into the ministry of the Nun or are you into girls now ?” This was Monica speaking 
I smile “Nope, this is fine. I ain’t looking for a man unlike you three and non ain’t thinking of joining the ministry and no I don’t like girls but if that’s your thing,  I am sure you might meet someone that ruffles your feather” 
They laugh
“Leave my friend Monica , if she is content in  being single, let her.”
“Aye!!” I nod my head
“Okay, but who knows she might just meet someone tonight ” Sabella says 
I smile but it doesn’t reach my eyes. 
You see, I gave up on meeting people a long time ago, I gave up on being in places that would make me meet anyone becuase there was no use. 
They would leave.
Why torture myself more.
I was done.
So no, no more.
“Let’s go girls ” Fiona says walking out of the room, 
I nod , taking my bag and joining the three girls as they chat excitedly , walking out of the house.
It was small gathering of friends and family out in a bar. We walked in to cheers and hugging and happy birthday Fiona filling the room .
It’s been an hour, the chatting of friends surrounding  the table. The wine uncorked, ice in glasses, and a few birthday songs that ushered the cutting of the cake cut, we had laughter, we had flashes of camera blinding one’s eyes..and Fiona was happy and i was happy to share in her own happiness.
But it was bittersweet because, 
I had hoped that one day, someone will share in my own happiness with me.
May not be just birthdays or promotions and lunching new careers , maybe something that concerned the heart and the strings that pull it together. 
I sigh turning away to fiona..
“Here,happy birthday precious sombody” I tell her giving her the gift I carried in a small box
“Aww LawReaTaa,  you didn’t get me a present did you ?” 
“No, it’s not a present , it’s a tooth I got from tooth fairy while he dropped his stash of stolen baby teeths  flying away when I chased him or her or it,whatever ” I grinned
Fiona laughs shaking her head “You are  crazy,  that is why  I love you”
“Yeah, I knew that was the reason, i was the crazy to your crazy,  perfect crazy  mix you and i” I smile.
She smiles opening the box to reveal a bracelet with her name initialled on it.
“Happy Birthday Fiona, you are the only constant thing in my life and i love you”
She pulls me into a hug , putting it on “and I love you, gosh now I have to top up my gift to you on your birthday right ?”
“You betcha” I pull her cheeks
“FIONA!!!!” Her friends call her
“Coming ” she hell back turning to me…
“I pray you find the happiness you seek,one day, all this would make sense ” she says kissing my cheeks.
I watch her climb the stage to sing.
It was a small crowded room, and lyrics on screens as a few people graced the center and sang along, one after the other. Everyone having a good time, fiona was happy. Monica was up and about . Sabella was interested in catching a few eyes, crossing and uncrossing her legs and pushing up her chest.  I  occasionally caught her eyes and mouthed. ..”Bella,  really??’ Bella would shrug and then smile broadly at a brother who choose to linger.
Laughing I shake my head and turn away, as my attention was caught my the duo who graced my ears with their melody,  a song i loved. 
But a song the girl who sang with the boy seemed to be messing up, so as she shakes her head feeling defeated and stepped down to the claps of the crowd ,in turn to see her empty seat.
I loved the song.

I wanted to sing…to be free.i just wanted to close my eyes and do something I had never done before.
so i get up, my  shyness dropping a little and only mounted when the girls began to cheer me.
Oh nice way of allowing me sneak to the mic and back..now they were making an issue of it.
‘Are you serious!”

“She going to take a mic??

