I remember one afternoon, we were sitting at our usual Council spot on the bleachers. You looked at me and said "we are veterans."
Love is a war. It could be a war against other people, or against the barrier keeping you from being together with that someone, but it is mostly a war against yourself.
When I am in love, I hate myself. I hate myself for falling and I hate myself for every ounce of hope every time he turns to talk to me. I hate myself for the leap in my heart every time I see his name appear on my phone. I hate myself because when you are in love, you ruin yourself.
You carve out a bit of your flesh and dedicate it to the gods of euphoria and every tingling, bursting, exploding sensation. Every single time you see him you carve out a bit more of your flesh. A bit more, and a bit more, and when you two finally get together you're slicing off chunks of yourself at a time. It's worth it. And then when all the fire has burned out and the ashes blow away you are nothing.
I do not believe that things come easy, and I don't believe that they should. I don't believe that a battle should be reduced to a walkover that leads to everlasting peace. There's nothing to treasure, no pain for you to know true happiness. We live with battle scars. The one with none has a happy life, but it's all only a vast plain. No countours, no valleys and mountains to run your hands over. The one with none does not have the blessing of depth of existence.
On my Greece trip, Sylvia said out of the blue that I was a "good storyteller" and a "very interesting person". I've never thought of myself that way. I don't really think I've talked to her before this trip, and I'm glad that I had the opportunity. I shared some things about myself, but I thought I left out anything that would actually give the stories depth. I skimmed over the JC story. Didn't mention the days just before the A's where I'd rush back home from school and mentally force myself to sleep so that I wouldn't cry myself down that pitless well and drown in panicky hopelessness again. Didn't mention coming to school looking like a zombie for two weeks. Didn't mention that he stopped talking to me a week after our first kiss.
Didn't mention how much it hurt, how much it freaking hurt every single day. Or how deeply I felt for him, how just seeing his name handwritten would make my week. I went over my JC and Crescent stories the way a plane flies over an entire country, missing out the details that makes it anything significant. And yet they sympathised. Baoyun raised a toast to me. Sylvia said I was an interesting person. I'm not sure if I should be flattered or if I should feel slightly indignant, since I didn't do my stories justice; stories like these take a lot more time to unravel in a way that gives you a full account of their worth.
I've given much thought to the curse of the blessing of writing. I only found my passion for writing after my breakup in Sec 4, and it was always fuelled by pain. Pain adds a lot of depth to your being. Pain can come in the form of drama, or even in the lack of it; in the agony of waiting, in self-reflection, in longing. But it helps you appreciate something so much more. And that's why I don't feel something can or should be won easily. Love is an entire universe. Joy is only less than half the experience. It's like an iceberg. Love is based on so much more, so much that's buried deep within the recesses of your memory, a foundation you would rather not remember but that completely shapes the blessing on top.