Author: Kate Rose
Published by: elephantjournal
When I read this post by Kate, blown away is an understatement. I immediately thought of how these three types relate to the protagonist in Wheeler, Loren Mackenzie. To be honest, I didn’t set out with all her backstory prepackaged – as I’ve been reading that’s how one is supposed to write a novel. I just write what’s in my head and let the characters develop their own story as we ride along together. It’s terrifying and wondrous to me how all of it can come out of my head.
I can identify who was each type: the high school relationship, the hard love(s) and the one I didn’t intend. But hey, this post isn’t about me, it’s about Loren.
While I quote some of what Kate said here, I encourage you to click the link and read the entire thing; and even read some of the other things Kate has written. She is a truly gifted writer.
‘Often our first is when we are young… Because in this type of love, how others view us is more important than how we actually feel. It’s a love that looks right.’
For Loren, this was her college boyfriend, Edward. In her mind, he was ‘safe.’ They liked the same things (although he wasn’t a cyclist), they had the same friends, but in the end, he betrayed her in probably the worst way a college boyfriend could, by sleeping with her roommate.
‘The second is supposed to be our hard love—the one that teaches us lessons about who we are and how we often want or need to be loved. This is the kind of love that hurts, whether through lies, pain or manipulation.’
For Loren, the obvious would be Felix. Whether she wanted to admit it or not, she loved him, but she was also afraid of him.
Kate points out that this type of relationship can be repeated, ‘because we think that somehow the ending will be different than before. Yet, each time we try, it somehow ends worse than before.‘
She also writes: ‘There may be emotional, mental or even physical abuse or manipulation—most likely there will be high levels of drama. This is exactly what keeps us addicted to this storyline because it’s the emotional rollercoaster of extreme highs and lows and like a junkie trying to get a fix, we stick through the lows with the expectation of the high.‘
Uh, well… I’m not gonna say much about that because, um, ahem. Moving on!
‘And the third is the love we never see coming. The one that usually looks all wrong for us and that destroys any lingering ideals we clung to about what love is supposed to be. This is the love that comes so easy it doesn’t seem possible. It’s the kind where the connection can’t be explained and knocks us off our feet because we never planned for it.
This is the love where we come together with someone and it just fits—there aren’t any ideal expectations about how each person should be acting, nor is there pressure to become someone other than we are.’
While in most respects, this is Graham. However, we know and probably don’t want to admit to ourselves, this kind of love is also a myth. Real love takes both people willing to compromise on their own wants to grow as a couple. It’s not magic; there’s no soul to soul connection.
As Graham’s sister, Claire, points out in Wheeler, Book II:
“It’s not poetry and song, and it is certainly not a fairy tale. Your soul might ache from their absence, but there are times when you just want them to leave you alone. Or how you feel their pain when you hurt them with your words and all you want to do is take it back, but there’s no way that you can, and you die a little every time they look at you because you know they don’t trust you as much as they did yesterday. And your greatest fear is that one day, they will see you as you see yourself, and they will leave.”