“LawReaTaa!  LawReaTaa!  LawReaTaa  !!!!!’ ” they chanted with had other people chanting with them
I shake my head, praying the ground doesn’t open ..and mouthed ‘crazy girls ” to them and then turned to the other
“Can I join you ??” i asked,avoiding his eyes, i never could stare someone in the eyes.
“Yes sure’ He replied handing me the other mic.  Not paying much atrention to him i settled in , 
“You ready?” He asked for the next song coming up
“Sure” I said squinting my eyes , I was always crowd shy.
“Okay” he replies .
The music shows on the screen, I close my eyes, and  because i knew the words by heart i began to hum to the tone of it… when we  opened our mouth to sing the words, i felt the room grow  quiet and a few couple of eyes rested on us. 
But we sang,oblivious of all this.
It was when we heard the whistle and cheers did we realise our effect. 
But then something happened next.
He turns on his left side facing me slightly as the applause calmed down and everyone back to their distraction 
‘This one’s for you” he said  causing me to turn. Then when the lyrics of Bryan Adams pops up, he sings me a love song . 
I blushed.  
Then i blinked and then wished for an escape , but i couldn’t move my legs .
You see I didn’t look at him before mounting the stage and sitting down to sit , I didn’t pay attention to him while we sang, I didn’t exactly notice him untill now.
But when I looked at him, heard him sing …staring at me, my heart skipped and I didn’t know why.
The ‘Awws” from the crowd didn’t help either.
“Future mental note to self . Never ever volunteer to partner up for a duel  with a random stranger ” i mutter under my  breath, while his reach bariton voice fills my ears and the room, while his lips curls into a smile and the smiles reaches his eyes, i bite my lower lip, and when he reached a part that always made me smile… we smiled together . 
I saw the flashes of camera light go off,  and moments captured. 
He continue to sing , he continued to sing and  smile at me as he sang, and i laughed…
I could hear the girls constantly “Awwwing ” at the background and I knew beyound reasonable  doubts that there was going to be quite a number of  tease and taunts lined up for tonight and i knew i won’t be getting any sleep with the girls around. 
“Oohhhhm LawReaTaa  got some dude singing his heart out to her.  LawReaTaa  this. LawReaTaa  that ”
I sigh , another mental note to self.
“Mayday operation one…destroy Fiona’s camera.i repeat  destroy Fiona ’s camera ” 
I look to see them drawing love signs with their fingers and placing to their chests, i facepalm shaking my head, wishing  that they could choke on their  giggling .
He finishes singing, yes he had a beautiful voice , but that wasn’t the only thing I noticed.
I noticed his eyes and that the smile hadn’t left.
There was  applause,a standing ovation too., I clapped as well..
I didn’t know what else to say other than …
“Thank you for that ” 
This was the point where I return back to my seat  right.?
I made to get up but He stays me by the touch of his hands to mine..
“Hi, i am Dave ” he stretches his hands to me with one hand and covers the mike with the other.
“Hi Dave,  I am LawReaTaa ” i take the hands in mine and shook it, I  look up again,  He was smiling and i noticed something else, he had dimpled smile, and yes I was right about his eyes, there were  soft eyes  and it seemed the smile liked touching them.  He was dark skinned but handsome and his hands were really soft for a guy with his built.
I take him all in, not in purpose,  I was just good at observing little details , but my thoughts were cut short when he asked me a question I wasn’t expecting. 
“Are you single?’’ He didn’t blink. His smile didn’t waver. I  swallowed and blushed.
“Yes she is extremely single and available. Apply in person . ”  Aghast , I  and  Dave turn to the direction of the voice and a few other eyes followed as well.
‘Sabella!!!!!!!”??? Fiona and Monica called out to the girl who screamed my answer before I could answer. 
Everyone laughed .
My God, the Mic was on.
The expression on my  face was epic and Dave laughed shaking his head,   my cheeks grew redder and yes I felt slightly embarrassed. 
“SABELLA, REALLY? ?” I turn to her
‘What? I helped her to answer ‘ ” she shrugged  in her defence when Fiona poke her
‘So??” He asked  drawing my attention back to him..
“So it’s nice to meet you Dave.  ” I tell him getting up and go back to my table where the craziest girls sat. I was going to kill Sabella later. 
“Oh okay.” He watched her leave then heads back to his seat holding a drink  in his hands, he had dropped before he started to sing. 
“How the hell where you able to hear what he asked. ??’’ I asked Sabella 
I knew he covered the Mic, yes it was on but he covered the Mic with his hand
“I was listening ” Sabella replied.
“Mind your biz girly ” Monica chided her
“Hey, the dude wanted to know and we know LawReaTaa would never ever give a guy a chance, I mean well, I just want her to let go of her reservation and get back to the game. ”
“It’s  not your decision to make Sabella, it’s mine ” I tell her
“Fine, forgive me. But he is hella hot, he sang you a love song, he asked if you were single, it should count for something ” she says
“No, it never counts for anything. ” 
“Okay” she shrugs 
Fiona came sitting besides me  ‘You have been quiet , .. is all well. Or still feeling shy or slightly embarrassed? ?”
A laugh. “No ofcourse not. ” i played with her drink. Ice ,  sprit and lemon seems to be my high this days. .i looked over my shoulders and observed Dave sitting alone. Fiona followed my  eyes…
“Spill. ..what is it. It’s my birthday so I am queen genie and I will grant your every wish”
“Well, do you think I could invite him over…I kinda feel I walked out on him and all. And he is all by himself and we have free sits and the party at our table”
“Why not if not. You should ” fiona nudges ms .  Maybe Happy that i was coming out of my shell.  Suprised even. 
I hadn’t given a listening ear to anyone having a third leg in ages. And she respected my reasons but if she thought that it was time.  It was that . She watched as i bite her lip. A puzzled expression on her face.
“Whats the problem now LawReaTaa ? ” She drew close,
“Well I want to but am kinda shy and a chicken  , not that I want anything I just don’t want him to think me a snub ” I tell her
“Right.  Ofcourse, want me to help you?” Fiona offered getting up. ‘It’s no big deal. I will go and bring him here ….for you.”
“Can you? Would you? Should you??” my brows furrowed as I  stared at her and the dude sitting alone bending over his laptop and then back at her  and then into my glass and finally biting my lips.
“No never mind ”
“Oh don’t be silly.  I can, I would and I should ” and before I could stop her,she  heads to Dave‘ s table before i would protest or change her mind.
I hid my face in her palm and sank lower into my seat,  my lower lip bore the burnt of my  nervousness.
I  couldn’t watch.  i didn’t dare to.  so i held my breath and ounted to a 100 slower and waited. In less than 3 minutes I  heard Fiona come back…I   let out a heavy breath and turns , expectant .
But Fiona leans into me, “excuse me LawReaTaa,  i will be back girls. ” and  reaches for her drink . 
Dave wasnt behind or beside her. I risked a look. He was still seated but relaxed resting on his chair.

