All love starts with a battle- the one between reason and emotion. Reason surrenders and you are in for the war. Yes, I know that’s a darned ‘unfair’ analogy right there- love and war- because, love, as it turns out, is quite popular; but there’s a reason they say ‘all’s fair in love and war’ and the reason is that love and war are, in fact, pretty much the same thing.
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In the beginning, it is all ‘US’ vs. the ‘big, bad world’ and the lover-warriors fight not so much because they hate who’s against them but because they truly love who’s with them. But as the war cry reigns on, enemy troops infiltrate the lovers’ own camp and things blow up. Damage to one side is, quite simply, an invitation for more damage to the other. As fatal blame bombs get thrown around and lethal loathly landmines wait to tick off, the stench of insecurities, the gory site of sacrifices and corrosive wounds from fear start to clutter the world that was, formerly, a blissful love nest.
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Lovers, once allies, turn foes and declare war on each other. Nobody remembers who fires the first shot but before one knows it, they are standing in the debris of what used to be ‘us,’ scrambling around in the rubble, looking for broken fragments of a former happy life. And there it is, ripped apart, covered in ash and writhing in the fumes of a destroyed haven, empty, dying.
When the smoke clears off, they see more questions than there were before the big fight ensued. Answers remain hidden, lost, perhaps, in tender wisps of smoke rising up from the funeral pyre of a relationship as good as dead. Empty shells all around. The empty shell of a lover-warrior, the empty shell of a lover’s soul, the empty shell of a love that was. All of them, clinging to that slim sliver of hope, the hope for an answer.
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Is love (our love) worth dying for? Is our love strong enough to brave death and come out alive?
It is, perhaps, the only question that needs an answer after that big fight. It does not matter where that final blow came from- whether it was the bomb of betrayal, the canon of carelessness, the wounds of withdrawal or much else- what matters is whether one’s choice to stick through and stop the war on each other is stronger than one’s weakened spirit’s desire to give up.
If the lovers must come out of it alive, they need to stop waging war against each other and instead, fight for each other, hand-in-hand, arm-in-arm, even empty shell to empty shell. Because wounded and scarred as they are, they are making it out alive. And they’d be fools to think things shall go back to being what they were.
Because peace is not pre-war restoration. Nobody ever goes back. Nobody can ever put back those pieces of love, hope and a life of untarnished affection back together.
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What they can do is begin anew. It’d be foolish to think that the forces of life may not come charging upon their love, again. Even more foolish to think that they shall be able to conquer them this time. What’d, however, be prudent is to understand that luckily, for them, they have their own allies. A lover and an entire army behind them who were there before war, who have seen it all and have been praying for peace. An army that has believed in the worthiness of their love- to fight for it- and to remind them that between their love as war (‘us vs. the world’) and war (with everything that isn’t love), true love shall prevail. Always.
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They are there to remind them that while things may never go back to being exactly the same, it does not mean they cease to be. That love is a force more powerful than the any other. With love in one’s arsenal, one can wipe the slate clean and begin reparations and re-building. All it takes is to put the weapons down and pick up that shovel, dig up the ground, put in the manure and work hard to sow and till until it is time to reap the reward. It may not come easy- for the rains may not be kind, the sun may throw up a challenge or two and storms may hitch a ride along the way- but one has to believe they will make it. And maybe, just maybe, they will.
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