[Redacted]: Did you know?
[Redacted]: [ ] and [ ] have broken up.
Me: What? Why?
I thought they were doing well
[Redacted]: I don’t know. [ ] doesn’t know either.
She just met up with him over the break and that’s it
Here’s a statistic: Only two of the twenty-five or so couples who were together back in high school are still together. Sorry, no, only one couple is left. You know why I know? I know because I keep track. I keep track of every single one of them.
The statistic I had told you has been poked, stabbed, and drilled into my head by teachers, parents, and older people alike. A reason for teenagers not to spend time with these silly rubbish things and focus on the real things; like school, career, college, and being the son/daughter they could brag about to their relatives and neighbors. These things which I couldn’t give a shit about.
I didn’t want to believe in it. Not a whit. Why, you ask.
One was because I was one-half of one of those couples. I mean, who the fuck wants to hear a prediction that their relationship would end?
The other was because I didn’t want to give in. To believe in that would have meant that the adults were right. The adults, with all their smugness and proud adult-ing, sacrificing time for the capability to consume. This naive belief that somehow it would be different, was my version of Santa Claus.
I didn’t grow up believing in Santa. I just never did. My parents treated it as nothing short of a joke, and frankly, I never understood the need to lie to your offspring about the gifts; how a fat guy in a red suit climbed down the chimney to bring several things to a kid he has never met. But I did grow up on books. Stories encompassing genre of genre from sci-fi to mystery to the occasional romance; from Shakespeare to Charles Dickens; to Maya Angelou. I’ve read on space battles, science experiments, wizardries. I’ve read of and about childhood friends. I’ve read about love. I see love in every single one of the books i’ve read, whether it’s a love for an ideal or an inanimate object; whether it is filial or eros. I grew up with these. I grew up believing that love will endure.
To see the statistic, like a doomsday prophecy, almost fulfilled, broke my heart.
I don’t think anyone wanted to believe it, back when it was said in homerooms as I doodled in my notebook. To believe in it felt like every feeling, emotion, and even the thought of loving someone isn’t real. That’s what the statistic is saying: a romance between two people at this age isn’t real. It can’t be real. It was just a cocktail of hormones; a result of puberty. It means that the love I felt isn’t love after all.
So now, as I stare at my computer screen, I mumble a quick prayer for the one out of twenty five. If one, even just one, survives then at least I’ll know that it’s possible; even if it’s not for me.