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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Ashoka chapter.

I adore the way women love. It’s in the patience of putting on eyeliner on your friend who cannot sit still, but wanting to perfect it either way. It’s in the lack of hesitation to share your over-expensive gloss. It’s straightening someone’s hair only to tell them they look jaw-dropping without it. It’s in comfort, it’s in cuddles. The shoulder I fall on when I’m sleepy, the hand I grab when I’m in a crowd. The thousand pictures I take for her, knowing she’ll post only one, but I do it because she would do it for me. It’s the fact that she’s the first person I ran to when I had a flash of panic and she held me until it was over. It’s in silent company where she scrolls through reels and I talk to her stuffed penguin that she let me name. We call him Blueberry. It’s in the collective excitement in the group chat when my friend’s crush starts flirting. It’s four girls wondering whether to play badminton or to go to sleep at 3 am because, as much as we adore sleep, we never get enough of this company. It’s pink bows and glitter nail polish and cute cafés that make expensive lattes and how we all have things on our minds that we don’t say out loud, but when it’s past our bedtime, and we make microphones out of hairbrushes and deodorants to sing Taylor Swift, just for a second, everything is perfect.

I adore the way men love. It’s in the obvious way they physically attach themselves to you. You’ll be dancing your heart out but he only does the hook step with one arm because the other is wrapped around you in a permanent sort of way. It’s in the chivalry they show when you don’t tell them you’re cold, but they know anyway, and give you jackets despite being cold themselves. It’s in the smooth transition of shifting you to the safe side of the footpath. It’s the texts of ‘Did you reach home safe?’ and good mornings and goodnights and how they shake their head and smile when you do something dumb. It’s constant insults every day and then immediately telling you how nobody deserves you. It’s the shared air pods because I forgot mine at home. It’s in the way they obsess over YouTube videos of Ronaldo and his dribbling skills and force you to watch it with them. Its in walking outside at midnight, but just knowing you are safe. Its stolen food and hugs so hard they knock me over.

Being loved is like being memorized, like facts in a book. I’m a mixture of the things I love and hate, after all. I love golden and red, and dark, dark turquoise. I have never loved chocolates or cakes or sweet things, but I like one flavour and one flavour alone: chocolate truffle. I adore strawberries. I like things sour, like lemons, limes, and oranges. I write a lot, especially poems, and read even more. I love mythology. I live in sweatpants and crop tops. I like it when my nails are long and painted red and I can click-clack the on my keyboard. I want a tattoo on my back that I’m too scared to get, and a bellybutton piercing. I love riding horses. I hate tying laces. I like eye liner. And beaches. I like smelling like citrus in the summer and vanilla in the winter. I love Chase Atlantic. And pizza, with olives, jalapeños, and baby corn. Hate flights—my ears hurt. Love to travel, hate the traveling. I adore red roses. I want to see the Northern Lights. And walk down the streets of Paris and Rome.

The admittance of me loving someone is very hard. It makes me feel bare and vulnerable, like I can be cracked open any minute, like I’d become transparent, and every well-kept secret will show. I shield my love in crude jokes and sarcasm. It’s hidden in plain sight, it’s in my witty banter, in my playful insults, in tying your hair with my favourite scrunchie and giving you my last muffin. I was told once I’m easy to obsess over. I would assume I’m not the easiest to love. To be loved by me is a gift, but to love me is quite the task. Its furious fights and mental breakdowns, existential crisis and escapism. And yet, I have people who have loved me like I’m the first and last thing they’d ever love. So here’s to them, because as much as they love me, I love them more.

Srishti is an editor, poet, debater and a content writer for Her Campus. She’s currently pursuing her undergraduate degree at Ashoka University. In her free time, she loves to read books, everything from the classics to murder mysteries to love stories. She also enjoys binge-watching sitcoms, stealing people’s food (never healthy food though) and being a troublemaker (you only live once). She has been writing poems since she was eight and has since branched out to different forms of writing. She also enjoys swimming and badminton and the sound of Chase Atlantic songs 24/7.