Once upon a time, a boy met a girl.
Lots of stories begin like this, so we think we know how they will end.
This boy ran from the woods crying ‘I love you!’, which sent the girl all upside down with fear and excitement, until she noticed there was nothing behind him. No love chased him out of the trees, nipping at his heels.
The second time the boy cried love, the girl believed him again, so she followed him, wild with her own desires. For a long time she trusted it would be real, a love alive with passion, joy and truth. But no matter how hard she looked in the boy’s heart, she found nothing but shadows.
The third time, the girl found her trust had dried up. She turned away and refused to look at the boy’s eyes, his empty hands. She closed her ears to his pleas and protests and walked in the opposite direction.
Eventually the girl lived quite happily, thinking of the boy from time to time but otherwise quite content. She had great friends and a fulfilling life, and she knew how to recognise love, now.
In the end, the boy was left alone.
His gnawing heart probably ate him up from the inside out.
No-one really knows what happened to him because, after all, he was alone.