Salty, with a Hint of Bitterness
By Hermei Herman
This piece is about the two sides of love that many people shall experience in their life. Because no matter where you are, or who you may be, you’ll be able to relate to the emotions displayed in the story.
The feeling that takes up a good amount of room in your heart and sometimes you feel it’s all in your head. The feeling you see when your dad makes your mother a cup of tea in the morning before they drop you off for school. The feeling you smell when he approaches you by your locker before lunch, the air suddenly crisp with a light fragrance of detergent as he hands you a bag of freshly baked cookies with a mischievous grin on his face, and he hurries away before you’re able to ask what they’re for. The feeling you hear when he confesses, later on, saying he’s liked you for a long time now, but you’re always too dense to notice, floating about in your own world, your thoughts and insecurities building a wall, yet one he managed to break down. The feeling you feel when your cheeks heat up, burning with embarrassment as you try to find the right words to reply. The feeling you touch when you reach slowly to cup his handsome blushing face, glowing with anticipation, and you whisper “I like you too,” and press his lips to your own. The feeling you taste when his tongue meets yours, tasting the cookies he made before, warm and sweet.
The feeling that leaves an enormous void in your heart when it’s no longer there and the hole feels like it will never close, leaving you to bleed out. The feeling you see when your mother hurls a glass at your father in a fit of rage, trading insults that seem to drag on for ages. The feeling you smell when she struts past your locker, with her mix of perfume and shampoo, tainting the air with a horrid smell, and the poison erodes the very life from your lungs as she runs into his arms, laughing as he kisses her cheek. The feeling you hear when she whispers, loud enough for you to hear, “I love you so much.” The feeling you feel when he says the same thing back and your heart clenches, unable to bear not being loved by the one it loved so deeply. The feeling you touch as you raise your hand to touch your lips where his once laid, the flesh slowly becoming cold; the cold your heart wishes it had so that it would be able to feel nothing at the things it saw. The feeling you taste as your tears spill down your cheeks, one by one, salty with a hint of bitterness.
Hermei Herman is a class of 2020 Girls Write Now mentee based in New York, NY.