Not all love stories need a happy ending and not all kinds of love need a wedding.
There’s also a kind of love that sees no end and probably doesn’t even have a beginning. It is born and bred in the most mundane moments, at lunch break, drinks after work, while passing a cigarette or running to the convenient store. It happens when you are most unprepared and unguarded, never once suspecting there would be a day a nobody would become a somebody — a special someone you keep coming back to even if it’s only possible in your own memory.
More often than not, it’s the kind of love that’s unplanned and unanticipated. If every time you meet someone new you throw a seed onto the ground, then loving this person is like not knowing that seed has landed on good soil. And so before you even realize your garden is no longer empty, your heart has long been captured by the smell of the beautiful flowers blossoming from that seed, and unfortunately by then it’s already too late to fight. Just like that, falling in love with this person isn’t really a choice. Though, ultimately, embracing this love is, for all the colors it has breathed into your life and all the joy it has let you experience.
Surely like in any other kind of love, at some point you have dreamt of a happy ending, or even a wedding. You have wondered what it would be like to hold their hands and kiss their lips, to call them when you want and be the one they see upon waking up, and it wouldn’t just be for a day. It would be everyday for many, many days. But life doesn’t always go the way you wish. When it’s clear you’re never the person to say “I do” while looking into their bright eyes and chances are high your paths only cross here, you have learned and have made a decision to give your love without needing reciprocation.
What you want before all else is for them to be happy even if you don’t get to be the one to make that happen.
Because you’re sincerely grateful. Because this love builds you and keeps you together. Believe it or not, just by loving them and treasuring what was once shared, you’ve already felt cared for and loved. Time might heal wounds and feelings might fade but all the marks they have left and all the ways they’ve changed you are permanent, and you never want to forget it. Before them, you didn’t even know you were capable of loving someone on such a fundamental level, standing tall and giving love like it’s endless in you. But they have shown you that you are. And despite all scars and heartbreaks, love is not your weakness — it’s your strength.
This kind of love is the kind that doesn’t need to be romantic or sexual. Over time, it has transformed into something so much more, so much purer and calmer. It doesn’t ask for touching on the skin or sweet words in the ears. It doesn’t even give a damn about physical distance. It stays in the heart, in every step you take, in every interaction you make with the world, during all the dark days you feel like you can’t go on anymore and it’s there to pick you up. It warms you, protects you, reminds you of who you are and were, of how valued and cherished you deserve to be.
One might say this love isn’t real love because you no longer know this person — you only love the airbrushed memories of them and have essentially turned them into a God. But that person is no God. The recipient of your love and the source of your strength is indeed a real, imperfect living human who has selfish needs and likely never loves you the same — you’re aware of that. But at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter — whether you pray to a God or you devote that unconditional love to a human being, or even a memory you can’t clearly remember. What matters is that you know you have love in you and it can only make you stronger.
It’s a miracle that leads you to believe you’re finally ready for a happy ending.