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Love expressed in a tortured metaphor.

By Sean PatrickPublished 11 days ago Updated 10 days ago 3 min read
Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

The first time Eve told me that she loved me, she said it in the most 'Eve' way imaginable. It was the fourth of July. A warm and lovely night. We'd wandered off, arm in arm, to get away from our group. We'd gone just far enough to escape the crowd but not so far that we couldn't see the colorful explosions in the night sky. Standing, I was holding her in my arms and watching her as she watched the fireworks. I watched the light of the fireworks dancing in her light blue eyes.

As if on cue, she pulled those eyes a way from the fireworks just to catch me gazing at her, and she blushed. Tucking her head for a moment, she says the most 'Eve' thing ever: "I'm giving you my buttons." I have no idea what she's talking about. Seeing this, she explains: "You know how people say 'so and so really knows how to press my buttons!' It's 's like an angry expression. Anyway, I'm taking it away from the angry people and turning it into a mixed positive."

"A mixed positive?" I replied. "Yes, a mixed positive." "Do tell" I added cheekily. "I'm giving you my buttons means that I trust you. I trust that if I give you the tools to to operate on me, to influence or even manipulate me; make myself fully vulnerable to the choices that you make, that you will take care with that. I trust that if I give you my buttons, you won't press them to be cruel or unkind. If I give you my buttons, I believe you will only press the ones that matter and in the right way, at the right time."

She continued, with tears starting to fall, "I trust that when I give you my buttons, you will give me yours and we can start a new phase that I like to call, mutually assured emotional destruction." I laughed and replied, "I'm not exactly sure where this going." She continued, "Mutually Assured Emotional Destruction, It's a Cold war reference." I laugh and interrupt, "I understand the origin, I am lacking in the application." Slightly hurt, but undeterred "I truly have to spell it out for you?" I apologized and she said there was no need for it, she would explain the button pushing and the Cold War.

"It means, in our context, that we trust each other so deeply that we would willingly give each other the tools to destroy each other on an emotional level. It means we believe in each other so deeply that we aren't afraid to place our lives in each other's hands. I give you my buttons on a heartfelt belief that, because you love me, and I love you, you will take care not to push them in harm or vengeance. And promise you the same."

She tilts her head back, smiles and lets the last few tears escape her eyes. I smile back "And the Cold War?" She laughs, "It's not a one to one comparison." She tucked stray hair behind her ear and continued "Loving someone means risking the idea that they could destroy you. It's believing that they won't but willingly giving them the tools to do it. I'm giving you my buttons and that means you can destroy me, if y0u choose. That's the risk I am willing to take because I trust you and I love you."

Smiling and welling up myself, I reply "You have my buttons. I love you."


About the Creator

Sean Patrick

Hello, my name is Sean Patrick He/Him, and I am a film critic and podcast host for Everyone's a Critic Movie Review Podcast. I am a voting member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association, the group behind the annual Critics Choice Awards.

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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Comments (3)

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  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarran10 days ago

    Awww, this was just so sweet! Such a wonderful story!

  • Very, very nice! I really enjoyed this story!!!

  • Joe Patterson10 days ago

    Very well done, Sean. If I may offer a suggestion: be careful with the small grammar errors becuz I am absolutely terrible at that and you definitely should expand this into a much bigger story. It has a lot of depth that everyone should know.

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