Note: This is for the Madrigal's Prompt, fire. I hope you enjoy.

The Fire of Love

The first ten years of a girl's life are spent playing with Barbies.
The next ten are spent trying to look like one.

Love is a myth.

I believe that is self-explanatory in itself, but honestly, I know there are going to be several of teenage girls reading this. Teenage girls who are either obsessing over an unattainable movie star or a boy in their class who has no interest in them whatsoever. There are going to be some angry letters in my mailbox tomorrow morning if I do not go into further detail.

Being "in love" is like having a fire inside of you. In plain words, it eats you up alive.

Have you ever seen someone, or been talking to someone, and your heart starts beating faster? The palms of your hands grow sweaty and shaky, and you feel as if you could talk to/stare at/drool over that person for the rest of your life and you could remain happy. Some call this love at first sight. I call it infatuation.

in·fat·u·a·tion. n. A foolish, unreasoning, or extravagant passion or attraction

There is a difference between the two. "Love" is what people describe as an intense feeling of affection for someone or something to the point where that person would do anything for the one they love. Darlings, whether you choose to admit it or not, you and I both know that it is the same thing as infatuation.

Back to your situation now. This person… let us say, your crush -

What did you say? Yes, hon, did you see all those symptoms I listed above? Congratulations. You now have a crush.

And once you ignite the fire, it is nearly impossible to put out.

As I was saying, you start thinking about your crush all the time. His presence distracts you from school. The thought of having him next to you - maybe having him hold your hand or draping his arm around your shoulder - sends your heart all aflutter. These fantasies start taking over your life, and every time you see him… well, it could go three ways:

1. You go crazy and fall all over him. You're too flirty, because you have no boundaries. Bad news, sweetheart, this approach will make him think you're mental.

2. You begin blushing furiously and refuse to go near him, because you have this fear that you will embarrass yourself.

3. You act normal. Whatever normal happens to be for you.

The thing is, ladies, that most of the time, this boy is not as nearly infatuated with you as you are with him. When he does not return said feelings, you start wondering what is wrong with you. Your mind starts jumping to conclusions. You constantly feel sick to your stomach. This is something all girls go through. I welcome to the next stage: heartache.

The fire begins to burn brighter and hotter. It begins consuming you in its flames. Fire shows no mercy, and neither does "love."

At this stage, most girls start wanting to look prettier, because apparently, that's all boys are looking for. They think that their skin is not clear enough, their hair not shiny enough. They believe that they are nowhere near as slender as those girls on the tele. This is the Barbie phase, where you can only imagine yourself as the perfect woman. Then your crush will pay attention. When you are beautiful, only then will he fall head over heels and see what an amazing person you are.

Did anyone ever tell you that giving someone your heart does not guarantee that they will give you theirs? And let me ask you this… Is it not ironic how the ones we think about for hours on end are the ones who don't even know we exist?

You are now a walking flame, oblivious to your surroundings and, like a forest fire, uncontrollable.

The realization might come all of a sudden. It could take weeks to dawn on you. Sometimes it hurts, and sometimes you cry. But when it is all over, you will feel like a stronger person. "The pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional" (M. Kathleen Casey). Don't take it hard. In fact, just think of it as part of this cruel game people call love.

Just think of it as part of this fire that I will now teach you how to extinguish.

Stand up straight. Smooth back your hair. Every girl has the potential of being beautiful, and I don't mean by caking yourself with makeup. I mean being able to rise above that. Smother those flames with the outer sole of your shoe and keep on walking.

Love is a myth.

No one should have to suffer because of something so stupid. There are plenty other cruelties in this world to suffer from without adding "love" to the list.




Well, sort of.

Now, I know what you're thinking. What does Nellie Gomez know about love? I know a lot more than you think. I know that you're probably feeling depressed, because Isabel just crushed your hopes and dreams. I know that you probably intend on taking her advice about digging your shoe into the ground or something like that (I wasn't paying any attention), but please hear me out.

When Isabel talked about heartache and everything, she actually was spot on. That is what a lot of girls struggle with on a daily basis. And she was also right when she said that every girl has the potential of being beautiful.

Please, don't change yourself for a guy. Also, don't fix your hair and get better posture just because you want to be above boys.

Don't focus on the guy you want to get. Focus on the girl you want to be.

And don't let the fire get out of hand. You're still in control here. You are in charge or your heart, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

If your love does not work with that person, it just means that someone else loves you more and is waiting for you. Remind yourself that it's just one boy. As an old saying goes, there are plenty of other fish in the sea.

Love is real, Isabel. It's that tiny flame inside us all that keeps us happy, makes life worth living.

Love is what ties us to this earth. You have the power to reduce that fire to just a warm glow inside of you that lights up your life and spreads joy to those around you. So, my friends, I leave you with a quote from one of my favorite songs.

"Loving might be a mistake, but it's worth making" (Lee Ann Womack).