A/N: Okay…so originally, this fic was supposed to be a one-shot. However, when I found my stride and got the whole thing written, it was 23,000 words. Ouch.

After consulting my too-brilliant beta, HPOBSESSEDRISSA (who so patiently and bravely attacked that monstrous one-shot for me just because I asked her to), I've decided to break up that one-shot into a mini-fic because it's overwhelming all at once.

So, here it is – the work of tireless weeks split up for your reading convenience. Read, enjoy, and please remember to review.

"Don't make someone your everything; because once they're gone, you'll have nothing."
-- Anonymous

To most, love is the greatest treasure mankind possesses – what separates us from any other animal (or species) in the world.

Love is supposed to be a renewal, a splash of cold water on a feverish face, because it is the one thing that reminds us all of our capabilities and our fears, our highs and our lows. It's the one thing that binds us together as human beings. Without it, we would surely all be in chaos.

For the longest time, I've been told that love is the most beautiful thing that can happen to anyone, but I don't know if I believe that much anymore.

My own experience is quite inimitable, to say the very least. Love is what winds me up, what keeps me awake at night, what unearths hidden blemishes in a nature that I thought I knew very well.

Michael Davies once told me he loved me, and his declaration became my undoing.

It was at that precise moment, immediately following his intimate confession, that I realized I knew absolutely nothing about how to love someone.