I’m at the age now where a lot of people I know are getting married. I’m married, too, which is a fact I sometimes forget because we skipped the big traditional party and had a backyard barbecue with eight people.
Here’s an unexpected fact about me: for a long time, I didn’t believe in love. Familial love, sure. Mutual respect and a desire to spend time with somebody in a romantic context, yeah, sure, but for some reason 17-year-old me was incredibly cynical and thought of love as a convenient chemical concoction that was for species survival and nothing else.
(Seventeen-year-old me read a lot of books by bitter divorced men. Not sure why that was a genre I was drawn to, but we all have strange tastes in our youths, right?)
I don’t talk about my relationship a lot because it’s incredibly personal to me, and I’ve developed this weird protectiveness over it, like if I say too much about it I’ll ruin it somehow. Kind of like how in fairy tales giving up your real name gives somebody power over you. There’s probably some weird, deep-seated cynicism in there I gleaned from reading too many divorced dudes in high school, but it’s either a flaw or a quirk, and calling it a quirk feels better.
Anyway, this is a work of fiction. No truth here. This was not inspired by a real event. Move along.
(Verb: from German verlieben for “to fall in love”)
Literally ‘pre-love’; the euphoria of first falling in love.
She’s heard stories of fireworks, of cresting waves, of a shared glance with such power it could destroy the entire world. She imagines it as a crescendo of feeling, like when the orchestra swells and just about reaches its peak and for one moment you feel like you’re on top of a roller coaster, stomach tingling, anticipating the loss of gravity.
But this isn’t like that. She looks at her phone, a simple text message waiting there. “Cant wait 2 c u,” it says, and she thinks, smiling, I hate your spelling and I love you. It takes her by surprise.