I don’t know why I loved her. But I did.

     Written by Haja Kamara 
     Illustrated by Amy Gajjar 

     Est. Reading Time: 4 min 

She’s sitting at a desk, the sort of standard-issue, yellowish-tan kind that appears in college bedrooms around the country, the type that’s made to last. She’s doing something on her laptop computer, I don’t know for sure that it’s newer than mine, but it seems so. I’m lying atop a twin bed, rather unsexily, trying not to make a sound, though I want her to see me and love me. I want her to love me forever, I think to myself, I want to love her forever. I sigh quietly, realizing there is no forever, and only maybe a tomorrow, looking down at the pages of a book that I was simply pretending to read.

It was spring time and I was 19. Every morning I was greeted by the creaks of the bed a few feet away from me, my roommate rolling over, the sound of a cell phone alarm, hunger pangs, a bitter toothache. I had a secret to tell, I was in love. A bigger secret still-- I wanted her to love me forever. The tarot, and she herself, told me to be patient. I remember, a few months later, sitting on the dull wood floor, or perhaps on some futon, and asking for a kiss. Yes, of course. I ran, smiling, bursting, realizing that the woman I loved might just love me forever. I didn’t know why I loved her. But I did.

It was spring time and I was 20. Every morning I was greeted by silence, humidity, a promise of May flowers, my own hope for something new. Often on these days, she’d be close to me, and I’d sneak away across a courtyard to the shelter of my own loathing, still unsure how someone like me was supposed to greet their lover in the morning—with a kiss, or a playful shove? Somehow, she loved me, and I, greedy as I was, wanted that forever. It’s in this wistful reminisce, brought about by none other than the curse of memory, that I remember being newly in Love, stealing glances across a table at some café, wondering how she did It, never to find out.

It was spring time and I was 21. Every morning I was greeted by the sound of running water, the slam of an external gate, squeals of delight from those surprised by the warmth, a pile of clothes on the floor. Months prior, things ended. Many mornings, I burrowed beneath my comforter, closing my eyes, wrapping my arms around the ghost of forever, only to wake up empty handed. There was still hope, however, that what went around could still come back around, that maybe I could get what I wanted and never ask for anything ever again. That I could get her to see me and love me— forever.

It is spring time and I am 22. Every morning I am greeted by an inch of sun through blinds, the blare of an analog alarm clock, emails begging response, pills I need to become better at taking, an unwavering sense of urgency. Things have happened. I am trying to remember them. I’m dying to remember where people’s birthmarks are, the first time I heard a certain song, the way looks, touches, smells make me feel. The first time I woke up and knew I’d have to put on my winter coat. I say now that I’m going to remember this forever, how it felt to watch you read, to feel your hand in my hand. To feel my hand in anyone’s hand. To walk places that felt so far away, but were in actuality so close. I want to remember being on the precipice of adulthood with you, sitting silently, waving to people as they go by, realizing after, that we should have said goodbye. I want to remember looking at you, lingering, our hands not quite touching, wanting so badly to ask for a kiss. Wanting to ask you to love me forever.

I’m still standing there, looking out over a ledge waiting for the most horribly perfect moment to crumble and drop me into the rest of forever, bruised and bloodied from battle. I’m crying now and the rain is washing everything away. Ready to lay there one last time, one final night before the start of forever. I see faces that aren’t yours, and I’m sure they’re beautiful. I can’t make out the reasons—for hurt, for fear, for pain, for any of this, any of us—but I’m sure they’re beautiful. I don’t know why I loved you. But I did. I’m waiting for the moment when I find out, when the weight of a hand in mine isn’t heavy at all, when the sharp inhale of my own recognition is matched by a deep sigh of relief. I remember why I love you. I do.



Published July 5, 2024
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Author’s Bio
Haja is a writer and psychologist in training who is inspired by clouds in the sky, guitar riffs, the rumbling of the subway, and all the ways we can say “I love you.” Haja’s work has been previously featured in Autofocus, DEAR Poetry Journal, and Arcanum Magazine.


Artist’s Bio
Amy Gajjar is an eclectic award-winning multidisciplinary creative with an eye for aesthetics and a love for concept creation. Their work has been featured in many digital publications such as The Dieline, World Photography Organisation, etc.
Design to for them is more than meeting targets but creating stories that last for generations.



︎Philadelphia, PA
Plantin Magazine ©2020