Love. We live and die by love. We live searching for it and when we find love, we die by it.

A gentle hand reaches for the telephone. His eyes wrinkle at the sides as soon as he hears his voice. His face softens and he whispers into the phone. His heart is reminded, though it was only a day ago he heard his voice.

His mind goes back to the day at the airport when he couldn’t hold back tears as he lay a bittersweet kiss on his lover’s lips. His heart screamed out, though not as loud as the pain from his throat as his man walked through the gate, gone.

He calls every day. A day doesn’t go by without his voice to console, to listen and to be quiet together though a world apart. He wants to be with him, but they can’t find the same ground since leaving six months ago.

He loves him so. He kisses the phone and puts it down for the night. His throat is tight. Perhaps, in time, they will be.

Cities away, another two meet on the street, smiling widely as they embrace. One guides the other into the restaurant with his hand unassumingly resting on his love’s shoulder.

He thinks of when they were the perfect couple, creating a world they would share a harbour in. Then the day came when he noticed he hadn’t moved for years.

He painfully looked at his love and they tore the rooms apart. They stood, panting, staring at each other, devastated it had come to this.

After years of love, how can they part? Dinner over gentle smiles and holding hands, they embrace and kiss each other goodbye. He walks home alone, elated to have seen his love but empty. That butterfly had returned to dance heavily in his stomach.

He looks over his shoulder. His love walks down the street slowly, his head lowered. He turns and continues his journey home. A silent tear falls down his cheek. Perhaps in time they too will be.

As much as love is a miracle, it can also hold us back. Pursuing flames from an old candle, it may light for a while, but the heat and light from it are little, if at all.

Perhaps as time goes by, these two couples will always be, together somehow, for eternity.

For Carlos and Andreas, the eternal Valentine men.

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