“What?” I respond to ignore the question without seeming rude.
But then she asks me if I understood the question. Of course I understood the question, but why was she asking?
My love has an obsession to empathize, and understand, what she just cannot understand. She’s accustomed to imagining life in another person’s shoes. She lives her life standing up for others, more than she does for herself.
Yet, her empathy is her greatest weakness. She constantly compares herself to a girl, I barely know now. The idea that I can punch a wall over someone who means nothing to me, but that I can put her on hold when she’s crying over the fact that she wants to leave me, she cannot understand.
She just doesn’t understand.
I tell her that I love her, but she only hears the tone of my voice. She feels that I do not mean it, and I am not a person to write it all over the city, but instead in my mind. I think about it and I know it, but because I am not the man she reads about in her favorite books, she does not believe the emotions I try to share.
“I do get bothered. I’ve just learned to deal with it in silence.”
To myself I ask her, why must you always fill the silence? It is not your responsibility.
Emely Rodriguez is a recent graduate from Towson University with a degree in English and Mass Communications. She is the Poetry Editor for Grub Street, Towson’s literary journal. She works first-hand with writers both on and off campus, learning from each person the reasons they write. Emely is a proud Latina who advocates in her writing for her people and for herself. Throughout her life she has experienced micro-aggressions and heartbreak, but she has learned to use her writing to cope. She began writing in fourth grade, after a guest poet visited her classroom to help her class create a poetry book. Ever since that moment, she has explored language in both English and Spanish literature. She is currently working on her first novel, but would like to be published in multiple journals before her publication. Emely explores unrequited love as a means to share her heartbreak with others; so that people can feel that they are not alone in this experience. Her writing has been her safe-haven growing up and believes this passion can be shared with others to help people deal with a multitude of challenges. Her next step is to apply to graduate schools for creative writing.