Aryan Gupta


I experienced love, once. I think it was love. It was fleeting, by all technical accounts, the numerical definition of love. Albeit, it flew quickly away, like a butterfly uncaptured and unready for its metamorphosis of tragedy. Yet it was February love, so I still think.

Maybe it was not love. To me, it was love, but was a single person’s definition sufficient for objective acceptance? Similarly, love feels unreciprocated despite serving as the most unsentimental of desires. Again, and similarly so, such definitions do apply to me. 

The numerical love was like a tug-of-war, except I fought against a stone-bricked wall to which the taut rope lay erect. Again, it was the push-pull of struggle that left one luring for more, a shimmer for yearning and affection, but it was a butterfly. Fragile wings, doomed for a 29-day lifespan, except maybe measured in hours. In retrospect, more likely minutes. 

It was the type of love felt upon one’s skin and left one laughing, smirking. Pure and bliss. No, not smirking. Giggling in idiosyncrasy. Yes. So maybe it was not love. Maybe it was the puppy skirting from the garage’s side door to the house’s back, whining and cooing and howling for entrance into the intimate and warm. Is tug-of-war still tug-of-war with a six-foot, five-foot, three-foot, one-foot brick wall? The wall does not play. It stands in fortitude and solitude, providing the foundation necessary for success. Yet its barriers permit the unyielding. But who is to ruminate upon love and the love not? You choose. They didn’t. The rope was tied.

I’ll never understand love. Neither shall nor should you. Does it wobble and precess? Is it tension, equal forces? Or is it more? Are those that love the droplets curving around each smoothened rock? And flowing forever till the droplets conjoin into streams that traverse the valleys and fjords and depths of waterfalls toward the heat to which they are endlessly bound? Is love meant for the parallel, the ever separated, but — if together — it was and shall infinitely be love? Is love the means, the purpose, or the end?

Maybe the loved is more. The unconditional. I know not a lot, but I can estimate. I meander mere tens of photons from quasars light-years away. And I figure more from kit-cat pulsations of stars that reside in galaxies orbiting at hundreds of kilometers per second. I come to count the four spiral arms that extraordinarily encompass my, yours, her, his, and their and its universe. Each arm hosts millions of stars with more orbiters, binary droplets of water that fluidly curve around and around in their own identical yet stone-bricked walls of love. 

Then I assert. Lessening my probing, my probabilistic claims, I am no longer epistemologically skewed. I know what I’ve seen. Far-fetched the Virgo supercluster, I’ve seen the Sun that culminates and resigns each day. It tempts Icarus, though even his disobedience seems genetically strong. I’ve seen the seasons caused by the purpose of our 23.5 degrees, unconditionally altering the world filled with scorching, blistering rays and sheets of ice. In-between, do I fantasize? The romantic ponders the other eight, maybe nine, or thousands of minor planets. They orbit my love, the people of the third. The Earth rotates in less than 24 hours. Seven continents, equally numbering seas. These facts are unreciprocated. 

How could I propose fact?

However so, it inevitably seems, I have lied. Surely, I’ve never experienced love. I’ve seen, but You choose.

Aryan Gupta enjoys reading, snowboarding, and astronomy. He seeks to create a positive impact each day, live life both in his head and the moment, and chase new experiences. His favorite dessert recommendation is the triple chocolate brownie at Dairy Queen, but he also relishes the finer aspects of life (bitter dark chocolate and candle making). As a senior at Great Oak High, he’s filled with both excitement and trepidation for the next saga of his life.