by Jake Christie

A SUBTLE KIND OF LOVE.
a story.

He loved her in a distant kind of way, the same way the sun heats the Earth. If she were to disappear completely, he knew through pure logic that it would have no great, disastrous effect on him. He would not cease to be; he would not stop breathing; his heart would not stop beating; the world would not stop spinning. The sun would keep shining, radiating heat, if the Earth were not there. On a certain, purely physical level, her absence would have absolutely zero effect on his person.

And yet...

He loved her in an abstract kind of way, the way a bee loves honey. He wasn't sure why he wanted to love her, but he wanted to love her just the same. Maybe somebody told him once that he should be in love with somebody, so he felt a need to pick somebody and it just so happened to be her. Maybe. Being in love was nice, sure, but he didn't need to be.

And yet...

He loved her in a removed kind of way, the way a butterfly's wings can start a tsunami halfway around the world. He knew that it had an effect on her, but he wasn't sure how great. On a certain level he was aware that if he were to stop, if he were to disappear, it would have a drastic effect. For him it would be one less flap of his wings, in a manner of speaking, if such a thing were possible without him falling from the sky.

And yet...

He loved her in a subtle kind of way. It wasn't the kind of love you see in movies, with swelling music and giant gestures and running through the streets to catch a departing train. It wasn't the kind of love that Byron or Shakespeare wrote about, with flowery language and hyperbole and iambic pentameter. It was still and deep, like water that you might mistake for shallow if you just watched the surface. It was entirely his, not dependent on her own feelings for him, and it would still be there whether she, or him, or everyone else on the world disappeared. It was a subtle kind of love, but it was true.

And she loved him just the same.


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