What happened to Valentine's day?


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What is love? Here's a short photo love story I wrote to remind you of the first time you fell in love.

Not for kids.

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What happened to Valentine's day?

  2. 2. We first decided that we knew what love is when we were both around eight years old and we were on our bikes and you yelled, “Do you love me?” and I said, “Fuck yes!” and you giggled and you said, “Don’t say the eff word, I hate it when you say the eff word,” and I said, “But I love you – you have to accept me for everything that I am,” and you smiled and said OK and we kept riding, and when we got home I proposed to you and you said yes, and we got married in front of your cat.
  3. 3. We both decided that we knew what love is when we were teenagers and we watched Jerry Maguire at home when nobody was around and there was a scene where Tom Cruise was humping a woman against a bookshelf. “Should we try this?” you asked and I said, “You had me at hello,” and you held my hand and told me that you wanted a cute little kid like the kid in the movie and I said, “You can have anything you want,” and deep inside I secretly hoped that our kid would be nothing like me.
  4. 4. We both found out what love is when you found someone else. You told me that he’s cute and that he has a car and doesn’t get angry like I do and that now you know what a real boyfriend is like. You no longer called me back or told me that you missed me like you used to and I couldn’t sleep and I bought you flowers and told you, “I love you! I love you!” and you screamed, “Now you tell me! Now you tell me! After all these years you never told me, you never bought me flowers, not once!” and I threatened to punch the shit out of you and you said, “Go on, hit me, go on, hit me, go on, I hate you! Hit me!” and I didn’t remind you about the time when we were eight years old.
  5. 5. We both found out what love is when we became responsible for money: we had to focus on our university studies and we then had to focus on our jobs and we then had to focus on our bills. I confessed to my girlfriend that I’d cheated on her, and her shoulders relaxed and she confessed that she’d cheated on me too, but even so we still hooked up once in a while when we were lonely and drunk or felt insecure; this kept happening until she thought that she was pregnant and didn’t know who the father was and she became a lesbian and I sort of didn’t hear from her again. That didn’t matter, because by then all my friends and I wanted to do was to find hot girls to get into threesomes with. Sometimes I’d call you and tell you about my day and about the girls in my life and sometimes you’d call me and tell me about your day and about the boys in your life and from how you’d describe your sex life with them I’d think: I’m so glad I never ended up with you.
  6. 6. We both found out what love is when we realised that love wasn’t just about romantic love. I focused on getting promoted and learning the guitar on the internet and you focused on travelling all over the world and meeting interesting new people and learning new languages. One day I saw a video on the news of a woman being stoned to death and something about it struck me and I donated all of my savings, for some reason, to a cancer fund. Then there was a death and I was fired from my job. I began drinking with what little money I had left and spent weeks reading books in my room. You called and told me that you were engaged, and I got out of my rut and began applying for jobs overseas.
  7. 7. We both found out what love is when you started a family and I walked up to a girl in a cocktail party and asked her how she knew Leah. The girl and I talked for about ten minutes and I got her business card and the next day, after watching some porn (twice), I emailed her and we kept emailing until we finally met up for dinner and at the end of the night she smiled coyly and asked, “Is this a date?” and we kissed exactly like how we kissed the countless other dates we’d had in the past. I knew everything by then: what CDs to play in the background, how to unclasp a bra from behind or from the front, how to casually ask the girl if she was STD-free and had proof of a recent blood test, what kind of smell she’d have, what kind of goofy things you can do in bed to make her giggle, how she’d look the morning after, how I would look the morning after. One evening you called me and told me how much you loved your son and your husband and, tears in my eyes, I told you that I was happy for the both of us: you were married to a wonderful man and I was married to a template.
  8. 8. We both found out what love is when I bumped into you somewhere very Hollywood and very cliché: a café bookshop. You’d certainly aged and gained some weight but you made me laugh and I missed you nonetheless. You told me endless stories about your husband and your son and your dog and I didn’t know what to say, so I talked about my career, some people at work, about how I go to the gym three times a week. You put your hand on mine and said, “You’ll find her, you will,” and, looking straight at you, I told you, “Are you fucking blind?” and you giggled and said, “Don’t say the eff word, I hate it when you say the eff word,” and I asked you if you still liked to ride bikes in parks.
  9. 9. My name is Dean Blake. Read more of my work at generationend.com