What is Love?
Love is not always chocolate covered strawberries, roses, and diamond rings.
Love could be beautiful but it can hurt or make you being possessive. Love can make you doubt yourself but it can also give you wings. Love can break you down but it can also lift you up.
Read short snippets in books about love
I’m attracted to him and want to get to know him; I can’t deny that, but I saw him as an all-evil being. Well, only for a second. I came up with the excuse a little too quickly and my mind started wandering. I should have done my hair, put on some makeup and I should have worn my blue blouse. It looks better than this pale-yellow thing I threw on this morning. The line of thoughts surprised me, Wow! I want to impress him. This is new. I never worried about these things before, even with Bela. Well, we grew up together. He saw me at my worst, so I never worried.
I confess, Diary, I don’t have much experience with love, dating, and relationships. I’d never found the person I could relate to in that way, although I tried with all of my might. I always thought it was me—that something must be wrong with me. Yeah, something was wrong, all right. I’m in love with a person who is not able to return my feelings. Of course, there’s something else different about me. Not too many people inherited the ability to slow time, but other than that, I think I’m normal. And, of course, this new healing business, I shouldn’t forget that. Perhaps I’m not that normal, after all.
I’d thought a lot about the meaning of love through the years. I loved my parents, Ema, Bela, and Elza, all of them a little differently, of course, but it was still love. I loved them, feared for them, watched out for them, and would have done anything in my power to make them happy. I had been able to repress and hide my feelings for a long time, and on command, but had I mistaken my feelings for Bela as love because I had not yet met my true love? But what is love, really? Is it the emotion between soul mates like Romeo and Juliet? Is it that feeling which seems eternal and worth waiting for? Is the emotion of love nothing else but a chain of chemical reactions in the brain? Is it hormones that dictate how we feel? I wonder...
I’d read about love in countless books, watched it displayed and analyzed in movies, but in reality, nothing ever came close to that earth-shattering love others were so passionate about. I’d read studies that pulled love into pieces and looked at the physical reactions the emotions created. And still, nothing explained what makes us love someone the way we do. On a rare occasion, Bela touched or kissed me; I felt something awake in my body. I repressed it so fast that I didn’t have time to study it or even enjoy it.
I’m a healthy woman with good genes and active hormonal functions. I should have been attracted to someone in a sexual and sensual way, even if I didn’t feel the forever-devoted-to-you, and I’m-so-addicted thing.
I’d never even experienced puppy love, except my love for Bela. I played with him as if we were both boys. We climbed trees, fought imaginary wars, and so on. In high school, I was a lanky teenager and never caught any boys’ eyes. Well, perhaps occasionally, but I wasn’t the damsel-in-distress type that teenage boys seemed to prefer.
© Erika M Szabo
“Didn’t you say you wanted to talk about Lucy?” she inquired, after sampling her first sip.
“That’s right. I thought you might be the best person for me to confess to.”
“Confess? What do you have to confess to?”
“Oh it’s not really anything big, but when you get to be my age, you don’t want to let even the littlest of things go unsaid, just in case you never get the chance to say them again.” Mr. Thornton had captured Ms. Rapture’s complete interest and attention. She dropped the piece of cookie she was about to bite into and then quickly took a sip of her tea as Mr. Thornton began to explain. “Well,” he said, hands trembling. “If you don’t mind, could I call you Sarah and you call me Edward? It would really make this much easier.”
“Yes, of course … Edward,” said Ms. Rapture anxiously. “Calling me Sarah would be just fine; it is my name after all.”
Edward could see that Sarah was becoming impatient and decided to end the suspense. “You see, Sarah, I think I quite rather fancied your sister Lucy, and I think she liked me, too. I know I’m much older than she was, but I felt we really had a connection. I thought you should know, and that I should get it off my conscience. We met over at Teddy’s place and often spent afternoons at my community center playing Gin Rummy.”
“Well, how do you like that?” Ms. Rapture snickered. “Lucy did tell me she thought there was someone who might be a prospect, but then Lucy always did have lots of boyfriends.” Sarah grabbed her chest and blinked, realizing what she’d said. “But I … I didn’t mean she—”
“Oh no, it’s quite all right, Sarah. Lucy and I never made any proclamations or commitments to each other. We never even went on an official date,” he explained, quickly removing the discomfort of her statement.
“If nothing ever happened between the two of you, then why are you here? Why are you trying to clear your conscience?”
