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PAWS FOR ART: Define Love

Tears brimmed in her eyes. Yet another day he had damaged her spirit, her love. Her heart ached to know if what she was feeling was love, if always she would feel this hurt. She wanted to understand how this boy could say he loved her. How many months had it been since he said it like he meant it? That thought tugged at her. Too many. Her hand shook as she reached for the mouse attached to the computer. She stared at its glaring screen with blurry eyes. She stared and she stared at it, barely processing what it would mean if she found the answer she feared: he doesn’t love her.

She slowly typed in the letters, one by one bringing the spear closer to her heart. She felt its fatally sharp edge on her left breast, drawing pain and tears.

She faintly made out the letters on the screen. Define love. The pixels on the computer swirled and the colors slashed at her eyes. Her answer:

  • An intense feeling of deep affection
  • To find pleasure in someone
  • To feel a deep romantic or sexual attachment to a person

She felt this for him. She remembered the moments when she smiled from ear to ear for hours on end as he cracked jokes, and she enjoyed his presence. She felt this for him the day he took her to his favorite spot on a swaying green hill near his home where she had laid her head on his chest and they stared up into the sky as it faded to gold and red and then purple. She felt this for him the very first time she had kissed him when her blush did not fade for hours, and afterward when he had touched her cheek, stared into her eyes softly softly and told her he loved her. She felt this affection when she presented her homemade gifts and when their legs entwined as she sighed into his chest while they were on the couch at home. She felt the burning trails he left on her skin at night and the passion in their eyes as they stared. Her happiest moments, she knew, were those with him.

What happened? Her breathing staggered, and she squeezed her eyes shut. Those memories had been buried beneath their arguments and silences and hatred — in the times that he sat silently across the couch from her and refused to look over at her no matter what she said or even if she held his hand — in that one night when he had called her, crying, and told her he had kissed someone else as she held her breath, waiting for him to say he was just kidding, and most of all, in their very last fight. She could still feel the red hot screaming of his voice and the sting of the slap that night, the night that was filled with the glowing stars on their anniversary, only now swirling and bellowing their dark black emptiness.

That perhaps was the very end of them. Any love left over leaked out of the cracks of their hearts and wedged its way out of their entangled hands. They did not love anymore.


This is an installment in The Retriever’s new creative writing section.  If you would like to submit your creative writing or art for possible publication in The Retriever, please contact