And 'tis a pain that pain to miss;
But of all pains, the greatest pain
It is to love, but love in vain."
It's been written about from the beginning of time by some of the greatest poets and playwrights the world has ever seen, including Shakespeare and others whose prose have transcended the centuries.
Dante and Beatrice, Don Quixote and Dulcinea, Midsummer Night's Dream, Cyrano de Bergerac, Les Miserables, Great Expectations, Phantom of the Opera -- they all had elements of it.
"It" is unrequited love -- a burning desire to love someone and to be loved by that someone, but that love is not or cannot be returned, leaving a solitary feeling of despair and helplessness in the soul of the one.
It results in a love left unnurtured, untended to, abandoned to wither on the vine and shrivel up and die and fall to the ground and be swallowed up by the earth.
And this can happen with all the best of intentions of both individuals. How many have escaped this painful roll of the heart's loaded dice, love's version of Russian Roulette?
Either as the one whose love is scorned by someone who just doesn't feel the same way or as the one who shuns the advances of the other and who feels the hurt of that person they have turned away?
Risk. Acceptance. Rejection. Broken hearts, closed hearts, happy hearts, dead hearts. Devastated hearts.
The feeling by the one that something could be so right...but the other is not ready or not willing or incapable or it just doesn't work for them. Their hearts may be open, but not to that person.
Or their heart may be closed because of past hurts or fears. The love of the one, no matter how deep or committed, is not accepted by the other. It is, truly, heart-breaking.
There is absolutely nothing new about any of this.
But when it's front and centre and staring you in the face, and you can see someone who has risked everything for you and ends up with nothing, it's too much pain to just ignore...for either one.
I wish it could be different. I wish the pain she is feeling could just be stopped, like turning off a faucet.
I wish there was a way to explain why it has to be this way.
There is no explanation that will stem the hurt, stop the bleeding, no solution to rejection. The wound is open and the only thing that will soothe the pain and heartache is acceptance of what is.
And I am deeply sorry for what is.