I got talking with a close friend of mine while hitching a ride on his car, and he disclosed offhandedly that he did not believe in true love in our generation, not any more. He believed all relationships were a means to an end for both parties. What he meant was that he believed couples enter into relationships because they see their partners as useful to them in the long run. He said all this in a matter-of-fact way. A shadow of regret, maybe. But mostly, he spoke with resignation.
Our discussion trailed off into other topics soon after, but his words affected me more than they should. In the light-hearted atmosphere of the car, I did not think much of it. But long after I have reached the cool comfort of home, our conversation continued to resound in my head. Surely, there was something, something that was wrong somewhere. Then I realised what disturbed me was not so much what he said, than the way he did it. What he expressed was, after all, an opinion he was entitled to. What truly bothered me was that there was neither disgust nor sadness inflected in his voice. He was stating it as he saw it, and he truly believed what he saw was a law of human nature. Resistance was pointless. Response was pointless. Like prey should be food to the predator, like moths will kill themselves flying towards light, going against the grain of nature would be as unwise as it would be futile.
We are nineteen, and it seems wrong what little we have seen of this world has already incapacitated our capacity to feel. This is different from the cruelty of working society. Cruelty can be justified. Sometimes, it is even necessary. Soldiers must die for a cause to be won. From my standpoint as a nineteen-year-old, it is immoral that we should be robbed of the right to love so young, when the only other things we can look forward to as we grow up are superficial.
For all the gender stereotype, I remain a naivete when it comes to friendship and love. This isn't a perfect world, and there will always be people who will be more than willing to exchange a little part of themselves for an unfair advantage. I may even do it myself, but I need to know that people who are true to themselves and relationships built on mutual respect do exist, and they will colour my world. For now, I cling onto my papery illusions of friendship and love, even though my experiences in the latter has proven me wrong on more than one occasion. There must be more to it than sex, ego and money. I insist on giving the benefit of the doubt, and pray it will not leave my faith in tatters.
I hope there will not come a day, when I look into the mirror, and all I see is my friend staring back at me.