And just like that without a word of the mission, fiona walks back to the table with her drink and slices of cake in a saucer as Dave gets up and pulls out a seat for her. 
And in no minute they began to laugh and smile.
I  turns away. A sad smile in my eyes.
I stopped counting, i stopped thinking and i blanked away the image of a dimpled smile and a voiced that tucked down her sleeves and soft palms and soft eyes and dark skinned person with a cute build and the stranger who made my heart skip and I didn’t know why.
Thirty minutes later,  fiona and Dave leave their seats and exit the buuidlign . Fiona comes back in alone.
I smile at her.
“Where is our friend. Has he gone ?? Sabella and Monica asks . She nods then leans into me
“Sorry babes, he wasn’t erm..!”
“No don’t worry about it ” i reply. 
Really it didn’t matter if he preferred her company to mine. She was my best friend, I would be upset with he rover a guy.
A guy that I didn’t know.
Guys that i have given up ages ago to think about.
No, I wasn’t made not anything if he liked that, I wasn’t. 
But I didn’t understand the warmth in her chest. A slight pain. Then it vanished.
It wasn’t anger.
It was that feeling of rejection,  it follows arounf me like shadow.
That was why it didn’t matter to me..boys , love..anything. 
So this didn’t. .this shouldn’t. 
He was a stranger nothing more and whatever it didn’t tmeant nothing.  It never means anything. 
“Let’s dance” they pulled me up . And everything was forgotten.
Fiona phone rings and she heads outside.
But I couldn’t deny it, I  felt bad. But i knew a smile hides alot of hurts.  So i smiled and i laughed and i treird to foeget.
And maybe i did as i held Monica and  Sabella’s  hands and danced .
I felt someone tap me,i turn to find Fiona with her phone in her hand.
“What?” I ask her
“Phone for you” she says with a mischievous glint in her eyes
“Who is it??” I asked, taking the phone from her 
“D.A.V.E !!” She  says nudging me out  of the door with a tiny laugh.
Alone and  outside, it was quiet and my chest beating. .
It didn’t make sense.
I feared he would hear it from the other end of the line. So i sucked in my breath and released it slowly holding the phone to my ears
When all I hear was silence I repeated.
“Hello”?? …my  was barely audible as i pressed the phone to my right ear. I wondered if he could  hear the beating of my heart or sense my nervously from the other end of the line. I took a deep breath  again
“Hey , i am sorry. It was really quite rude for me to leave without saying as much as a goodbye ” his deep rich voice, crafted with a finesse vibrated through the phone. I  wondered if he was seating or standing or counting the intake of breaths like she was.
“No it’s fine . It’s no problem. You don’t need to apologise ” i lied.
Ofcourse it wasn’t fine. But i couldn’t tell him that.
“No it isn’t fine and I like to apologise for my wrongs. And erm….plus your girls were busy and your table was crowded with all the fun and what not and I didn’t want to intrude ”
“Oh I see??” I  say, resting on the stair – rail.  i bite my lower lip.
well that’s what I wanted you to do. Intrude. Durhhh! !
but i thinned my lips instead and waited for him to continue.
“Yeah. Anyhow, I hope you don’t mind me calling your friend  to talk to you?  I would have loved to take your number but you were a couple of strides and seats away , so I took your friend’s instead.’
“Why didn’t you take mine instead from her. i am sure she would have given it to you ” I  shook her head and  roll my eyes.
It was simple mathematics.  That’s just pure  basic i mutter under my breath.
“What’s that..did you say something?”
Oh shit!!!
“Er no. No I didn’t ” I  moved away from the stairs and walked down to the other more quiet corner.  My only company was the parrot in its cage who seemed to be following my every move. I  stuck out a tongue to it, it didn’t blink,  i backed it and i heard it move closer to the end of its cage..

