Varieties of Love

Leslie was done with love. She’d had it many times in many ways. She’d enjoyed platonic love with George with whom she took long walks in the park and had discussed the human condition. With Albert she had a passionate affair until his wife found out. It was messy. After the divorce, which was a kind of opportunity, Leslie and Albert never saw each other again.

Her heart nearly burst when she met Dan and they were, for a time, inseparable. They couldn’t take their eyes off each other and their hands were always intertwined. That was a wonderful relationship but not quite enough. She was on cloud eight. And soon even that faded and they drifted apart.

Leslie believed in the love found in fiction, in Romeo and Juliet, in eternal love. She found every other version in her actual life.

She retreated into fiction, not great fiction about great love, but cheap romantic novels which she devoured by the dozens. Leslie’s heart was consumed and yet she felt increasingly cynical and tired of the world.

If only she could find true, deep, full everlasting love. But such a thing was impossible for anyone except perhaps for a fictional character. And maybe not even then.