Romance Week 2016: Episode 1

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Love is hard. Everybody knows it, everybody always tells me: love is hard. It’s not just hard to find the right partner, among billions of potential lovers on this planet, it’s also and mostly hard to keep the relationship alive and healthy for a long time, potentially for life.

The whole process is very complicated, we all know it: it involves highly specialized biochemistry reactions, and it has very strict requirements in terms of cultural and social background, personal interests and passions, family history. And luck, a lot of luck. Which is not a very scientific way of putting things, but it’s for sure the most appropriate word we can use to describe it. Somebody says “destiny”; I still prefer luck.

I have never been very lucky in the love department: I have experienced a unique selection of jerks, cheaters, sluts, weirdos, and pure psychopaths. And at a universal scale: my job makes me travel a lot, all over the place, and I always have incredible opportunities to meet new specimens for my collection… I’ve always been convinced I would die alone: surely remembered by many friends and members of my parents’ families, but mostly alone. I have conducted my existence accordingly: the job that I mentioned is the perfect one for me, since it prevents the creation of any attachment; my home has been precisely designed for one individual, as it merrily reminds me every time I go back, not very often in fact; I have been the one and only master of my future.

Until now. I know you had seen this coming, so don’t look surprised.

I won’t name names, so I will just say “X”: let’s pretend that X is a real name, and let’s not mention this again. X and I have been acquaintances for some time: we work in the same organization, we also live quite close to each other, and we meet on our way to work on those very rare occasions where I am not travelling. Conversations have always been very pleasant, even if at a quite superficial level: the weather, a few updates on the lives of common friends and colleagues, the occasional sport or entertainment event. But this morning something was different: X looked at me in a way nobody had ever looked at me, with eyes like mirrors that reflected the deepest corners of the soul; we spoke honest and deep words of mutual understanding, we talked about life. We didn’t even mention the weather. Those eyes made me burn like a thousand suns. I cannot describe it in any other way, because I don’t even understand what happened: I had never felt such a communion with another individual, and we were both surprised by the depth of our connection. We lightly touched before taking opposite ways to reach our work station, and I felt electricity in my nerves.

Is this love?