Maybe for better hearing.  i covered the phone and slouched.
That ” Let’s see how you gonna eaves drop parrot” posture.
No I wasn’t paranoid. 
“Ok. But I rather ask the lady for her number instead of getting from a third party, wether the person is family or not. Force of habit if you will.”
I could tell he was smiling. Well he should . He just got a good pointer in my books.
Smooth. Really smooth.
“So, would you do me the honour of granting me your digits? ? It would be deeply appreciated. Then we can give fiona back her phone and erm……..” he let’s it trail off.
I smiled, my digits already at the tips of my tongue.

It’s only normal to act …reluctant and unsure right? ??
So i  paused and lets a full minute pass. I knew he was still there. ..waiting. .
Well let him wait. He did leave without a goodbye.  Took a few minutes to call.  So if he waits another couple of minutes it shouldn’t hurt right?
I rolled her eyes and shifted on my weight from one foot to the other.  Did the marcarina dance in the shadows. Poked the parrot. Played with my hair. The silence was closing in on me , but then again i paused and wondered if he was still there. Or maybe he had already cut the call.
I quickly looked at the phone, his minutes was still running.
I placed it in her ears, silence. But all i heard was the drum sounds of my beating heart. I placed my hands to my chest, hoping it would stay it .  Bitingy lower lips,  If phones could sink into skins. ..i and the phone would have been one ny now. .
“Ready whenever you are”” his deep voice sounded as though he was standing next to me.
I yelped.
Struggling to catch the falling phone.  i could hear him laughing.
“Nice try Dave! !!” i recollected my composure
“Me? I didn’t do anything. I am the guy at the other end of the line waiting for this pretty girl ,who did a sweet duet with me barely an hour or so ago,  to give me her number so I can have the pleasure to atleast hear her sweet voice again after tonight.  But erm…….who knows what she is doing .” A silent laugh.
“She is calling it out for him. Got a pen??”
“I gat one better… a retentive memory.’
‘Really now??. I  ached an eyebrow.
“Try me” confidence seeped through his voice.

