Airplane Talk

He stared at me through the space of that empty airplane seat and spoke very softly, as if painting the portrait of a waltz with his voice:

– You will fall in love with someone. You will get married. Then you’ll both cheat on each other.

I stared back at him with wide-opened eyes and mouth, not even thinking of how young and naive I must have looked then. He gave a quick sad smile and continued, his voice now even softer, almost a rough whisper:

– No one stays the same forever. People change, so why would it be any different with love? Love changes too. You will cheat not because you lust after someone else, but rather because you have grown to love someone else. Love gone is replaced with love anew; it’s a cycle we can not and should not control. To do so is to deny ourselves the multiple soulmates we are destined to have. Think about it: just how many sides do you have? Do you think one person will ever be able to love each of them completely, or even understand them? Being loved in different ways by separate individuals is what makes one loved in the absolute.

He then paused and waited for my response. I stared at his tired eyes for what seemed like a long time and saw within them a wisdom and pain beyond my years. While I understood his statements and had a sort of awe for this man and his words, my naive youth protested inside. Yet I knew that whatever wisdom I possessed on matters of the heart, it would sound immature and idiotic next to his experiences. Quietly, I too let out a rough whisper across that empty airplane seat that reflected the only truth I knew then:

– I can only hope you are wrong and live my life accordingly.

He nodded, as if he was expecting that answer, and we went back to intervals of nodding off and smiling at the jokes from the sitcom show on the airplane’s tv. But oh, how silly love sounded after that conversation, how banal and incapable, yet also how simple! And if I could relate to you today the lesson I learned from that conversation, it is simply this: sometimes love is the one to fail us, not the people in it.

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