It’s not love, it’s hypertension

Looked into her eyes,

heartbeats galore

and the world fades to black.

Hey, hun?

I don’t know how to say this but,

you don’t look so good.

Did you eat something this morning

or did you just assume a relationship would

work as a good substitute for blood sugar?

Oh, so you skipped breakfast?

Were you running late again?

Didn’t you say you put an alarm?

I told you to, we had a class at 8.

Or did you just sleep late?

Hmm, that ain’t cool,

but wait, why were you up so late?

Oh, you were talking to her.

Till 3 am? WHAT?

Oh my god, is she okay?

Wait. What?

Her eyes were sparkling?

You can’t ascertain that over a videocall

the wifi at your place sucks, anyway.

Well, at least she’s fine.

Nothing’s wrong with her then.

Okay, let me get this straight.

That’s it?

She’s pretty, and you couldn’t sleep.

Do you wanna be pretty like her?

Um, I could take you to Sephora

or throw a magazine at your face until

you’re drowning in beauty stereotypes.

Hey, we could turn your life into

a reality show.

No, then why? I don’t get it.

She’s pretty, you were up thinking

about her

and now you’re late

looking paler than Edward Cullen.

Let me check your pulse,

I don’t want you to catch anything.


How can thinking about her raise your heart rate?

I AM a doctor, I am not wrong. This is way too high.

No, I still don’t get it.

No, I am not trying to be an asshole.  

Yes, I am just unromantic and cynical,

and I have common sense.

What is going on?

It’s not my fault you caught feelings

and messed up your day.

When thinking causes your heart rate to pick up

it’s not fkn love.

You’re just a boy, standing before a girl

who is unfortunately

the worst person to talk to

about this stuff.

Stop telling me more.

No, it’s not going to melt my heart.

Who do you think I am? Olaf?

Oh god, stop throwing the word love around

like confetti. 

I’m sorry, dude,

but it’s not love.

It’s hypertension.

Adritanaya Tiwari is a dental intern from India. Her work has been/is forthcoming in The Indian Feminist Review, Versification Zine, Nightingale and Sparrow magazine, All Ears, Ayaskala, Esthesia magazine, and others.

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