Once, I begged a love to stay.
It was awful.
I had abandoned all pride, all dignity, all reason. I wasn’t a woman—I wasn’t a human. I was a mass of love, lust, and unspent desire.
And I begged.
I begged, abased.
It did not, of course, stay.
Once love decides to leave, once one lover is done, the end is unavoidable. The one who still loves can do nothing. Nothing.
Yet I think, perhaps—no, I know, I know: we must try.
I begged. Abased. Utterly subjugated. Completely broken.
I failed, of course, adding the burn of humiliation to the cold of rejection.
And yet, that moment—me, on my knees, stripped naked, exposed, no armour remaining, no secrets left, no part of me kept back, nothing in reserve, everything spent, everything thrust into the hands, thrown at the feet of a withdrawing love—I would not trade that moment for anything.
Let me be clear—I would rather die than repeat it, willingly.
And yet—in that moment—begging, abased, exposed, nothing held back—I have never felt more alive.
Afterwards, burned, rejected, I wanted to die. For a while, anyway. Out of shame. Out of pain.
And yet, and yet—underneath the shame, the pain—I was so fully alive.
I don’t know if I will ever dare that again.
I don’t know if I will ever dare to beg a love to stay.
I’m older now—more seasoned, more experienced and so either wiser or more cynical. I know that when a love decides to leave, nothing can make it stay. And I’m not sure I would be capable of engaging in the dramatic futility of that final assault, throwing my all at love’s departing feet.
To what purpose?
To show to myself that I loved enough to fight, to beg.
You will leave anyway, when love has left, no matter what I do.
Today, right now, you are here. I am here.
So is love. And when it leaves—should it leave, as it might, for love often does—I hope you love enough to beg.
I hope I love enough to beg.
Once love decides to leave, once one lover stops loving, the one who still loves can do nothing.
But we must try.
Happy Valentine’s Day, love.
Want to hear Try? Of course you do:
Read by the one and only Elisa Kae.
M. Jane Colette writes tragedy for people who like to laugh, comedy for the melancholy, and erotica for men and women who like their fantasies real. She’s the author of the “is it literature or is it porn” erotic romances Tell Me (2015) and (the) Consequences (of defensive adultery) (coming Spring 2017) and the non-fiction collection of essays on taboo languages and the business of writing, CUNT versus PUSSY (2016). Connect with her at @mjanecolette or TellMe@mjanecolette.com.
text © M. Jane Colette 2017
photography © Jennifer Weihmann
used with permission; ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ABOUT THE PROJECT:
SCREW CHOCOLATE: 14 Queer Valentines To Help You Survive February 14 is a collaborative project by YYC Queer Writers. We get together intermittently to… write. Also, laud our lovers. Commiserate about our exes. Read each other what we wrote. Explain what we want to write. Try to justify why we aren’t writing it. Go home and write it. Come back. Share it… repeat.
Valentine 1: Mountains & Moments by T
Valentine 2:Karma, in Pronouns by Marzena Czarnecka
Valentine 3: The Long Commute by L. Sara Bysterveld
Valentine 4: It Happens Like This by Dana Stan
Valentine 5: Try by M. Jane Colette
Valentine 6: Sunrise by Brooke Nicholas
Valentine 7: Want by T
Valentine 8: Get The Fuck Up & Love by Dallas Barnes
Valentine 9: Elizabeth by Nola Sarina
Valentine 10: Instructions by PW Zelli
Valentine 11: Unmentionables by Alyssa Linn Palmer
Valentine 12: The Shy Girl’s Guide to Sexting by M. Jane Colette
Valentine 13: Delivery by Elisa Kae
Valentine 14: Alter Ego In A Red Tie by Lotis Cervantes