Let’s see how “retentive ” he is. I flexed her fingers, rolled my head anti clockwise and flexed my  shoulders. A wicked grin on my face.
Even the parrot was confused.  So were the new couple strolling into the place. They stared at me like “What gibberish was that??” .
Yes i was fast.
There was silence at the other end for a second. Then,
“Pick up”
“What???” i asked. 
“Pick up your phone ”
Well there was no way he could have caugth that. I was fast.
But i felt her phone vibrate in my pocket before the song ” Never Had” by Oscar isaac  as my ring tone disrupted the peace of the night. Even the parrot was impressed.  It danced in its cage.
That “in-your-face” move.
I  smiled. 

“Two pointers already. Cute. Really cute’
I cuts her the call from Fiona’s ’s phone and pick mine.
“So where were we”?? He asked.
“Well….it depends ”  i eplied.
It was getting dark. The music from the small crowded room was dwindling down. The cheers and chants of the partymongers was cheery. The cold night air caused the hairs on her hand to stand. Yet it didn’t wipe the smile off my face .
Today was a good day.

Tomorrow was one i looked forward to.
You see, we talked for hours and hours and soon hours turned into days ,days into weeks and weeks into years..Two year exact of pure undiluted friendship.
You see, he became my friend,the second best person in my life,the second constant thing in my life aside Fiona. 
He knew my weakness and my strengths, he knew my highs and my lows, he knew my sadness and my happiness.
That was what a friend should know right..all that you are, imperfections and what not and cared for you despite

So we were friends.
And I was glad that I met him.
But you see the strangest thing happened..
I didn’t realise it was more than that. I didn’t want to.
Because for the first time in my life I had a man who had stayed more than a few weeks or month,who was neither lover or family but a man who was my friend.
I knew love was my curse , I know loving anyone would make me spoil the relationship we hard so …

I never thought about love with him.
Not once.
But you see , life had planned for me.
One day, it all changed.
It was a Valentine and there was nothing wrong for two single friends to go out on that day and just be with friends and family and enjoy the moments of such a day could bring.
We enjoyed the jazz ,we enjoyed the taste of dinner on our tongue we laughed at jokes thrown off stage we smile at the couple who was asked to kiss as the camera fell on them,we clapped when people danced and we dance when it got to put turn to dance, 
See,there was something beautiful about this our friendship. 
But I nothing during the course of it all, he was looking at me, a look I hadn’t seen before.
“What if LawReaTaa, what if we were perfect strangers out on  a date and you like me and I like you and see share a certain feeling towards each other, what would you say to me if I asked you how you felt and if you could tell me what you think about me”
“Erm I don’t know,” I frown with a smile
“What if”?
“But we aren’t ,”
“I know LawReaTaa but what if,what would you say to me, what would you tell you you felt or want or desire,what if LawReaTaa,  you cared for me more than you do,what would you say?” He says looking at me
“I don’t know”
“Come on, !!” He pushed
“Anything anything, ?”
“Anything at all LawReaTaa, just say it” 
I close my eyes ,I stare at him and I began to speak
“There is something quite sexy about  you when you roll up your shirt sleeves. . Seemingly unperturbed about the wind coursing through your hair..

Or the fact that your arms seems full through those rolled up folds of your shirt..

Or the fact that your slim flat stomach disappears after your belt…tucked in beneath that shirt.

It’s the shirt.. perfectly showcasing that look…that perfect body hidden beneath those fabrics.. that when you moves ,i all of a sudden  become intoxicated..

Enchanted lost…dreamily lost. In the ocean of deap blue eyes..

And that smile.. that roguish boyish smile…pulls me in.. and I find myself drowning.

But I don’t want to come up for air.

