What is Love?

It was magic when I first met her. I knew from the start that she was quite different. She was lovely and graceful, and all I could do was to say “wow!” Call me ambitious, because that’s exactly what I have turned into after that meeting. Despite our big differences, I had the guts to dream that she and I would be perfect for one another.

I grew up as a poor provinciano admiring the beauty of nature and women. I like girls, but it seems that girls like anybody but me. How could they be so blind not to see the fine qualities my mother has been counting all these years? Well, the truth was I myself could not recall any, except this single talent of mine – daydreaming. So when I met her, I completely ignored my past romantic miseries and resorted to what I could do best – daydreaming.

She was the dream girl of not a few men in our company. Where I was working, half of the male employees were attracted to her (the other half were married) and during lunch break; she was the constant topic of the huddle. We would admire the glow in her eyes, and would agree that comparing them to Natalie Portman’s was an understatement. While beauty was apparent in every part of her body, what we liked most about her was her charming personality.

I admired other girls before, but this one was simply astonishing. Her shy smiles filled my heart with glee and excitement. The trouble was she was smiling to everybody, and you could see jealousy in my eyes. I had many rivals for her attention, so I devised my own schemes to get close to her, like buoying our officemates to coin our names.

True enough, in meetings and gatherings, they would tease her and me and my ears would clap in thrill. She, on the other hand, would bow her head, her tender cheeks almost blushing. Then, she would be silent, and I would feel guilty.

When I could no longer restrain my feelings, I began to send her loads of daily text messages, countless e-mails and even handwritten love letters. I composed them at night, when the stars were brightest at the sky. I knew I was aiming for the star, but I had to take my chance.

A true-blue Bulakenya, she is of the religious type. With a Master’s degree in Psychology, she could read actions and behavior, plenty of which I have shown her. And what a kind girl she is – she could not say any harsh word to her suitors, including me. For example, when I talked to her about love, she, with all of her sweetness and finesse, talked about life and religion.

While I was busy daydreaming, little did I know that she felt sorry for me. As it turned out, our officemates were not teasing us as a likely pair. They were merely making fun of me for having the guts to woo her. “Kapalmuks,” was the word. It was true; there were blushes in her face, not because of joy, but more of pity for the man being ridiculed unaware, which was I.

While my mind began to be crammed with insecurities upon learning this, I became even more persistent. I would do everything to win her, as much as I would to survive another day in the office in the company of my hecklers. For me, it was like climbing the mountain, sending my body dead or bruised to the summit.

I thought there was nothing that could stop me from climbing my mountain of love. Although not one of my letters and messages was answered, I thought I had a chance until she resorted to the least painful way of shunning me out of her life. She began dating someone else. For me, it was like falling from the peak of Mount Everest.

It has been three years since I last met her, and the last thing I heard was that she is married to the man of her dreams. I am happy for her, really. Call me a modern-day Don Quixote who is in love with an imaginary princess, and surely you have a correct idea about me. I think this is what love is all about – being crazy.

I am very thankful I have met her – an experience I would not trade for anything. If I were to become old and graying, I would tell myself that once in my lifetime, I saw the face of love.

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