"Love, a flower you've got to let grow" A Character Spotlight on Kawan from Love's Garden by B. Love
“... a heart that was enclosed by concrete was able to be a solid enough foundation for roses to grow. Finally...the battleground that he’d fought many wars on had become a garden, and Kawan wanted nothing more than to spend the rest of his life enjoying the fruit of their labor and the harvest of their love.”
Battleground...that’s the perfect word to describe Kawan’s heart. He fought many demons, mainly rape. Kawan was ten years old when he was taken advantage of by his youth Pastor, and since then, he’d had a hard time trusting anyone from the church. That is, until Amalia came along. Although they both tried to keep their relationship platonic, they couldn’t deny their chemistry, and ultimately, they decided to give their love a shot.
Often times when we think of rape victims, we think of their initial reactions and effects. People tend to walk on eggshells and care for them immediately following the crime. What’s not often talked about are the lingering effects of the trauma. One indication that Kawan was still harboring feelings towards the rape occurred the first time he and Amalia decided to make their relationship physical.
Here, you can see that their sexual encounter was all about physical pleasure rather than emotion, which is common among men (or boys) who have been violated. In addition, his whole aggressive lifestyle, which could arguably be considered self-destructive behavior, is common among men rape victims as well.
Although Kawan was suffering from an untreated childhood trauma, he deserves a spotlight because of how vulnerable he was with his woman. When confronted about the way he sexed her, he was honest about the trauma he endured, and he was willing to work through it to be a better man for her, although being extremely hesitant.
Some define love as “a willingness to prioritize another’s well-being or happiness above your own”, and that is exactly what Kawan did repeatedly. Regardless of hesitation, discomfort, and/ or embarrassment, Kawan did what he needed to do to protect his relationship with Amalia from her parents, the mother of his children, and from himself. And that is why he’s at the top of my book bae list.