“You see, Sarah, Lucy was the first woman I was ever tempted to pursue since my wife died. It’s taken me this long to … I guess, get over the love of my life.” Edward was clearly trying to hold back tears when Sarah reached out her hand to cup his now clenching fist. She gazed at him with sympathy and he stared back at her, continuing to speak as tears crept down his cheek. “I figured you would somehow understand my needing to come here. I’ve seen how you’ve been dealing with this loss and it’s very reminiscent. I just wanted you to know that, it may not happen when you want it, but it will. One day the pain will be gone and you’ll get over the loss of your sister, and I promise you … you will never forget her.”
© Toi Thomas
After adding cream to our coffee we stirred our clouds with heavyweight, formally ornate, silver spoons. His, more of a conductor’s baton setting the tempo and nuances of phrasing to seal our fate whilst preserving a Paris bound by mutual respect for each other evermore. Where the evening vibes overruled my original intent to revive a dormant relationship in favor of relinquishment without a formal commencement speech, Jeff sought to give it credence by addressing its malaise. As a result, he exposed vulnerabilities at the risk of maligning his own character. Because he did, I venerated him all the more for his candor.
“Did you plan on staying at your place or driving back to Beauchemins tonight?”
A loaded question inferring he never planned on spending the night with me in the first place! “I just didn’t want you to get home and discover most of my stuff gone before talking things over.”
Apparently, like Rick Blaine, he’d done the thinking for both of us in advance. “You could have told me your ground plan over the phone.”
“And forego dining here for old times’ sake? Sure, but I felt you deserved better.
Since this place meant so much to us, I wanted to level with you here, and hope you won’t think any less of me than you had for the way I’ve avoided you lately.”
He was getting to the point. The turning point and the point of no return, one and the same. I fired a finger-pointing counterpoint. “It’s precisely your avoidance that led me to believe you’d become less enamored with me.”
Just as Jeff had done the thinking for both of us, refills on coffee with more clouds stirred between us predicated he’d also do most of the talking. “I was under the impression we had it made … a relationship with no wall between us or walls to hem us in, our nomadic professions defining who we are by and large. When you indicated how serious you were to adopt, my assumptions about us fell apart. I’ve no one but myself to blame for causing a rift between me and my sons by chronic absenteeism. My ex labeled me a cat-in-the-cradle dad with planes to catch. She’s right! Frequent travel made me a lousy husband too, and she found someone else better-suited for her. Though I’m capable of sustaining a long-term relationship, I’m a proven failure the higher anyone expects me to climb along moral ground.”
I shushed him from denigrating himself any further by placing my fingers over his lips. Blurting sappy Casablancan clichés, I told him how his forthrightness restored and preserved our Paris which began and culminated at the Cantina, bridging the latitude from Morocco to Boston for posterity’s sake.
No longer a couple mistaken for parched middle-agers, he leaned forward and kissed me for the last time, summoning all the warmth and fervor reserved for our final kiss. Da-dyda-dy-da-dum!
© Eva Pasco
I looked sourly at Julie who insisted that she did give me a push but I had just turned over, snoring like a warthog. Knowing that Della had arrived outside, she had no choice other than to take our offspring to the wood-shed, to see if the duo were still in residence. The consequences of not waking our two would have condemned her to looking after ‘moaning minnies’ for days. Wrapped up in blankets against the cold and holding hands, my kids took no notice; they only had eyes for Bolt.
I saw many a yawn and many a shiver but none of it stopped the children from wanting to feed the rabbit, hold the rabbit and all of them faithfully promising to look after Bolt from now on. Tess however, had already decided that she was going to be Mum as she defiantly stood guard on protective duty.
Our two wives were showing the children what Tess was doing and explaining that she was treating Bolt like a young puppy, as she had never had puppies of her own. I stood and looked and gaped!
Bolt saw me and hopped over. I knelt on the floor to stroke him and he licked my nose. My eyes widened.
‘Love, he has now licked all of us. I think he is acknowledging his family,’ my wife said without a trace of irony, ‘he clearly has marked us with his scent. Look! See! Now he is rubbing his face and whiskers over you.’
Whatever next? I thought.
Being some eight years younger than me and being a born carer Julie took over my life from the day we wed; I called her my calming influence. Never too busy to give a helping hand to anyone, her maternal instincts extended to her husband, thank goodness. Our friends and neighbours used to wave lottery tickets at me in the first year of our marriage. They said I was that lucky.
