"I love you."

tumblr_mrbki1m4xs1rgewupo1_500 "I love you." Words that, given the right context, send shivers down my spine. Regardless of the identity of the speaker, my response will always be the same. Ecstatic joy, quickly followed by paralyzing skepticism. "No, you don't," my mind whispers.

To the one that carelessly breathes, "I love you:"

You don't love me. You love what you think I can give you. What is it? An ego boost? A trophy to show off to your friends? Instant physical gratification? I am merely a placeholder, fit in the same slot that you would fit any other girl into. You are not worth my time.

You don't love me. You love the qualities of yourself you see reflected in me. Let's be honest: You love yourself, but veil your narcissism by concealing it in the admiration of another human. You don't care about all my parts semblancing a whole. The only parts you care about are those of yourself you see mirrored back at you. Without that, you lose interest. You are a coward.

You don't love me. You love the idea of me. This is the most painful, darling. You have conjured up an elaborate, beautiful being without flaw. I am not she. You are blinded by the insistent murmurings that I am this creature you have shaped me into. And you can't get enough. How heartbreaking, that you would not set that image aside and try to love me for the woman that I am. I promise, love, I am as, if not more, intricate and impossibly mysterious as your hologram version of my essence. Why won't you come closer and find out?

Love. Ha. What a meaningless word...

Or is it? We, as humans, screw everything up, including the definition and action of otherwise pure words. It's our fallen natures. God is love. Flesh rejects God, flesh rejects the incandescent absolute that love is, translated to our broken human levels, where we fumble over our words and say things we don't mean and cling tightly when we know we shouldn't and burn so hot only to end up icily bereft of feeling.