If all you need is love, can it survive imperfection?
|All You Need Is Love, So They Say
“All you need is love, so they say.” Bill’s flashlight lit up a package of peanut butter snack crackers that he held out to me.
“You’re not funny.” I opened the crackers. They were my favorite kind, but after a day and most of a night hiking in the mountains, I needed real food. “How many do you have left?”
Pointing the flashlight beam into his backpack’s interior, his face reflected light in spooky shadows. “The good news is,” he said, “you won’t have to endure another one.”
“What?” Tension squeezed my chest.
“Don’t panic. We still have some trail mix and a smashed banana.”
This is why I planned to break up with Bill. Everything was a big joke to him. He never prepared properly, and his bloated self-confidence drove me crazy. Case in point: today’s hike.
Bill forced a laugh. “Oh, come on. Lighten up.”
I stepped back from his effort to hug me. “No! You get serious. We’re in real danger after blundering around for hours in this wilderness. You even managed to lose the trail. What if a bear or mountain lion attacks? I’m so furious with you.” I was also annoyed with the tear that escaped from my welling eyes. Thank goodness for the darkness that hid my embarrassment. I turned and started back up the slope through the underbrush.
I stopped. I was being stupid. We needed to stay together. It really was dangerous out here.
“Karen, where are you?”
Why didn’t I say something? I should. I even opened my mouth to speak. But I remained quiet. Why? Because I was so flaming angry with him. Because it delighted me to cause Bill some worry for a change.
“Karen, please.” His voice was farther away.
He was going in the wrong direction. What a loser.
No, that wasn’t fair. He was good at a lot of things. He just thought he knew it all. Well, he was a lifelong learner. So he actually did know a lot of stuff.
It embarrassed me when he bragged to others that everything he bought was the best. Then again, he spent a lot of time in research before he made a purchase.
I was so tired of him insisting at social gatherings that everywhere he traveled was the best. I had to admit though; we’d been to some pretty cool places together.
How often had he told me I was the center of his life? That I was his compass?
Who am I kidding? I will never break up with him. I’ve punished the love of my life long enough. It was time to be a compass.
“I’m over here.”
Tonight’s predicament would work out. It always did. All you need is love, so they say.