I’ve heard it said that people come into our lives for a reason, bringing something we must learn. And we are lead to those who help us most to grow if we let them, and we help them in return. Well, I don’t know if I believe that’s true, but I know I’m who I am today because I knew you.

I used to think Romeo and Juliet was the greatest love story ever written. But now I know. Oh, Romeo certainly thinks he loves his Juliet. Driven by hormones, he unquestionably lusts for her. But if he loves her, it is a shallow love. Soon after meeting her for the first time, he realizes he forgot to ask her for her name. In the end, he finds no comfort in living out the remainder of his life within the paradigm of his love, at least keeping alive the memory of what they had briefly shared. Nor does he seek the reason for her lifelike appearance in death. Does he hold her in his arms one last time and feel the warmth of her blood still coursing through her veins? Does he pinch her to see if she might awaken? Does he hold a mirror to her nose to see if her breath fogs it? No. His alleged love is so superficial and so selfish that he seeks to escape the pain of loss by taking his own life. That’s not love, but infatuation. Had they wed―Juliet bearing many children, bonding, growing together, the masks of the star-struck teens they once were long ago cast away, basking in the love born of a lifetime together―and she died of natural causes, would Romeo have been so moved to take his own life, or would he have grieved properly for her loss and not just his own?

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