There’s nothing compared to the exhilaration you feel in the beginning of a love story. Whatever the season, it always feels like Spring – the sky is blue, the sun is shining and warm, and there is a bright light in your life; it’s called being in love.
Falling in love
Falling in love usually happens suddenly, as if you were hit by something. One day you look at a person you have known for a time, and you feel that slight itch in your heart. Or maybe it happens at first sight. Then it grows, until your heart misses a beat when you see him, and your brain is so full of his presence that everything else becomes of secondary importance, next to that overwhelming feeling that assaults you; and you wish you could always stay like this, which is, in itself, the most impossible dream of all.
And then, when it is acknowledged, on both sides, and you know your feelings are reciprocated – what bliss, what immense joy; you feel as if you were floating (someone actually said it to me, long ago!), and you feel like dancing, and singing, all the time. You eradicate sadness from your world, seeing only the bright colours; all the others temporarily gone, vanished.
Then you want to keep it secret, for a while. First of all because it’s too precious to share, and at the end of the day you don’t need to share it because at this point the world only evolves around you both. You wish you could live in a cocoon, day after day, night after night, feeding on your passion and needing nothing else. Absorbed in each other, joining bodies, minds and souls, and, for once, wishing for nothing. Except for time to stand still.
Keeping it secret is exciting in itself. When you are among others you pretend you are just friends, or fellow workers, or even strangers. You don’t even look at each other, for a more passionate look might betray you; you are cool and poised. It is only when you are alone with each other that passion breaks free and all pretence disappears, and secrets are no more.
You go like that for a while… You keep your head down in his car; you choose remote little restaurants where you two sit in a dark corner holding hands and picking at the food, while toasting to your love; you go to secluded beaches, far away, and you walk along the shores for a long time, until you find your little spot on the sand, your corner of heaven, where you can openly show your feelings without fear of being seen. You travel to faraway destinations, keeping aloof while you’re checking in at the airport only to succumb in each other’s arms the minute you reach your destination; you fool family, and friends, who by now know there’s a mystery in your life and ask you about it – but you resist, and try to keep it to yourself like a much sought after treasure, that may lose its magic after it becomes public knowledge.
When your love is new, and secret, you do the craziest things: you dance slow songs in the quietness of a hotel room with your headphones on so as not to make noise; you lie together on the grass without a care if it’s dirty; you drive for miles only to watch the sunset together on a beach you love; you are always surprising your lover, be it with a small loving note, or a flower, or a message sent during a tedious meeting, or a new plan for the weekend… You both live in a world of your own, one that you know will soon have to be shared; but you hold on to it as much as you can, you want it to last, because you know that, once this period is over, nothing will ever be the same, because it will never be just the two of you again – it will be you and the rest of the world.
And then, inevitably, this most wondrous phase of all ends. Nor could it go on forever, because it would be unthinkable to have your heart beating like crazy every day of your life; and keeping secrets can only go on for some time. One day you wake up, and you are still happy, and still in love, but that feeling of exhilaration is gone.
Because this initial phase of being in love is so truly special, many people cannot cope with the routine that follows, and keep trying to get it back, jumping from one relationship to another. Others, only a few, are privileged to recover this exhilaration from time to time, and these moments feed them and allow them to stay together for a long time. As for the rest, the majority I’m afraid, they either stay in relationships that have long lost their lustre, or simply will not accept anything less that the best and forget about being in a relationship altogether. Both have given up, accepted they have lost. But one thing they will never lose – the memory of that special and unique feeling, the feeling of being passionately in love, of having experienced that most incredible emotion; and this memory, and its certainty, will warm their hearts for as long as they live.