I do not believe in love, woman. I don’t believe in that corporate romanticisation of lust we see in the movies. I am a genuine man who simply believes. I believe in you, Zahrah. Last night I turned so many thoughts in my mind, and the closer I got to the logical, the more I realised that I do not really love you. Ours is like Friction Match: You hold the matchstick which must be struck on my combustible strip to light our way down this hallway of hostile destinies.

I see and study “love” in the exploits and confessions of narcissistic men and soft-witted feminists, which only confirms my disbelief in love. The men treat their women like Barbie Dolls. They treat their women like some disposable inanimate. They see her as a petty thing and lie to insult her intelligence, as though she were a robotic doll programmed to be lured by apparent lies. And the clowns who come out to defend her rights don’t really know how to pipe up the wisdom of Gender Equality. The feminist who threatens to vacate this earth of unbearable chauvinism still wants the man, her equal, to cater for her needs. I laugh, Zahrah. I laugh.

I believe in you just as I believe in God. Pardon this blasphemy, Zahrah. I blaspheme just because this letter is never to be shared, especially in a dangerously religious nation of philistine intellectuals as mine. You see, God is supreme. We have never seen Him, but we feel the warmth of His presence. That is what I feel about you. Have you a name for what makes me smile on just a thought of you? I smile because you find me the most suitable “prey” to possess you, even when demography shows that the world has almost a billion men scouting for you.

I hate love because it has no doctrine. Love and atheism point to the same ideology. They are abused. The abusers of love whistle a self-mocking axiom—that love is blind—to justify their stupidity. Lovers don’t believe. They only crave: the men crave the thing in the women’s skirts, and the women crave the thing in the men’s bank accounts. Their life is a cycle of constant fears and distrusts. That’s why they cheat on each other. Nothing has ever been built without faith.

I have a proposal, Zahrah. I want you to understand that ours shan’t be a castle built on romantic parasitism. I will not treat you like an imbecile as male lovers do. I don’t expect you to sulk like a pupil who had flunked in promotion examinations whenever our world seems to fall apart. You’re my friend, my equal, and thus I expect you to face me whenever I act up. Confront me, Zahrah. The placebo of every co-habitation is confession. You and I must be each other’s mirrors. Do not tell me ‘I’m fine’ as lovers do whenever I find your ways suddenly strange. I do not possess the clairvoyance to see the landscape of another mind.

Lovers say that “love is when you feel butterflies in your belly”. Can you imagine, butterflies in one’s tummy? Oh, Zahrah, just teasing, I understand that timeworn trope. Lack of wisdom to understand the mechanism of the mind is what destroys love. In our heart, there is a compartment that stimulates attraction to fellow human beings. This compartment is powered by certain sentiments which some immediately interpret as love. Being emotionally attached to a member of the opposite sex is inspired by what they possess—good looks, perfect behind, full chest, grand dresses, affluence, intellect, you name it. This attachment is deceptive, because we don’t really take our time to certify its actuality before we declare our intentions. You meet a stranger at an event and, midway through an unattached chat, her beauty asks you to say it. “I love you,” you do. You void your promise soon as you got what you want. You need sex, she needs experience or money.

My attraction to you, Zahrah, is a product of dialectic between the killjoy and the go-getter in me. I have come to conclude that I am not gay and as such I need to devote my feelings to the best of my friends who is female. The dialectic chooses you, because you’re that woman with whom I shall go into business without the fear of being double-crossed. You have proven your loyalty, woman, yet I’m still searching for the right word to qualify my devotion to you. I believe in you, Zahrah.

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