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Love is (not) a Chemical Reaction

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(You love her, but she's running away.)

You brought her back and she loves you, but she’s not doing this again because she's afraid of falling in love.

There is a chemistry behind this that she can elucidate in her sleep - as if a litany of fancy names and processes will keep her from falling down this all-too-familiar abyss, untouched by logic and laws.

Phenylethylamine. Dopamine. Norepinephrine. Endorphins.

This is what she’ll do now – close her eyes and recite them with each breath - in and out, in and out - until the world around her stops spinning and makes sense again. Because it's what she’s comfortable with – the tangible and the understandable.

She doesn’t do well with could haves and should haves and maybes, because she simply will not think of something that never was and never will be. Oh, she can, but she won’t – because the last time she let her heart rule over her head, she was alonebrokencryingemptydying and she’s not going there again, no – never, because she likes things that makes sense and love doesn’t make sense at all - except in fMRI scans and the neuroscience tomes she devoured after the first time, to convince herself this was a process with rules and outcomes and that if she loved with all her heart, he would love back.

(She is a clever, clever fool.)

This is what she did the first time – let herself believe. She let him in, past her carefully crafted façade of indifference and disdain, laughed when he did, let herself fall into his embrace, kissed him back over a extravagant dinner and too-expensive wine – and suddenly, he was everything – her life, her light –

- and then, there was someone else – and shouting, screaming, fighting, crying, it’s-not-you-it’s-me-s and then he was gonegonegone –

And she had nothing and she was nothing, and no, she’s not going there again, because what if you leave her there too, down that abyss where all she can do is think of where she went wrong, because if she isn’t to blame – then what is?

(She is terrified of the unknown and the uncontrollable, of the things she can’t change; so she pretends that she is in control of everything and that when things go wrong, she’s the only one to blame – because it’s easier that way.)

Then, you walked in and picked her up – off the sidewalk of shame and sorrow and now, it’s back – that evanescent thrill followed by a lingering nervousness until you smile at her, cheek caving in, blue eyes shining. And she’s loosing herself again and she’s scared, so she recites –

Phenylethylamine. Dopamine. Norepinephrine. Endorphins -

And thinks again about your smile that brought her back to here and now, when all she could think of was dying, of a nervous joke and an are-you-okay, of that warm comfort in your arms, of the tenderness in your eyes when she is happy, of lazy Saturday morning breakfast chatter, shared coffee, of moonlight walks and drunken laughter – of going from nothing to everything again, of ordinary moments turned extraordinary, simply because of you.

(And she knows - even if she chooses not to believe – that no science in the world can explain this.)



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