I was walking on the beach the other day and spotted Love looking wistfully over the waves. “It’s been a while,” I said. “Yes, sadly, it has,” replied Love.
It seemed odd to be looking at Love like a stranger since we had known each other since I was young and a true romantic at heart, sure that every Barbie would find her Ken and every Captain would find his Tennille and a watermelon Lip Smacker and feathered hair could attract a proper mate. Love, I felt, was never far away and would swing in at unexpected times to surprise and delight me.
But as I got older, over time, I saw less and less of Love. This was actually a real disappointment to me and it must have shown on my face. Love turned to look at me, “Are you seriously giving me the stink-eye?”
“Hey, you gave up on me,” I said.
“You gave up on me,” Love said back.
I felt a wave of anger come up. “You, Love, are ageist and sexist, and . . . and . . . fatist!” I said.
“Don’t blame me for your commitment-phobic society,” said Love, “You all understand that single-use plastic is a bad thing and will get a refillable water bottle, but you treat relationships as disposable.”
Our argument was interrupted by a pair shuffling by with their heads down. Love waved. “Who are they?” I asked. “Oh, that’s just Faith and Hope. They’ve had a rough couple of weeks.”
“Look,” said Love, “You know how I make you feel. You know that you never feel more alive than when you are in love. That colors are brighter and tastes sweeter and the muses at your beck and call. I have my good points.”
“Well,” I said, “You are almost as effective as the stomach flu for weight loss. I will give you that.”
“This is your world now,” said Love. “You all have to know that a fist bump emoji is not love and no amount of Instagram hearts will actually soothe your soul. You must put down your phone and look another human being in the eye and learn their true character.”
“And you wonder why we are all binge-watching ‘Poldark’ instead of going out to bars,” I said. “Love, you have not adapted to modern times. You are a useless relic.”
That’s when Love took a swing at me. I ducked. “Don’t blame me for your poor choices,” said a very angry Love.
“You know what?” I said to Love. “Here’s the thing. We can live without you.”
I think I heard a gasp come from Faith and Hope, who were marking sand angels. Love sat down and held its head in its hands. Love said very quietly, “I know.”
We stood there in silence in that very uneasy truth. We both sat down and just let the waves lap at our feet. “I’m sorry, Love,” I said. “Me too,” said Love.
It was at that moment that there was a sunburst and we noticed a couple down the beach and saw a man get down on a bended knee. Love jumped up.
“Hurry!” I said to Love, “don’t miss it!” And watched as Love ran to embrace them.