Under the Sea by Jina Wallwork
I glide through life when love enters my heart. Everything feels like a dance until that love is rejected. Love becomes heavy. My movements become restricted by the weight that I carry, and I struggle to breathe in an ocean of my own tears. When I look up I can see the light scattering in patterns on the surface of the water, yet I can’t swim towards it. I’m chained to this weight and there is no release. The fish are beautiful as they swim around me and I crave some company. If I reach out and hold them close we will both be trapped by the chains that bind me. Could I ever fool myself into believing that my tears are the perfect waters to swim through? I could pretend this chain doesn’t exist and perhaps my companion could find happiness within my lies. Love could be something that is imagined. She will never experience love beyond the fantasy that she writes for herself. People can see the world however they choose to and they will find happiness within those beliefs.
Through arrogance and a feeling of superiority I could presume that I can provide a circumstance that would make someone happy. The appearance of love might be enough. There would be days when deceit would seem like an act of kindness and the truth would seem brutal, although I know that it is the combination of both that causes the real damage. The truth would scream at my companion as I manipulate the situation with further lies. I could try and convince myself that all relationships are like this and love is merely a word. It is something that makes people smile when it’s needed.
Can I convince another person that an imaginary love is real? Will I convince myself that my behavior is acceptable because love is just a fiction? Will I believe that love is just fantasy? I fear that future, and I’m terrified of who I might become. I’ve experienced these types of relationships where you swim towards a person who is chained to the bottom of the ocean. They hold you close while looking into the distance. I swore I would never engage in such cruelty, but now I understand that it is just a conflicting vision of what love is. Those relationships always pushed me to believe that love means nothing. I would watch her struggling with her chains as she battled with her despair. I would see behaviors that were cruel and damaging, yet now I can see her perspective. She needed to convince herself that love isn’t real. Say it out loud and spread the negativity because it helps to reaffirm an artificial truth. She wanted to be loved and would always attract people who believe in love and then she would shape them to share her beliefs. It is a poisonous perspective that strips life of magic, although her cruelty wasn’t intentional. She was chained to the bottom of the ocean and was attempting to make her situation easier.
I can’t adopt the same behaviors. I can see myself in all of those fish. I know the relationship that would await them and it isn’t enough, we all deserve more. I need to believe in love and I want to watch the fish swim towards love. I watch them dancing next to the patterns of light that look so beautiful. When I see an act of love I’m reminded that life contains miracles. This is something that brightens my day and brings me comfort. I have a strong relationship with myself and a rich inner world. I can’t sacrifice those things to bitterness and jealousy. I feel sorrow but it isn’t the only thing that is present. There is light.