Nobody really forgets the first time someone says, love you. Of course, you know majority of the times, beforehand only that the person cares for you, adores you; but still, nobody can forget the first time the other person says it aloud or writes it down for you to know. There is something magical about this word. Be it anyone, a friend, more than a friend, family member, you do not quite forget that moment. You could not, even if you tried. It never really stops the butterflies in your stomach. There is the condition that the person who says this to you has to be sincere.
It never fails to overwhelm you; the intensity of the moment or the passion, or simple plain happiness. For that moment, you forget that there are others who exist in your life, people who have said the same things and have disappeared abruptly, leaving you where you were. That feeling is the same too, of being broken, of not understanding how can someone who claimed to love you left you. You also know that though this question remains unanswered, you also have done it to others. Wherever you are on this spectrum, that the words are fragile hurts.
You have complained about people hurting you, about being broken, about being lost and feeling out-of-place. You know that people, who have loved you, have left you. In this rat race, distance and time has managed to overpower the relationship that you shared. You also know that you have broken someone’s heart, you know you have let go of people and that you might be the reason someone refuses to believe in love. This realization destroys you. You prefer being broken than break someone else. As this dawn upon you, you give others a benefit of doubt too, though it does not lessen the pain. You tell yourself not to fall into this trap again. You are better by yourself.
Then you go to places, looking for new adventure, or trying to run away from yourself, and someone new comes along, someone sees you, understands you, and cares for you. It is so difficult not to respond to someone so warm, though surely you know better than that. We all have stories and when we share them, we strengthen them in our minds. You start talking, sharing; that other person shares his story, you empathize, you lend an ear. You identify with the stories, the feelings involved in it, they remind you of people in your own life. You start getting soup for the person when he is not well, start waiting for lunch occasionally, perhaps go out of your way to spend time together and you feel happy when these feelings are reciprocated. A weak voice in your head tells you that you have been through this, it does not last; friends are not always forever. You both refuse to acknowledge the past hurt, and carry on with the madness, carry on being friends. The frenzy begins.
Then you accept that you have grown to care for the other person. One day, you tell the other person that you love her/ him; that you consider them a friend and that forever is not just another word. You forget the past hurt, for the time being. You get lost in that ‘love you,’ and it never fails to soften your heart or soothe your soul and caress the wounds. It just feels so good. That is the moment you know that you are forever vulnerable to that person for you two have loved each other, exchanged a part of your soul.