“Do you believe in true love?”
I laughed, if not snorted, upon hearing such question being addressed to me.
“Is this a trick-question?” I asked him, sarcastically.
“No, of course not. What makes you think so?” He asked me back with a confused face, as if I asked something incomprehensible.
“Because it sounds wishy-washy, and cliche, mind you,” I answered.
Now he looked even more perplexed.
“What?” he said, expressing surprise and disbelief.
I decided to shut my stupid mouth with a smile, trying to look smart.
It didn’t work, as he didn’t avert his gaze on me.
“What?” I asked him, with a sarcastic smile on my face.
“How could you say so?”
I gave a snort of laughter, expressing–this time–my own disbelief.
“Well, if you’re so sure of the notion of true love itself, do enlighten me, sir, the idea of this… so-called ‘true love’.”
He stared at me in astonishment.
“Well…,” he paused, struggling for words, as my previous request seemed unexpected to him. “Eeeerrrr, true love is…,” he paused again, but then continued, “…is an unconditional love. When you love someone despite his or her faults and past errors, I shall say. …or vice versa, I guess.”
“Hmmm,” is all I say in response.
“What? Are you telling me you don’t believe in that kind of thing?”
“Well, I do believe in true love, if I live in fairy tale,” I answered, then quickly engage myself in papers that I need to grade, in order to avoid further questions.
Fuck, it didn’t work.
I pretended that I didn’t hear that.
“Whatever do you mean by that?”
Fuck, he’s not gonna give up easily, wasn’t he?
“I mean, sir, I live in the real world, in a jungle called reality, where, I believe, the so-called ‘true love’ really is a scarce thing.” I explained after I took a long deep sigh.
His eyes widened as he heard my explanation.
“Wow,” he muttered. Whatever that means.
“Have you had bad experiences in love or something?”
God, please, I pleaded in my mind, while sighing again and rolling my eyes.
“No, I have not, but the idea of ‘true love’ seems ridiculous to me, is all.”
“Geez, why are you so negative?” he asked me, at the same time amazed.
Why, oh why can’t I just shut my bloody mouth up?
“Because I’m being realistic,” I said, trying to put a final tone in my answer, hoping this guy would take the cue.
My answer was stupid, and thoughtless, of course. But I can’t seem think of anything else to shut this guy’s mouth and mind. Cursed me, I thought to myself.
“Realistic? That is you being realistic!? Have you been mistreated or something in the past?”
“My God, what does it take for you to quit?” I finally grew impatient and decided to show my annoyance. “No, sir, I have not been mistreated. In fact, I have been loved, if not too much, perhaps overwhelmingly.”
“I’m quite fond of romance, actually, but I believe they ought to stay in books, novels, and movies, and I like it if they maintain their existence there,” I added quickly, before he managed to say anything further.
And now he laughed sarcastically in return.
“My God, you’re strange,” he finally said.
“Yes, I am,” I decided to respond with a smile before I finally turned back to grade students’ papers.