Does She Like Me, or Does She Love Me, or Does She Even Like Me, or is She My Pet Cactus?


Everyone has got their own idea about what love is. Me? It’s a spicy lil tamale fire that fills your guts with a burning passion and slight indigestion, it’s a wistful glance from across the library when you’re on your way to the washroom, it’s the sensation of the single tear that slid down your cheek when you realized that your childhood was your peak and you will never reach those heights again. It’s a melodrama that needs to be scored by that new Lorde album and acted out by Michelle Pfieffer and Denzel Washington. It’s the crispiest fish taco on a perfect Tuesday.

For me, that feeling revolved around Dianne. She was a breathtaking beauty, the sun always seemed to burn her, no matter where we went, even indoors. It gave me a great excuse to bring my 60 SPF sunscreen in public, and that was the type of opportunity that I wasn’t willing to give up.  She was my entire world, but there was one thing that was haunting me: does she like me, does she like me, does she like me, or is she just my pet cactus?

I couldn’t tell at first, because she was always playing coy games with me, teasing me by sitting in direct sunlight, tempting me with her prickly demeanor. Every time I thought I had her figured out, she would wilt under my touch, and I would be back to square one. I couldn’t get enough of her push and pull ways, and she seemed to relish in my loving caresses. This was when I first wondered: does she like me?

It seemed so simple and stupid, the adrenaline rush to my heart and all of my veins and that anatomy garbage that I never paid attention to in university but there was definitely adrenaline running through all the fibres of my being and I wanted the people to KNOW. She was elated, flourishing and glowing throughout the long days and cold nights, blossoming under the heat lamps I set up in our home as the winter drew nearer (and truly, 60 SPF sunscreen is quite expensive). She never faltered, never wilted, and I wondered, perhaps too kindly to myself, if she was truly falling in love with me as I was with her.

Then the winter came. The heat lamps did not seem to quench her thirst for the scorching, smoldering sun and I could not satiate her. She withdrew into herself, as cold as the ice I’d created in my freezer, and also as square. She was not who I’d once thought she was, and I had failed her. I could barely stomach the idea that she was not sweltering in the heat of our love any further, asking the age old inquiry “does she even fucking like me?”

As spring poked its head nervously out of the depths of snowy hell, my heart seemed to thaw for Di. She was distant through rainy April, and a vision in the shining days of May. A renewed high for her, my once cloistered aortas seemed to expand at lightning rates, flooding my brain with emotions I thought would never feel. And then it was over. She was gone in a flash. Her heart could not contend with what I required, and she left me, leaving quills and pangs of hurt whenever I caught glimpses of her presence. The most perfect woman, a single word never uttered between us, was she truly a cactus I had kept as a pet through the hardest times of my life? My friends were telling me “yeah she was a cactus you fucking freak”, but my heart was telling me that she was my soulmate and I will never love again.