Rather…I have a million things I rather do..

Can I. ..?

Lay me down by your side..

And let you run your fingers through the knots of my soul..Kneading !
Can I ?

Listen to the sounds of your heart beat..and dance to the tune of our melody..?
Can I. .?

Forget yesterday. .

Live in the moment of today..

And hope the joys of tomorrow. .with you..

Only with you?
Can I ..

Stand by the sink and feel your arms wound about me..

Kisses to my cheeks.. beards of your chin caressing my shoulders…

And the entwin of our lover’s dance..

Cresending to the top and tipping over. .  falling over and over again?
Can I. .?

Dream of ever afters?

Flowers in winters

Sunlight in my eyes and your shoulder blades touching mine
Can I?

Wait for ever..staring into those eyes

Wishing for never…hoping for longer
Can I?

Be the picture in your photograph

Be inside the pocket of your ripped jeans..

Be the spark in your bonfire heart

Be the place you call home
Can I?
Be yours as you are mine

Be the pages in your book that you hug me through

Be the reason for your sweet smiles

Be  your love….your all and your one
Can I. .

Be the reason you come home

Be the one you run to and twirl in crazy feats of laughter

Be the one you kiss under the lampost on sixth street

Be the one you fall asleep beside every dark night and wake up to every ray of the sunlight
Can I ?

Be Your princes as you are my king

Be standing next to you right now  with your rolled up sleeves instead of wishing from the coffee stand..

Hoping you would turn and see through my soul.. that I have been loving you since the first day ..
Can I ?

Can I be the one you stay forever with

the one you call lover

The one one day your child would call mother

The one you go on your knees and make you my husband. 
Can I live for today and forget the pains of yesterday and be the one you love and the one you die in love too
Can I. .” I told him
Then all too suddenly I released something.
That these weren’t mere words spoken random emotions

That these words were words coming from somewhere deep, real.
Oh my GOD. 
I turn away from him,blinking back tears.
No ,no it cannot be.
I love him,I love him but I didn’t want to love him.
Those i lived always left ,they left me.
My love was curse ,and I didn’t want to love him becuase I didn’t want to lose him,he was th next best thing to me after Fiona. And losing him would shatter me.
He was my friend.

He was.
And I had fallen inlove with him and I didn’t want to. 
“Look at me LawReaTaa ”
“No” I shook my head
“Look at me LawReaTaa ”
“Because I want to ask you some things ”
“What things ”
“Please look at me” he says turning my face to his,I wipe my eyes
“Do you care about me?”
“Do you like me ?”
“I don’t hate you Dave, you are my friend and I like you”
“No do you like me LawReaTaa and I don’t me as you like the nail Polish on your nails or the gucci shoes in your closet,do you like me,like me ”
“Dave ,why are you asking me that. I erm..like you,you are my closet friend”
He smiles “Okay.  Then do you love me”
“Ofcourse I do,I live Fiona too and -‘
“No LawReaTaa, do you love me , as you would love a man ,as a woman would love a man not as a brother, a friend or fathe”
“Do you love me?”
“Do. You. Love . Me” his voice came as a whisper and his eyes bore into my head
I choked, my cheeks grew warm
“Please don’t ask me that ” I close my eyes , fighting the tears, willing the feeling to go away. 
Why is he trying to bring it , I didn’t want to love him.
“Because they always love,the ones I love always live,they always live and I don’t want you to leave I don’t want to lose you.” I cried
I felt him smile, he raises his hands and wipes my tears
“Oh LawReaTaa,  you don’t know do you, you never knew ?”
“Knew what?” I raise up my head
“How I felt,  but wait let me tell you a story..
You see, two years ago I met this girl, and for some reasons she had her walls high up and I knew I wouldn’t be able to cross let alone peek. I liked her,right from the very start but something kept me a bay, it was the sadness I saw in those eyes and the fact that you guarded that wall in your heart like a hawk and I knew if I had told you my intension you would have ran away hitting the roof and I would never see you again, and I didn’t want that ”
“I don’t understand what you are saying Dave” I tell him
“You will. You see LawReaTaa,  I love you, not just as a friend,as good person but as a woman. No,I am inlove with you and I have been for a long time but I knew telling you this at that time you wouldn’t have wanted to listen so I waited. And I told my mother about it..I told her I was scared to lose you ..I didn’t want to. 

