Fiction by Christine Ro

Two kinds

There are two kinds of people you know: those who love you and those who don’t. The latter far exceed the former.

There are two kinds of people who love you: those you love back and those you don’t. You’ve aimed for parity among these two groups. But if you’re being honest with yourself, you’ll admit that more people love you than are loved by you. It seems safer this way.

There are two kinds of people you love: those you love in a romantic sense and those you love in a platonic or filial way. You love more people in a non-romantic way, but have spent much more of your life thinking about the ones you love romantically. You’d like to blame pop music for this.

There are two kinds of people you love romantically: those you shouldn’t love and those you should love. Because you’re emotionally inconsistent (again, you blame pop music), you love people you’re not supposed to with an intensity that outshines anything else you’ve felt. You love them with the force of desperation, which can’t ever apply to proper relationships.

There are two people you love although you’re not supposed to: the one who knows about this love, and the one who doesn’t. Because your emotional inconsistency is an absurd and predictable thing, you feel the most for the person who’s oblivious to the way you feel. This person will never know. This feels pure in its impossibility, like a tiny person atop a large mountain – utterly remote. It warms you to know that the person is there, even though you’ll never ever reach them.


Christine Ro is a writer and editor from Los Angeles, now living in London.