By Kenneth Stepp


I use to love the old war II movies. In the middle of a lopsided fight, the American soldier pulls a hand grenade of his flak vest, pulls the pin out with his teeth, and throws it at the enemy firing a machine gun from his pill box. Then, our hero ducks behind whatever he can and waits for the explosion. It’s a surreal moment for sure. I have learned through experience that telling someone, I love you. Has a lot more in common with a grenade than it does a bouquet of roses. If I hand a girl roses. I get a hug. Maybe even a kiss. If I tell her I love her. Well…


When I wait for the right moment to say I love you. I should know an explosion is about to take place. Usually in the form of our relationship getting weird. This happened to me once. At first, there was hope. Something I did not have before admitting our friendship, to me, had changed, hope was something I did not expect. I was just getting honest with myself and her. The explosion came just a few days later. Today… The friendship has become different. She became the most important person in my world. And I became a footnote in hers. I’d give anything if I’d just kept that secret a secret. Have you ever had secret feelings? Did they remain secret?


“Deep down, I think everybody wants to be ‘the one’ to someone. I don’t know if I’ve ever been that person to anyone else – but I do know you are that person to me. You are the one. The only one. And you always will be.”

Ranata Suzuki


Love. What a word. What a journey. Once bitten it’s forever. How many times can you fall in love? I believe there is a limit. Maybe every time you love alone, walls begin building. And after a few times loving alone, the walls are too high for love to climb over. It’s a defense mechanism. After a few hurts, you’re wearing impenetrable armor. Nothing can hurt you again. If that number is three. I’m toast. Unconditional love is a wonderful thing. Until you are in it by yourself. Then it becomes a prison and you made the bars yourself. Love becomes your jailer. The crime? Opening your heart too far. The solution? To never allow another in. I hope that doesn’t happen to me. Have you ever worried about such things?


“I didn’t love you to seek revenge.

I didn’t love you out of loneliness or unhappiness.

I didn’t love you for any of the misguided reasons that time might convince you I did.

I just loved you because you’re you.”

Ranata Suzuki


Friendship is something I take seriously. My friends are sacred to me. I’d do anything for them in my power. When blended. Friendship and unconditional forever love. Your relationship evolves. How depends on so many things. The biggest. Are you both in love? And with one another? Most singles I speak with tell me they want their partner to be their best friend. What happens when their best friend becomes their partner? I suppose that was my goal. Or my dream. Today I feel the dream has gone and my best friend is on another planet. They say once said, words cannot be unsaid. In the movie when the soldier pulled the pin and threw the grenade. There was always an explosion. It couldn’t “not” explode. It’s what grenades do. Loving a person alone and telling them how you feel has a predictable ending. Once those three words are said. Well… And explosion is coming. The pin is pulled. It’s what unrequited love does. Duck and cover my friends. Stay down until you hear it’s over. Just like our hero did. He wins in the end. I’m not sure we do…


“For you are you, and I am I, and once we were we… but as long as I exist and so do you – know that I will always love you.”

Ranata Suzuki