What is Love?

Writer: Mariam Hisham

Editor: Khaled Mohamed

“Well, in my opinion, you’ll never find love unless you love yourself”, said Jenny
“I don’t even believe in love”, said James
“Love is a big lie people tell themselves to keep on living”, said Elle

I was just staring at the floor. This weekly gathering of our class is a weird tradition our school has had since 6th grade. It’s our senior year now. “What about you, Sky?” I heard someone say, but I was so lost that I didn’t realize it wasn’t a hallucination. “Sky?? Hello??”, my best friend Cole tapped me on the shoulder. I jumped and looked at him, while our teacher repeated himself. “I was asking what about you? What do you think about love?”

I sighed. “In my point of view, love is real—” “How does she even know? She’s never even been in a relationship!” James muttered, and everyone giggled. “Well, James, the reason I’ve never been in a relationship is that I haven’t found the right person yet. And no offense, but what I’m seeing here isn’t love. Your definitions of love aren’t true at all; they’re all just excuses.”

“How?” Bella asked. “First things first, stop convincing people that they can’t find love unless they love themselves first. Because it isn’t necessarily true! In fact, the right person can make you love yourself. You can’t let someone think they can’t find love because of a personal issue that they’re facing!” I paused for a second when I found them all staring at me, but I continued anyway.

“James, you’re not the first person I’ve met that doesn’t believe in love. And you know what? I’m sorry. I really am. Because I know someone is responsible for that attitude. This person doesn’t necessarily have to be an ex or a crush, they might be your parent or relative. But here am I telling you that the right person will make you believe in love, even if you thought you never will. The moment you’ll see in their eyes just how much they fear losing, or how much they’re willing to die for you. The way someone’s arms will make you feel as safe as you were in your mother’s uterus. You’ll find someone who’ll fall in love with every minuscule detail in your personality. They’ll be in love with the way your arms move when you are driving. They’ll be in love with the way you breathe when you’re sleeping. They’ll fall in love with your smile. They’ll fall in love with your sleepy voice, the one you hate. They’ll literally fall in love with every piece of your body and soul, and then you’ll discover that love is real. It’s just so strong that people claim it’s fake.” I stopped for a minute to catch my breath, noticing tears in people’s eyes, even my teacher’s. I took a deep breath and started to speak again.

“And no, Elle, love isn’t a lie. It’s just that we’ve seen so many examples of fake love we now believe it is a lie. Kids seeing their parents fighting like enemies and the walls of their safe places crumbling down. And they can’t do anything about it. As teenagers, we decided to give love a chance, which isn’t wrong, but some of us decided to take the easy road and make up fake rules of love that destroyed people.” I stopped again because tears had filled my eyes. I wiped them away and continued.

“Yes, James, you’re right. I’ve never been into a relationship. Because if this is what you call love, then no thank you, I don’t want it. Because love is beautiful. Love is the only thing that can make someone accept their own imperfections. Love is strong, and yes, love keeps us living. We just have to do it right. And I’m waiting for the person who’s willing to do it as right as I would. Even if it takes forever.” I stopped and looked around. Everyone was crying. I really hope I changed their views. I really hope I made someone here believe in love. The true meaning of love. I sighed and looked into their eyes, discovering that yes, I did. I did it. I hope I can do more of this. When the bell rang, I gathered up my stuff, got up, and ventured out into the world, looking to teach more people about the true meaning of love.