Who Loves You?

“Who loves you!?” he screamed.
“What friends do you have? Who cares about you?!” he continued.

“I love me. I love me. I love me. Don’t cry. Don’t cry. Don’t cry,” I thought, my eyes watering while staring at his expectant face.

It had been one of those days of turning myself inside out, or round and round in circles of nothingness, frustrated and unwilling to admit how impossible everything seemed. I’d kept whispering, “You can do it. You can do it,” but because I’d not proved it to myself, doubt had settled in the pit of my stomach. The kind of doubt that tells you to look at the facts, while attempting to convince yourself that facts are irrelevant. The kind of doubt that flickers like a light bulb to suggest that dying is the real answer; the kind of doubt you can’t share with anyone because you already know what positive feedback is, but stopped believing in it when you were just a child; The kind of doubt it takes living to fight.

What did he see, that he saw me incapable? What did he see, that he saw me without love? Who was he, to know what it meant to be alone? Who was he, to demand proof? Who was I, to have nothing to say?

How does one explain that a flower petal separated from a stem, a leaf, or a feather, makes it no less fragrant?

How does one explain that each part that appears separated, is forever a part of its temporary scent and permanent beauty?

How does a mother tell her inquiring son she is the who, as well as the you?

How does she express that she is more colorful than the black that he sees, and that she is every color he can imagine, and every color he can’t?

How does she show him how she put them all inside of her, that she might become the scent of something he might never forget, yet also never long for?

A child that asks his mother who loves her is irony – and pain.

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