When the World Loves you Like an Enemy

With my mother, I had never tasted bitterness. Waking up was like eating the sun—it filled me up with so much light and optimism for mankind, I would feel like saving people I had never met.

Now, I know this is a horrible attribute to have. You cannot love the world. The world is like an intruder who comes into your apartment in the dead of night, brandishing a knife while standing over your bed, waiting for you to wake up. When you do, it kills you. This is because the world wants you to be aware when it snuffs breath out of your nostrils. It wants to watch your eyes widen with confusion and fright as the knife divides your liver and your breath ceases. It wants you to be aware of your pain.

But sometimes the world is kind. It becomes your friend, holds your hand and skips over puddles, laughing to the sky. It tends to your wounds when you fall. It cries with you at night when the loneliness is suffocating. But the biggest mistake is falling in love with the world, believing that its friendliness betrays its heart for you. No such thing. No such thing as love from the world.

A true friend does not hold you when you cry, they let you cry and give you water to drink. They let you feel the coldness of pain, then warm you up with tenderness. But the world never does this because the world is not your friend. The world is your enemy, and enemies keep enemies closer.

— from, The Things We Never Say, Catapult Stories.

Amara Nicole

Amara Nicole Okolo is a lawyer and writer living in Nigeria. Her novel, Black Sparkle Romance was published by Ankara Press, an imprint of Cassava Republic (2014, Nigeria, Africa; 2016, UK/Europe) and her second book, a collection of short stories, Son of Man by Parresia Publishers (2016).

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