All my fountains were in you. That is why we died. I shouldn’t have kept begging for more. It only made things worse. You were too busy reading dense books with incomprehensible words. You only saw romance in the rhythm of Garvey’s words. One day you’ll realize that I too am intelligent. I know everything you are talking about, when you talk about it, it’s not that I don’t. It’s just that laying next to you showed me that worldly intelligence is so null. And now that I understand that, I don’t bask in the satisfaction of knowing things, people and facts anymore. Instead, I love.
“Did you write my letters,” Ankit said scrolling up and down his Twitter timeline on his archaic white MacBook.
“Yeah they’re in the first drawer,” I said, “I finished them after my last class.”
The dusty dorm room was scattered with papers and books. No room for 9 a.m. conversations over last night’s pizza. Just hushed tones and backlash from ignorant social media posts. We met in high school. When all I needed was a bright smile and sweet words to keep him infatuated. Today, my relevance is granted by writing letters to legislators on his behalf. Studying his rhetoric and understanding his foresight to make sure I’m doing what he asked me to as good as possible. I was too embarrassed to tell him I just wanted what we used to have. So, I was a concubine to the liberation of his mind instead.
“I’m going home for my mom’s birthday this weekend,” I blurted out while sliding on yoga pants, “She’ll love to see you.”
“I’ll come,” he said not looking up from the computer screen.
“Alright, I might leave a little early to get my hair done.”
“Hopefully you’ll stop putting that perm in it,” he laughed.
“I don’t get perms.” I snapped back, “If you knew anything about women, you would know that.”
What he did know about women is that when we love, there is no end to it. And even when things are bleak, the slightest bit of hope sustains us. Ankit came over to my mother’s smiling widely and full of life. Roses were in his hand for her. He smelled of my favorite cologne of his. We ate fried foods without regret and played an aggressive game of Pictionary. He ran his fingers throughout my freshly pressed hair as we set in the living room with a few of my guy cousins playing the video game. I felt at home which is all I really asked for lately. Until all of my comfort was shaken apart when he whispered in my ear.
“You know,” Ankit said as the music and laughter throughout the house got louder. “It worries me to see my people so oblivious sometimes.”
Exhausted, I responded, “What do you mean?”
“Look at how your cousins are drinking and playing 2K while police are killing them in the streets.”
“Really? Right now?”
“I’m just saying,” he paused, “It’s hard to not think like this when you’re fighting so hard.”
“Yeah but you know what babe?”
“People don’t need lectures as much as they need love.”