Seema Reza on dating after marriage

From The Nervous Breakdown literary journal

During a weekend together Nick, the first man I fell in love with after my marriage ended, had hidden a gift in my bag and it tumbled out with my clothes when I returned home. It was a handmade book, bound in fuchsia and gold brocade, the size of my palm. The first page contained a note in his right-slanted all caps handwriting explaining that we would send this book back and forth between us. When I read it, I felt a rush of panic rather than the delight he’d intended. When I saw the book, I knew the relationship would not last. This kind of thing was not sustainable or smart or reasonable; this kind of love burns itself into a curl of smoke. This was too romantic a gesture, too silly, too childish, too reminiscent of the obsessive love I’d experienced with my husband as a teenager. The kind of love I’d woken from with such difficulty. The kind of love I had nearly allowed to swallow me whole…

When I found it in my sock drawer three years later, I faced myself in the bathroom mirror. You don’t deserve love like that, I told myself. Love like that is madness, my self told me back [link]

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