Everyone knew I was going to marry a blonde, I always chose blondes to ask out, so I did not think that too many folk were surprised that I chose Julie, although her acceptance came as a big surprise to many and to me especially.
Although she had a string of suitors after her hand she declined them all. As she explained to any who would listen, it only took me four years to propose and then she actually asked me. So she said!
It mattered not for we had been together for eleven years and married for the last seven.
With many a complaint and the odd tear, the girls began to usher the children into the kitchen to prepare their breakfast. Dan and I looked at the scene before us, or in my case beside me, as Bolt sat on his hind paws between Tess and me.
‘Jacko, I never thought that I would see anything like this. This animal, this ...’
‘Bolt.’ I said drily.
‘Right ... Bolt ... Bolt is different. No he’s a one off. We must show him to someone. Someone, who can tell us about this and tell us what to do.’ His words tumbled out.
‘Who?’ I said calmly.
‘I don’t know! There must be someone we can talk to.’
© Rick Haynes
Arriving home after a long day
I walk into an empty house
No lights, you must have gone to work
Wish one of us would think about leaving one on
Hard to remember that in the morning
Other things are on our minds when we are together
Besides, I did not intend to be so late
I stub my toe on something
I take a deep breath to keep from yelling
In that moment I feel you
Your presence in this room lingers
Not an aroma, you wear no cologne
It's just an essence
A "something" in the air
The house is not so empty or dark
© Cindy J. Smith
Emily’s eyes misted over and as she touched her necklace memories flooding her mind. She had the ring Daniel gave her the last day of her last visit when they had their first and only kiss… I remembered that kiss in my dream, she thought. Yes, my unconscious mind didn’t forget. The kiss in my dream felt exactly like our kiss so long ago. We were so young. I guess I blocked it out because it hurt too much when my parents forbade me to go back, and Daniel never answered my letters. I kept the ring, though.
Emily pulled out her necklace and showed it to Daniel. “I kept the ring too,” she said. “I had it plated with gold and the blue glass stone replaced with sapphire.”
Daniel held Emily’s hand and swallowed hard, trying to get rid of the lump in his throat, “I tried so hard to find you, but my parents always hushed me when I asked, and we didn’t move back to my hometown until it was too late. Your Aunt Julia said you stopped visiting, and she refused to give me your address or phone number. A year ago I accidentally overheard her telling a neighbor in the store that you were a third-year medical student in New York. That’s why I transferred to New York on a student visa. I was hoping to find you…” He choked up.
Emily’s heart warmed and she looked into Daniel’s eyes, “You did that just to find me?”
“Yes,” he replied as he bowed his head. A small, sad smile played in the corner of his lips, and he continued, “I’ve been searching the net and social sites for years, but I couldn’t find anything about you. The only lead I had was that you were in medical school, and I followed it.”
Emily gasped when she realized, and exclaimed, “My parents changed our last names when we moved to upstate New York. My father said he wanted a fresh start. I was twelve years old, and I really liked our new name, St. Claire. I asked about you and wanted to visit, but my parents kept us busy. They took us on vacation to New Zeeland and a lot of other places, and they never let us go to Hungary again. Grandma visited us once, but her visit was short and she argued a lot with my mother.”
“No wonder I couldn’t find anything, I was searching Molnar, the name I knew,” he exclaimed. “I knew deep in my heart that destiny would bring us back together.” His eyes sparkled.
“It really seems like it.” Emily wondered for a moment and continued, “But we might have never met again had you not come to New York and took the same flight home.”
“Yes, that’s true,” he agreed, and taking a deep breath, he asked, “Do you… are you dating anyone?”
“No,” Emily answered. Who has time for that? She thought.
© Erika M Szabo
For you I have not closed the door.
Although the color changes on the canvas of my life:
sometimes blurred - crying, or a bright laugher with the light.
Day follows the day, month follows the month.
But in my core the score from rose's thorn
that rose, you gave it to another woman,
still bleeds like red petals and hurts.
And I am here again - here, on the home-ground, snowy white.
Midnight. My face is enjoying the kisses of snowflakes.
And in my eyes I see the air as burn white flame through tears,
like divine candle in the church
that I've not lit for you today.
I have not lit the first time in five years.
© Natalia Govsha