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They were happy for a while. They thought they had found everlasting love. They vowed to love each other till death. But one day their dreams were shattered. She died, he realised that he had not fully understood what that meant. His love undimmed fed a deep sense of loss which enveloped him until his whole life was lived through a haze. Nothing seemed real except the unreality. His only fixed point was the ephemeral spirit of joy which had frozen, receding into years ago.

But through the miasma the outside world had to break through. He had to eat. He had to sleep. He had to wash. He had to work. And his friends were kind, and understanding. As time went by he eventually accepted his friend's invitation to his party. There, he met a girl. They exchanged His & Hellos.

A few months went by, he no longer saw the girl, until one day they bumped into each other in a crowd. And all the things he never thought of saying spilled into his mind. Four hours later, he realised how long they had been there just talking. The unexpected joy rekindled the fire in his heart that had long lain dormant.  And with this awakening, came a momentary flash of horror. Pretending a forgotten appointment, he hurried home.

And as he lay in bed, lamenting the betrayal of his first love, it slowly dawned on him that his grief had turned to self indulgence. They had loved; they had lived; but she was no more, and wasting the rest of his life in empty misery was not a fitting memorial to those happy times. Surely, she would wish him happy. Surely, she would have wanted him to make the best of life. What would he had felt had the position been reversed? Would he have been able to look down from heaven on his love, pining miserably, while the world turned, its wonders unnoticed?

After that, they kept meeting, and as they met more he realised that his feelings were growing, deepening, and blossoming into a new love.

He choose his moment with care. But her reaction when he declared his love was not what he had expected. Her eyes dimmed and she looked down with a sad smile, shaking her head. And walked silently away.

He couldn't follow. Her quiet empathy had taught him that. But after a few days they found themselves together again. Gently he held her hand and looked into her eyes, silently questioning.

"Someone already owns my heart", she said in answer. "I promised to love him and  I can't give my heart to anyone else." Their eyes met with complete understanding. Their hands, still held, became the hands of firm friends. The unconditional love which demands no love in returns had healed his heart at last.

And from then on, through thick and thin, come rain or shine, he was there for her. He saw her crying, he saw her smiling, and by sharing all her feelings found his joy by helping her find the joy of life as she had helped him.

The real essence of love is not in finding the right person, but in making the person we found the right one for us. It is not in finding someone to love, but in loving the person we found. The real meaning of unconditional of unconditional love, is to love the person even if that person can not love us back.