You love something… it can be anything, really. A pair of sneakers, a book, or maybe even a girl.
It doesn’t really matter. Whatever it is, you chose it out of all the other things out there. You chose to want it, to take it, and to love it. But in loving it, you have also changed it.
You changed the sneakers… you wore them outside, on the basketball courts, or even just to class. They are scuffed with black and white marks, dirt, and memories.
You changed the book… you folded down your favorite pages and highlighted things you wanted to remember. It reflects your likes and dislikes, your desires and your dreams.
They are no longer the same as when you originally chose them. They are no longer the things you originally selected… maybe it’s time to return them.
You sit on your bed and untie your sneakers, letting them fall off your feet. Your eyes fall on the discarded sneaker box, carelessly tossed up on your closet shelf after you excitedly removed the sneakers all those months ago, and you think: Is it possible? You don’t want them anymore… Can they really just be put back into the world?
The indent they left is still there, as if the box were just waiting for this inevitable moment to come. They fit perfectly in the box, just as they did the day they were first removed.
But something is wrong… the sneakers look wrong, nestled in the pristine black and brown box, their dirtiness contrasting sharply with the bright white tissue paper.
You frown at the sneakers, confused, and it hits you. Of course you can’t put the sneakers back. Of course you can’t return them to the store. You changed them, and now they’re different.
They can no longer go back to where they were before.
You turn and pick up the book, tattered and dog-eared after countless late nights and early mornings of reading. This too, is different. You turn the book over in your hands, remembering the feel of it, the smell of it, and the memories of it. This too, can no longer be returned to the store… you changed it.
The girl walks into your room and you look up at her, then down at the book in your hands, and finally to the sneakers at your feet. And then you realize the obvious truth; that in loving the girl, you changed her too… and she cannot be put back. She can no longer be returned to where she once was.
But I bet you never realize that in loving the girl, you changed yourself, and now you’re different. You too can no longer go back to where you once were.