“I love you so much it hurts.”

He never really understood what this meant. Surely he understood love and he understood hurt. Yet in his naivety and by virtue of it, the wisdom of his innocent soul, he thought love was something that brought you intense happiness and gratification. Wasn’t that why everyone was looking for love? He could then understand that it would be really painful to lose something that evoked in you the passion that he believed only love can bring to you.

Yet how can you love something so much that it brings you pain? He always considered himself to be a bit of a logistician and he was really astute when it came to solving puzzles. Yet like every great thinker, he ran into something that baffled him. He wasn’t sure what caused this. He did know it had to do something with the fact that his brain would completely shut down every time he was near her. But what made it happen?

Yes, she was beautiful but not in a way that would leave you completely breathless. Her loveliness wasn’t assertive at all. Her teeth were misaligned and her nose a tad too large for her face. She refused to wear any make-up or do her hair like all the other girls he knew. Yet, she was effortlessly alluring. Like a well written sonnet that broke the set patterns and rules of the language to flow with more fluidity, her imperfections made her irresistible. She radiated pure magnificence from her essence. It was the way she walked, the way she talked, the way she smiled showing every one of her misaligned teeth.

One day he saw her passing by his balcony. She looked up, and for the tiniest of moments their eyes met. He felt the penetrative gaze was starting right into his being. What he saw inside her eyes scared him. He saw derision held behind the cover of fake empathy. A mask covering something truly scared and disfigured. As he saw her everyday going about her business, he saw the mockery in her eye more profoundly. It was always there. She had little concern and sympathy for the world.

This was perhaps why she intimated the more tentative men. He, however was drawn into her more. Ever so desperate to pull her puzzle apart. There was however something primitive still in his fascination of her. And one day he imagined what it would feel like to hold her by her engorged nose, draw her in and engage her tongue with his own. He knew curiosity wasn’t a sin, still he asked for penance. For she was Artemis, not meant to be gawked upon by mere mortals. Not meant to be touched even by the gods themselves. An enigma not meant to deciphered for she thrived in her mystification. Take away her perplexity and she was just an ordinary girl with a large nose and comical teeth.

Watching her he finally grasped what it meant to love something so much that it would hurt. To pull a rose close to you, to bask in its scent, to let it overflow your senses so completely while at the same time letting its poisonous thorn penetrate your skin.

So, he began to call her Rose.

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