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A Love that felt like Sap Green

I met him on a warm humid day under the tree. There was someone else on my mind, he always is. I’ve now made him a little home in the back of it, a cottage with a fireplace to keep him warm (incase of stormy days) and ivies clinging on the mud walls. He built his home in the back of my head – and oh he’s a traveler, sometimes I don’t see him in months; but he always returns when its too cold outside and I keep him warm and entertained. My mind is a theatrical show, and he understands my tragedies so he never gets tired of watching these plays. So, when he does disappear for months, I work on new scripts, new storylines for when he'll arrive, new tunes and paintings as I stroke my brush in the walls of my brain.

While conspiring a new storyline I wondered, what would happen if I fall for someone new? Would I evict him from the woods of my head? And so, I opened my mind to new possibilities, to see how this storyline could change. Anything for the script seemed to excite me and I don’t know how many lovers I tried on before I found one that if felt like could fit best.

His eyes were sap green. Like the leaves of the tree house I stood under. I make him my first muse, for even a handwritten letter and hugs that lasted forever didn’t ring a bell in his ears. I think I have a thing for lovers that run away. Lovers that come with expiration dates – because I’ve always been too scared, they’ll walk up into my mind and I’ll have to evict him out of the house up on the hill. But I wasn’t scared this time. I wanted to know how it felt like, to love again. He bit his lip a tad and lit a lousily rolled cigarette. I’ve smelled this before, off the resident’s sweatshirt, off my best friend’s hair and off my lips before I’ve kissed men. I wanted to touch his face, but he touched my hand – tracing along the fingers and guiding me to lift myself up and sit on the table where he sat. I do not remember the conversations, the colour of his eyes became a film gradient. I’m trying to explain to him life has its mysterious ways of getting you to learn things and every experience is happening for a reason and he looks at me in a way that if weren’t in a workshop covered in sawdust, we’d only be an inch away. And love that feels like sap green is often as fragile as the leaves it colours with it. And so he was. Breaking every night and holding himself in the morning.

“I can get some food for you” I barely just learned how to cook. I tell him if he’s homesick, I can get him some home cooked food. I am not a natural romantic, I had dialed my mom a few minutes earlier and she cooked up that thought. But he said that’s very kind of me, but he’d rather be alone and hung up the call. I want to say, “I can make it better” but a leaf is easiest to tear when you don’t apply too much pressure and with something so delicate, it takes one blow and so I sit and stew – vegetables in the pan for a single person to serve.

But I meet him the next morning and I try pretend fall has arrived on the coast, when it never truly is winter in this place. Hoping the leaves shrivel and change their colour, and the ground welcomes hues of passion and forgetfulness. I walk up to the inventory; it smells of the usual sawdust and just the right amount of varnish. I pick up a power angle grinder and I’m ready to start my day by smoothening hard surfaces. You tread your way from across the cabin and shadow right behind me. Its either spring or fall, not an in between could’ve hads and should’ve beens. I turn around and you smile, and ask if I’ve been looking for something. I said I was, not anymore and meekly smile and walk out of the room. My head feels light – perhaps there was more varnish than I had anticipated. And you’ll find new logs for me to sand just to be around me, but no matter how much you smoothen out a surface – the cracks remain rusty until you seal them with polish. Therefore, I never wrote about him when I was falling for him, I couldn’t decorate a love and make it more when under its seal its still cracked. And we looked at each other for long, enough to know the relationship’s beginning and end. He held me under the stars yet chose to only have a letter I wrote to him as a remanent of his memories with me. He brushed my heart like a new leaf, and that was the fastest way to crack it open.

And so, I let him in my mind, and the stories he enticed were marvelous to not decode and script – with every colour I discovered something new I learnt about love with it. Oh, but the house, its resident is still travelling. But the more I learn about love, the more I understand why he is. And with each lover that brought a colour, I learnt something new about the way he set up the house in my head. The ivy creeps on the mud walls, and so did sap green into my heart. Many more hues you left as décor for me to dance around to, and ink similar stories to what you brought home whilst travelling.

A warm humid day under the tree, his skin flushes pink when I say something funny, his fingers inked blue when he touched me so he pulled them away

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