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Kay C., 21 Dec '12

Love isn't about referring to someone as The One. It doesn't have to be about marriage. You don't have to love just the one person, nor do you have to love many to justify your search for someone who completes you. Love isn't the same for everyone, but it isn't all that different when it comes to varying couples or lovers, either.

We spend years and years trying to figure out the subtle intricacies of relationships, or not, if we are waiting (for a right moment, the widening of eyes across a room, the acknowledgment in someone's eyes who wants to love you once more, for something more to begin, finally, after so long). Sometimes, we think, we overthink, we don't think, and sometimes, we just do.

What is it, at the end of the day?

Love can be as much about stolen moments under the rain as it can be about fighting relentlessly for the right to love each other regardless of race or gender. It can be about the way he laughs when you call him yours, it can be about the way she goes tight-lipped and distant and you want nothing more than to rub her grief away with soothing circles on the lovely bumps of her knuckles, to take in the sadness and replace it with all the warmth in the world.

Breathe in the love you share as you lay a hand over his heart, thumbing the scars you know are there, emotional and physical. Brush your lips softly over the dry eyelids of a lover that has shed too many tears. Bask in the sweet happiness of her smile when laughter bubbles in her throat, sincere and joyful and a long time coming.

You are the love you want to give; it starts with you. Reach out a hand. It's all right to hesitate, to be afraid, to be shy, to be brave, to be bold. It's always all right. But take that step, that tentative step, and keep moving forward. Explore, and learn, and keep that love you earn and begin to understand in all your wonder close to your heart. The wounds will accumulate, and you will remember phantom echoes of forgotten pain through the years, reliving sad and happy moments both as you blink back tears and find yourself breaking into an inevitable smile.

That's how it begins, and that's how it ends. With you.