written on Wednesday, July 4, 2012 at 10:48:00 PM
Love, in its purest form, is absolute. It is either there, or it is not. I often wonder what must have happened in the bloodless sands of time for love to have debauched to the status of partiality. It has been thrown around too much. Moved from unfeeling mouths to cold hearts one too many time. Refashioned, twisted, ripped apart, mutilated—it is now a vacant word.
I am not talking about being in love with two or more people at the same time (which, to be honest, deserves a debate of its own) but simply love. Is it really that complicated? Take away the fears, the questions, the conditions. You love, or you do not. There are no in-betweens, no ifs, no contingencies. Love is not something that can be asked of you. Love is not conditional. Love cannot be quantified nor measured. Its existence cannot be vague. It is there, or it is not. You love because you do. It is that simple. It is that unfair.
Those in-betweens and insecurities about love are curses we have brought upon ourselves. Because we can no longer differentiate Love from "love". Are you in love? How do you know you are? Are there sure-fire signs? Everyday-life is peppered with instances of people hurting just because we like to complicate things.
To top it all, when you do find that you love, sometimes it is not enough. Sometimes, even when you love with every beat of your heart, the one you love walks away. And, to paraphrase Audrey Niffenegger's Clare in The Time Traveler's Wife, it is never easy being the one who stays.
Love may be simple, but being in love does not come easy. And if it does, you are either in a fairy tale, or very lucky. She has always been very lucky (the kind of very lucky that would make many go "Ugh! That's disgustingly unfair!"). When we were sixteen, he happened. Well, he happened to her more specifically. How do I put this into words? The first time he spoke to her, I could see in his eyes that the guy was a goner. The boat had sailed. Not coming back. Bye-bye.
I used to look up to them because to me, their relationship represented everything a relationship should be. They made it look easy, being in love. And their love was perfect. I do not mean to say there is such a thing as a perfect relationship. I do not mean to say theirs was perfect.
In fact, it was quite flawed.
Neither took things lying down. She was possessive and he was unabashed. Boys liked her. Girls liked him. She took her time, and he lived fast-paced. They quarrelled over the smallest of things under and over the sun—What movie should they see? Why was that person's hand close to his book? Who is meant to get the chicken sandwich from the ham-and-chicken duo pack they sell at the cafeteria this time? Do aliens exist? Duty or ethics? Is marriage necessary?
Strange as it may sound, big blow-ups or small squabbles, it was during their fights that you saw how much they loved each other. It was hard to explain back then because I was too young to see it. But now that I look back, it is very clear that it all boiled down to mutual respect—respect for the other's feelings and opinions. They did not brush differing sentiments under the carpet. They cared enough to investigate, to ask: Why do you think that? I would like to know because I love you and I want to understand you. They cared enough to want to see things from the other's perspective.
Their relationship was not sunshine and walks in the park all the time, but their love was perfect. Even during their clashes, it never wavered. In fact, it shone. It sat right there, solid and stable in a wake of destructive differences. Because they knew their love was real. There were definitely no maybes, no sort ofs, no yeses then nos. No in-betweens and no conditions. It was just Love. Period.
I have always secretly admired the fact that two people could bare their souls to one another with no inhibitions. The fact that two people could find it worth it to risk being torn apart by the other—worth it to risk being hurt beyond repair. They say the first young love is often not the right one. But in my opinion, it is the purest, the rawest.
I sit back today and wonder 'what if they had met ten years later?', but the very thought makes me cringe. Yes, they may still have fallen for one another. Yes, they would have been more mature, and may not have rushed into things the way they did, but it wouldn't have been the same. They would have been too cynical, too wary to buy into this thing called Love that easily, that unabatedly.
You would think a love like theirs would thwart the hands of time. If it does not, what is left for those of us too scared to love as freely?
They went to college together. They learnt, they squabbled, they loved, they fought, they broke up, they patched things up because—they loved. They moved in together, he asked her to marry him, she said yes, and then, with a rainy night, slippery roads and an inattentive driver, life (or death) tore them apart. He died on the spot.
You see, sometimes even when you love with every beat of your heart, the one you love goes away. What can you do other than mourn, dust yourself up and walk on alone? You do not choose who you love and you do not choose when they leave. So when you do, and when they do, it does not matter how long it has been: it is never easy being the one who stays. Their relationship ended like that, but their love lingers. If anything, it is a reminder that true love exists. Because time will pass and things will change, but her love for him will remain absolute. No matter how long she stays, and no matter how long he is gone.
This is my favourite part of a short story called Wednesday that I wrote some time ago. Thought it would be an apt entry for today. I scrapped the whole thing off to the dissatisfied folder, but this single block of words is gold to me.
When you bare your soul to a person and give them the whole of your heart, and that person does the same for you, you feel things differently. You feel things with the blood of another person pumping through your veins. It is terrifying, but exceptional at the same time. Lethal, but is this not what we live for?
"When you find the one, you never give up."
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