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Some have been broken trying to find love, but a lot have been more broken trying to sustain love. I’ve always been a person who is interested in love – the love I read in books, the love people talk about, the love I see in people’s eyes, the love I see in people’s actions, and the love I feel in my heart (which I’m always uncertain if it is love or something else, if I’m at all capable of love). But if love is all I see and what I sometimes feel, then love comes in different costumes and in different colours. There is love that comes as an album with feathery songs. The type you immerse yourself in for the sake of the lyrics, because you want to learn them and be able to sing along. There is love that stages itself as a perfume and it fills the air. Sometimes it makes the cloud intense and intoxicating and suffocating, and some other times, it is impalpable, far beyond reach. There is love that occurs as drops of water that slowly evolves to a pool, and then to a river because it wants to be sufficient regardless of seasons that come and go because it wants to go through the throat and not choke or wash the skin and not itchy. But if love is equally the flower in your front yard, the one you water every day, the one you don’t know how the fibrils grow, the processes it undergo to bloom, to produce rose-colored lobes; the one you don’t know why it chose your soil to flourish on, then, I’m capable of love. In as much as I would like my love to be the flawless allurement between two significant others in a Telemundo series – this love that comes as an aroma of cooking magic, that makes you lie with your back, on a pasture, counting the stars; this love that comes with fireworks and mutuality, I also would like my love to be the kind that welcomes thunder and lightning when it is raining, to reassure me that it isn’t from an overhead perforated nozzle of a shower. So love can be a beautiful skin. The outer layer of your skin sometimes dies and peels off. Don’t be distracted by the scales, it shows the birth of novelty. Love goes through tough times, but the need for these times is to test the realness of the smiles when you look into each other’s eyes, of the intertwined hands when you walk down the broad hallway of a mall, of head on the shoulder when in a bus. And this test is measured by how deep love has planted its roots in your hearts. Love is a child who offers you what he holds but equally demands it from you immediately. So don’t just be a giver, you’re not a Santa Claus. Demand too. Love is not stingy. Love gives, and it equally takes. Take as much as you give. Give as much as you take. The one person that always gives at a point gets exhausted, but when the giving and taking is something that belongs to both parties, there is no exhaustion because no more is draining more. Love is not a husband who makes his wife a homemaker while he is the bird with broad wings. The leaves and branches of love are not its main course: the adorning of your air every morning with perfumed flowers, the continuous infill of account, the nonstop calls, the lavishing of your being with offertories. You can search the whole universe, but there is nothing much more beautiful than love, from the way it springs from a place of arid smoke and shambles and shoots to a place where gods live, but still, does the same thing – dots your heart with stars and makes it shine at every beat. Love is not the absence of differences, but the ability to inculcate all differences. Know this: love chooses anyone, no matter who you are.

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This article was first published on 9th August 2017


Izuchukwu Onyedibiemma Udokwu is a storyteller and a fashion designer. He has a clothing line, Zuch, which is coming alive soon. His works have appeared on Kalahari Review and on his personal blog.

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