Sometimes you stay under water to see how long you can hold your breath. Sometimes you wait till the very last possible moment because you think you can take it, you can make it to those few more seconds. That’s what it’s like with people too. Some relationships are exactly like that, except that when it’s time to finally come up for air, there’s none. There’s only a tight space of nothingness. There’s only another form of drowning.

It’s really powerful, the way people can make you change, and how life is all about those human interactions that take you on rolling tides through all possible feelings. You see colours you’ve never seen before. You fall in love with new shades. But there are also shades that you learn to hate. There are memories you wish you could forget, and memories you hold so close to your heart even if someday it becomes hurtful to remember them. It just happens. A home that was once full of life becomes abandoned, and a face you knew so well becomes distant  and difficult to trace.

Usually the ones you love the most are the ones you hurt the most. You love them for who they are then you get mad at them for who they are. You break them, and you mend them, then break them all over again, and sometimes the pieces just don’t fit again. Even the most beautiful love stories and friendships never really quite survive. They build each other and support each other but there are always points where they just wreck each other.

Sometimes a word slips out of your mouth and it’s almost like you can hear the sound of their heart breaking. Sometimes it’s hard to look into someone’s eyes because not only you’ll remember, but you’ll feel the pain of what you did to each other. Sometimes home is a person, then things go wrong and suddenly you’re left with the remains of a deserted place, frozen in time with no where to go. Sometimes you’re stuck and your legs won’t move and your heart won’t just belong anywhere else, and sometimes you move on but you can’t find a point where the past ends. Sometimes you love someone then you can’t even be their friend. Sometimes you love someone then you won’t even know how to be their friend. Sometimes the only way to avoid hurting someone is by hurting yourself. Sometimes hope is a dangerous thing.

It’s scary to think that you could give up on love because of one person, that you could lose faith in friendship because of one person, that you could lose the ability to trust or the capacity to forgive because of one person, and that you could lose track of who you are because of one person.

But if people are so dangerous, how do you save yourself when you can’t even exist without them?
How do you avoid ruining someone else?
And how do you forgive yourself for that?

How do you avoid loss when there are so many ways to lose someone?
How do you feel without becoming vulnerable and exposed?
How do you find balance between who you are and who you wish to be?

And if people have the power to make you blossom and the power to make you bleed, how do you give them one power without the other?
If being a friend or a lover or even family could be the beginning of a cycle of madness, how do you make it stop?

By Nada Mohamed