How Do Love Stories End?

That’s the thing they never tell you when you’re growing up: you missed the best part. At least, most of us did. They don’t tell you: the worst is yet to come. They fail to mention that you are a byproduct of something that will only fall apart, decay, rot over time, and you are the reason why things are slowly getting worse and worse for everyone in the room. No one wants to be a third wheel, but there you are, unwittingly third wheeling the dissipation of love and romance. Isn’t this what it’s like for every child born to parents? As time marches on, and parents age, afflicted by the maladies of ill health and the inevitable fading of youth and beauty. It becomes hard to look at them, at either of them, and realize: this is what happens to love. This is where it goes. This is the monster it grows into. Especially for us, who are just children, and do not really understand love all that well. When we first fall in love, and the specter of our parents, or our grandparents, or our aunts and uncles, or anyone else we have ever known who has loved and then grown old. It doesn’t seem so pretty or so romantic from that vantage. Even though – true love. There is something so beautiful and enduring about it that we cannot possibly fathom that time would do such a horrible thing to true love. We have all been born too late in someone else’s story, just as the bitter ending begins to unfold. Why didn’t our parents think better than that, better than to cast us as characters in the final act of a romantic tragedy. Didn’t they know what it would do to us to grow up in the rot of a festering love, and how could they ever expect us to find love ourselves when we have drowned for decades in their feeble simulacrum of that thing called love.

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