To admit and be honest about your feelings should not be seen as a flaw or weakness in one’s character, but a strength in the confidence and knowledge of oneself to be transparent with the world. It is more a reflection of the character of the receiver on how they process that information and how they behave moving forward.

One should be held accountable for their actions, in particular in relation to another; more specifically, when consciously engendering additional tender feelings of someone who has already been clear about their warm sentiments. It is perhaps in this vein that one can claim it the highest act of selfishness to, like a fire waiting to warm those around it, throw logs to feed the flames.

That person’s emotions are not a game to be turned on and off when one is bored and home and in need of validation: there is no off button, simply a Game Over when the game decides it no longer will allow itself to be played, usually to the detriment of both. It has been an observation that those that scorn the tenderness of those who see through the object of their affections’ carapaces of selfishness that are in most need of such attentions. Is it not Arthurian, then, to be a knight to these golems, who scorn all others? Is it not noble indeed to stay by their side, when their worst enemy is the invisible one within?

It is true that I am an unapologetic romantic. It is also true that I have been hurt most by those I loved most fiercely, standing up to defend them from the world and themselves as often as I needed, until, in one instance, they fled from me, an act of pure selflessness on their behalf, for they believed they had no saving and would not watch me get hurt by them any longer.

Perhaps I am a hopeless romantic; I would rather have those deep feelings, unrequited or not, than partake in an emotionless tango, reaching out to a new partner after each song, never quite satisfied.

So I ponder the reasons why it might be seen as a weakness to be honest about one's feelings? Why would we call it an obsession to not change our story on how we feel about someone, even when it might be more convenient to do so? Why paint someone who chooses another unequivocally in a negative light?

Surely, the person who is aware and honest about their feelings denotes strength of character? It is the highest form of flattery to have someone love and want us. If anything, if the person offering their affections would gladly be a lifelong supporter and friendly by-stander, the receiver is lucky because, not only will they never be alone, but they have found a true defender and a friend, one who will stand by you even if their feelings are not equally returned.

In the end, on that oh-so-well so well trodden path known as ‘better to have loved and lost to never have loved at all’, I find myself humming along, content with my momentary romances, a collection of moments folded neatly into my heart. For whilst there is indeed much hurt there, there is also much hope to rekindling that fire in myself and others, a junkie that understands the harms, but craves the hit regardless.

And so I walk, looking into the distance for those who need a hand to believe in themselves and the promises of companionship and support in another. I offer all my shoulder, my arms and my strength, for in the end, even if you are not for me, you will be stronger and able to help another.

Spin the Bottle

She hadn’t meant to shout at him that she wanted to break up. He looked angry, hurt, his muscles tensed, as if waiting for another blow.

She had needed him when she was in pieces; she as almost whole now, but he was the one holding her back. Despite her attempts, she could not find enough linking pieces. His form, a stubborn nebula, seemed unwilling to commit to her more structured outline. She felt she needed something else, as did he. This time she knew better than to hold on.

Their last encounter had led her to slip into a dark, internal rage which manifested itself in a fist, which, initially, she held back with her left hand, nearly hugging herself into submission. Another comment from him was the trigger latch, as her bodies momentum bridged the space between them. Having sensed her initial struggle, his mind had loaded a comment to subdue her, should the need arise. Need having arisen, he shot it at her, it’s full force most likely misunderstood by him, as his comment hit her straight in the heart, ‘he (first boyfriend) left because you also suffocated him’.

Her fist, nearly at his throat, froze. A cold took over her body as her muscles tensed. She blinked, her mind blank, all focus on her triggered heart, who’s beating had intensified and begun to skip beats.

She walked away. She walked down the stairs, across the grass, past the initial small forest to a clearing where a small lake shone beneath the darkening sky. She crouched, her mind still blank, not wanting to accept the bullet it had received. A deer approach, young enough that it’s spots were still slightly visible. The moment was surreal, as they locked eyes. The deer, seeming to perceive no threat from her, drank.

If she could experience moments like these after that round of psychological shots, then she could create something beautiful from her pain. Taking the shot, she buried it in her heart, accepting she too had caused pain, compacting her own and that of her ex-significant other, crushing it until, like carbon to diamond, she could create something beautiful.

Reluctantly, she began to untangle herself from what had been her safe harbour. She looked ahead and imagined all the adventures that await her. At least, she thought, I have my crew to help me keep steady. Having taken a similar road before, she knew how to brave the emotional storm which lay ahead: reach out to her ever growing constellation of friends for comfort and guidance, pulling them close, a blanket for the emotional blizzard forecast.

What she did not know was how much stronger she had become, and, in counting on her friends, she ploughed forward with her rediscovered childhood plans, strengthened important bonds and helped new friends find their way. In seeking refuge from her friends, she had become a safe passage and interim harbour for those seeking respite from their personal storms.