HOLLY MIRANDA SMALE

Writer, photographer, "rapper" and general technophobe takes on the internet in what could be a very, very messy fight. But it's alright: she's harder than she looks, and she's wearing every single ring she could get her hands on.







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Wednesday, 19 May 2010

My sister responds.

My sister now thinks I don't love her.

"Don't you love me?" she asked me as soon as she read the last blog post. I should, of course, have seen that coming. The fact that I didn't shows just how stupid I can be.
"Of course I love you," I told her.
"You just said you don't believe in love."
"Not that kind of love. Romantic love. I don't believe in romantic love. But I love you."
"What's the difference?"
I was just about to start explaining the birds and the bees - a little late, given that she's 26 and has been in the same relationship for seven years - when she interrupted.
"I don't mean that kind of difference. I mean: in terms of your argument, what's the difference?"
"Eh?" I succinctly answered.
"Well, you love me, right?"
"Of course. Very much."
"And mum and dad?"
"Of course."
"And grandma and grandad?"
"Of course."
"But, according to your argument, you love us because of a biological urge to protect, presumably? To make the family unit stronger, and thus preserve the species?"
"I guess."
"But it's love you can feel, which makes it real?"
I didn't like where this was going already, because my sister is clearly more intelligent than me, but I grumped a little and then said:
"I guess so."
"Then why is not romantic love given the same allowance? Even if it is a biological instinct."
"Because familial love doesn't go anywhere. It's permanent. And romantic love isn't."
"But it can be."
"But it's not."
"But you can't believe in one kind of love and not another."
"I can. That's what I'm saying: both are biological instincts, and I can choose to believe in the one that lasts and not believe in the one that doesn't."
There was a pause.
"Are you okay?" my sister finally asked.
"I don't know. Maybe not."
"Because you don't sound okay."
"I know."
"You know what I think?"
"Probably."
"I think you're in the fifth stage of heartbreak. First comes denial, then comes pain, then comes anger, then comes general rejoicing."
"You're wrong. I don't feel anything. At all."
"Ask me what the fifth stage is."
"I don't want to."
"Ask me what the fifth stage is, Holly."
"What's the fifth stage."
"Coldness."
"Oh."
"It's the stage where you switch off entirely so that you can heal, and you stop feeling everything completely. You become numb to all love and emotion, and you think that it will last forever."
"Oh."
Considering it, my ex - who has been two steps ahead of me at all stages - told me he didn't believe in love anymore about six weeks ago, which nearly destroyed me because I was still at the 'pain' stage. Maybe I had just caught up.
"And then what?" I asked my all-knowing younger sister.
"Then, when you've had numbness for a while, you love again."
I almost threw my computer out of the window at the thought of it.
"I won't."
"You will."
"I don't want to."
"So? You will. You can't avoid that biological instinct masked by a collectively overactive imagination any more than the rest of us."
"I can."
"You won't. You'll love again and you'll be loved again, even more than before, and there is nothing you can do about it. Whether you believe that now or not."

And - although I don't have to think about that right now, and although I don't have to feel that right now, because I'm in the fifth and final stage of a broken heart, and although an overwhelmingly large part of me just wants to hide in a corner where love can't find or hurt me again - a tiny, tiny part of me hopes that my little sister is right.