“What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it.”
― Gabriel García Marquez
Unrequited Love. How long would you wait?
One of my favorite authors, Gabriel Garcia Marquez wrote the bittersweet but romantic novel, Love in the Time of Cholera.
Not too long after the corpse of Fermina’s husband of many years is barely cold, Florentino Ariza tells his childhood crush that he has waited, “Fifty-one years, nine months and four days”.
This confession speaks epics of the emotions he reserves for the love of his life that painfully spans for over 5 decades. It makes a heart skip a beat of despair for such a beautifully innocent, yet tragically sad line and wonder if such valor could ever exist?
I don’t think Florentino himself could have really imagined how strongly he felt until the opportunity arose and he took the leap of faith, while at the time, things did not exactly go as planned, later is a different story. Life has a way of rewarding us or surprising us when we least expect it.
How many of us have wished that we had truly said what we felt, no matter what the circumstances were? How many would go back in time and change that one instance where maybe if they had been bold enough to speak their mind, the course of history for themselves and their beloved would have ended differently?
Some time back, I wrote an essay about the unrequited love of Florentino Ariza and his childhood sweetheart Fermina. I read the Columbian-born author’s tale of the young sweethearts whom were destined to be apart by the beliefs of the time period, dogma and ideals of those around them.
While I understand critics’ observations that Marquez is not just presenting an unfortunate tale of innocent lovers, (there are so many other themes that appear in the book) I chose to focus on the journey of the lovers.
I can’t help to wonder if such powerful ties exist or timing has much to do with matters of the heart.
If such an undying emotional bond lives, how many lovers have perished, never to recognize their beloved’s gaze upon them, feel their touch or engulf themselves in their familiar scent.
While to be in their presence for even a few stolen moments is what they conspire in their dreams, their realities are much different than they dream.
Far and away from what nourishes their soul, the memory of love lives within, as an eternal flame that burns inside, that is until the day one of them should take their final breath, then the other may soon take their lead, for one without “the one” is a hollow existence. How empty is the world when you lose the one you love?
I would like to say I don’t buy it, but I do.