She told me one thing, if you think you love will scare her away, why not be her friend and see where it leads.
So I took that step,I belted my feelings, I kept it aside and I gave you the side of me you desired. Friendship. 100 percent of myself. And then I realised how the walls came crumpling down because you weren’t looking for love,you were looking for that peace and contentment and I gave it too you. And little by little you opened up to me, you showed me your flaws and scars and imperfections and all that you are becsuse you weren’t scared of me,you weren’t obligated to me and you didn’t need no push. You were yourself as I was myself and for two long years LawReaTaa we laughed, we cared,we protected and we were safe in each others company and you could sleep in my arms as we go out on friendship’dates and not be scared.
You see, today, I realised that the walls had come down and not only that I could peep I was able to climb it and come and knock at the walls of your heart.
I am with you LawReaTaa and I had to wait for you to accept the fact that I am here and I won’t leave. I know it’s just cliché but it’s the truth, I gave two years of my life to prove my friendship to you to show you that I can be anything you want for you.
I love you LawReaTaa and I will tell you now much…
You don’t need to ask if you can?
You just need to know that you can.
Let me tell you about how you make me feel, about how your eyes lights up the smiles in your face ,and how your heart beating close to my chest make sme want to wake you up and tell you just how happy you make me feel.
Let me tell you of how you are beautiful inside and out and that your beauty isn’t in the cloths that  you were and the makeup you have on,it’s the beauty that resides in your heart 
Let me tell you how I have loved you every single day even today and how I have loved you for tomorrow and the days to come.
I want to tell you how your eyes intoxicats me,enchants me and keep me spellbound when I look at you.
I want to tell you how perfect you are,how amazing you are and how beautiful you are and how you bring colours to my would even without longing it.
Babe,there are so many things I want to tell you and show you…i just want you to know that. ..

I love you and no I won’t leave,I won’t. 
No I won’t hide away. No.
Yes you can lay by my side and I’ll run my hands through your hair and knead your soul with your words.
Yes you can 

Listen to the sounds of my heart beat..and dance to the tune of our melody becuase that is the music we both sing
Yes you can if you only let me to help you forget the pain of yesterday and teach you how to live in the spur of the moments of today and usher you into hope the joys of tomorrow and never leaving yourside.  
Yes ,let me 

Stand by the sink with you infront of me and I wrap my hands around you and kiss your cheeks and let my beards caress your shoulders and  I lift you up ,basking in your scent as we make love entwined in our lover’s embrace as we dance our lover’s, cresending to the top and tipping over. .  falling over and over again while I continually fall inlove with you, your  body,your soul, your all and your everything. 
Yes,let me show you that you can dream of everafters with me by your side

Let me buy you flowers in winter

Let me show you sunlight in you eyes as mine lips touches yours and your hands in mine
YES, you don’t have to wait forever staring into my eyes Wishing for never and hoping for longer because I will be the one making your dreams come through for ever afters and making put love also longer and we don’t have to wish for never because we got us and that is forever .
Yes, you can

Be the picture in your photograph but it won’t be just you in there. , you see I want our love to transcend through time,last forever even in put goodbyes so I’ll make our love in a photographs so whenever I am away ,it would be inside the pocket of your ripped jeans.. holding me close to wherever you are .

I want to be the spark in your bonfire heart

Be the place you call home and when the compass is bad I want to call you and know that I am home.

Yes, you can be mine becaus I want to be yours ,i want to be stories you read through from you book and tug at the corner snog your mouth, I want to be the reason for your smiles and the reason for mine.

