How do you make your heart understand that true love must be rational in order to withstand the irrationalities of its reality?
I thought that I had experienced the full potency of love until I met Kareem. In all technicality you cannot qualify the ordeal as the conventional “girl meets boy and falls in love after a cute friendship that becomes sweet romance.” On the contrary, the whole situation was rather messy and violent, like the cosmic collision of two stars where the dwarf is swallowed by the super star and only a black hole remains. The only problem was that instead of being the super star (a fantasy that I harbored for quite some time) I became the dwarf – a willing dwarf, but a dwarf nonetheless.
I had fallen in love once before. His name was Andy and everything about him was just the right amount of excitement for my rigorously sheltered life. In many ways Andy represented a journey of self-reflection, exploration, and growth. It took three years of teasing, conversing, and making eye contact, to discover that our souls were compatible. Falling out of love with him was the same: a journey of reminiscing, silent tears, and personal growth. The only regret that was left behind was the misfortune of our tender years.
Kareem was quite the contrary. Falling in love with him was like being hit by a car, and falling out of love with him was like learning to walk after breaking your leg: you heal but your leg never feels the same again. With Kareem there was never a beginning; there was only “now.” Neither was there an end; there was only a trickling, fading “once.” At times I was tempted to call it Fate, but the truth is that that was only my way of making sense of it all. How else can I explain the fact that all it took for me to fall madly, blindly, and recklessly in love was one glance in his direction and a ten minute conversation that did more harm to my judgment than my peak pubertal rebellion ever accomplished?
The real value of this wretched fairytale is not so much that I was given a second chance at love, or that I survived the heartbreak. Rather, the value lies in the fact that the spontaneity of the situation granted me the opportunity to explore my reckless, less ethical, and brutally honest personality. It was because my love for him was so forbidden that I experienced the ethical dilemma that is being attracted to your employee. One always hears about the dangers and taboos of dating your employees, but one never hears about the true will power, strength, and self-restraint that is required to contain and erase any traces of attraction for your employees.
There is no denying that there is true common sense in the fact that the duality of the relationship blurs the existing hierarchy and muddles our judgment, but how do you explain that to your heart when it doesn’t heed to reason and common sense? How do you make your heart understand that true love must be rational in order to withstand the irrationalities of its reality? In this case, it was impossible to maintain a relationship when the guilt associated with it overwhelmingly overpowered the blind love created simply by being in the same room.
But there is hope. A dwarf can still grow into a super star and remain so for eons untold.
“Kareem” by Azul Serena