Love.  A word quite foreign to me.  I’ve lived my life in primary isolation, denying even the hint of love for many years.  I stood impassive, the rock in a sea of human unions.  But the sea is mighty, and even the most steadfast stones can be weathered by perilous waves.  So here is a brief tale of my first encounter with the big L word.

Until recently I don’t know that I understood even the meaning of the word.  Sure, I care greatly for my friends and family, and I’m a very compassionate person by nature.  So I definitely have a degree of love for all those close to me in my life, and I would give them whatever they needed.  But to be truly in love is a different story all together.  It means that you are willing to sacrifice absolutely anything for that person, that you place their life, their wants and needs, ahead of yours.  You would gladly walk through fire and flames just to hold them one last time, as your last, faint breath is spent softly whispering your affection for them.  Pure, honest love.  I know these all must sound like the musings of a hopeless romantic, but you should understand a few things about me first before passing judgement.

For starters, I have never shown much interest in the opposite sex.  I blame this mostly on some unfortunate events in my childhood, and we are all products of our environment after all.  Now, I can look at a girl and say, “Oh, she’s very pretty,” but that is usually the extent of it.  I don’t feel driven by raging hormones and testosterone like most of my male counterparts seem to be.  I certainly do enjoy sex, but it is more of a means of being as close to someone as you can possibly be; to be one with them, as opposed to some game as it’s often treated.  I have always regarded women very fairly, and some of my best friends growing up were women.  But I had never truly fallen in love, at least not proper love.  It’s taste, unfamiliar to me; it’s touch felt obscure.

But alas, I stumbled and fell.  I didn’t see it coming, and I never asked for it.  But I think love has a way of blindsiding even the most callous hearts.  I found someone who could listen to my crazy thoughts and ideas and not look at me funny.  The conversations we had were so real, the things we would talk about resonated deep into my heart and into my “soul.”  I felt a level of understanding that I don’t know that I had ever felt before, it was joyous and it warmed my heart.  I didn’t fall in love with a pretty face, I fell in love with a person, a heart and mind; a “soul.”  This living, breathing thing that feels weirdly connected to me, despite the many differences in our lives.  The things we could see, the people we could meet.

But, before I get ahead of myself, you should know that there’s a catch, and it’s a big one.  This love that I felt was not mutual……Ouch.  In my foolishness and ignorance, I misinterpreted and misconstrued things.  I got in way over my head; into a complex web of emotion that is hard to escape from.  Her heart lies elsewhere, and mine lies bleeding on the floor at her feet.  I can’t explain how this initially felt, and I don’t even want to try.  But here’s the other catch.  I’m OK with this.  I’m OK with it because I know that my love is pure and honest, and I know that as long as she is in my life that it is just that much brighter.  I am willing to sacrifice my emotions to remain close to one of the most wonderful and beautiful people I have ever known.  And that’s how I know that my heart is true.  There is no wavering, no hint of impurity.  Simply love.

Where all of this will take me, I have no idea.  Because really, it’s scary in some ways.  Needing a person that badly just doesn’t seem like a healthy thing.  Especially when it’s all ready clear they have other interests.  But I will remain strong, and fight the good fight.  I will be brave for myself, and for her.  I know she needs help just as much as I do.  She is battling her own demons, and they are not going down easily.  I must offer the most genuine help and comfort that I possibly can, and show her that despite the darkness, I see only light.  I owe it to her, she has opened my eyes to many things, and put me on the path to becoming a much better person, and I don’t take that for granted.

But I guess to be honest, in the end, I don’t know how this can have a happy ending.  There are factors at play that make it extremely complicated.  And I have more or less accepted my fate all ready.  I know I can’t win, but I will stay there until the very end, because that’s who I am.  I will make the sacrifice, I have all ready thought about it time and time again.  But now I know what I have to do, and what I have to say.  It will be one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life, but I will try to make things right in a horrible situation.  I know I can be brave, and I know this isn’t the end for me, and I know it’s the right thing to do.  I just hope everyone understands and appreciates my kindness and sincerity, the sacrifices I have made to my honor, and the load I will place on my heart.

Some day, love will find me.  And I will capture and cherish every moment of it.