I want to be your one , your only  your all..so yes you can be my everything,my minutes, my seconds days and years, baby take it all.
Yes, I want you to be the reason I run home to,to pull you to your feet and carry you and twirl you around and drink the sweetness from your lips as we kiss under the lampost on sixth  seventh and eighthed streets. I want to be the one you fall asleep in my arms every night and wake up to every morning and make baits with and die growing old with.
Yes baby, you can be my princess, my queen, the anchor of my heart and everything here and the other side of the divide.

I want to be the one who goes on one knee and ask you to me mine,make all your dreams come through and love you as you should.
LawReaTaa, no you can’t ask me if you can,because before you ask me all these I have already given you my all I was just wanted for the right moment to tell you just how much you make me feel.
So no,i won’t go..i won’t leave.
I have loved you since day one, loved you everyday ever since day one and I love you still since that day, even today and even tomorrow. 
I don’t care if the others left…I don’t care if you felt no one will love you.
You see….I am not them.

And I do believe that one finds us and I found you. 
LawReaTaa I found you and I waited two years to allow you bring down your walls to tell you I am insanely inlove with you…and I am all in,all in to prove that to you ..”
“Oh my God Dave ” I cried. ..

“I am cursed ,i will lose you”
“Sshhh,  you won’t. .and I would prove to you thay when the love that is right for you comes, nothing can take it away”
He says going on his knees
“We have been friends,we have been everything to each other and there is nothing left to know other than to know I love you. And we have the rest of out lives to figure out who loves each other more ”
I laughed gasping for breath,…
“LawReaTaa will you marry me. ?”
“Do you know love, that Is all I need to know”
I did  I did…my God I did and I didn’t realise it .
“Yes ..”
“Then say yes,say yes and let me show you the reason why those ones never worked out with you…you know why because God made you for me,and I am glad I found you,that night …as soon as you walked in I told myself. .it was going to are this girl and I told my mum and I was glad I listened to you. I loved you as a friend. As a sister and as a wife and a lover long before you realised what hit you. So say yes baby,say yes”
“Yes yes yes ”
I watched him slip the ring into my finger and whisk me off my seat  
“I love you Dave,i ..i didn’t know untill today”
“Love is a strange thing ,it comes when it least expects it but … LawReaTaa, you are the reason why I believe in love, you are the reason why I love love because loving you as taught me patience,understanding and  a whole lot more. Thank you for loving me even if you didn’t realise it. Thank you for agreeing to be the queen of my heart. I love you..Happy Birthday!!!!”
Oh my God.
I…it was my birthday. 
It was my birthday! !!!!
He leans in,placing me too the ground and he kisses me in a kiss that weakens my knees. .
I held on to him tight and I tell you this moment felt right. 
And then just then I heard the camera flash go click..click.
I turn to see Fiona, Sabella and Monica smiling..
“It told you I was going to too up your birthday present babes, I hope you like your present ” Fiona came to me…
“I love it. I love him..I love him…” I showed her my ring….”I said yes!!!” I screamed hugging her and hugging them and kissing him
You see, 
I had gone about looking for love in the wrongest of places,finding the ones I thought I loved and when I didn’t get what I wanted I gave up because maybe I was loving wrong.
But you see..

Those wasn’t love.
This right here was love.
Love found me, Dave found me and I didn’t even realise how much I love  him untill today.
This was my best birthday gift …falling inlove with someone who loves me right  back.
I smile looking at my table..
There ,there was that moment captured in camera and I didn’t realise how how eyes sparked right from the start staring at each other.
And all this while I was looking to just take a picture with the boy I was with 
I didn’t realise that my own Love In Photographs would be captured in moments I would least expect it and those moments would be frozen in time,memories intact and a love that never dies.
This was my love..

This is my love..
And this is my love in Photographs and I hope it inspires others who see it to fall inlove and know that love finds you in the most unexpected places and when it does…you will know. 
Happy Birthday LawReaTaa! !!

Live long, soar,be happy..be beautiful and be Amazing.
       ~Stephanie Egberike 

#StephanieEgberike #Writes #Sweetness #Allthingsfinery #Thesweetperspectives 

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