Love - Merhayes
For @/notmerhayes on Twitter…enjoy…
What would you do for love?
It was a question that was often presented in TV shows and movies that were just too cliché for Cormac Hayes to allow himself to enjoy right before the protagonist went and performed the big romantic gesture that earned them the love of the one they loved. It was a question that Cormac honestly took issue with when it was posed…
Why should one have to do anything to earn someone’s love?
To him, love was something that should always be unconditional. It shouldn’t have to be earned or forced or begged for, if love was true it would happen naturally and not with a series of hidden terms and conditions.
When he was sixteen years old, Cormac thought he was in love. Like nearly 60,000 students, he’d finished his junior certificate exams on a sunny June day and dressed in the typical shirt and jeans to head out drinking with his friends to celebrate. He’d found himself in some random field sipping on a can of Bulmers, with friends and classmates from the Christian Brother’s School who were chatting and failing to chat up the girls from the town’s Presentation School when he saw her standing awkwardly all by herself.
Kelly Shaughnessy, the girl he’d been in love with since he was only nine years of age when she’d moved in in the house a few fields over from his grandparent’s farm.
Spurred on by the cheap cider running through his system and his friend’s once they’d realized what he was thinking about doing, Cormac approached her and with a charming smile and a few words about that day’s exam. Within minutes, they were kissing and within a few weeks, they were dating. Which in his eyes made his end-of-exams celebration rather successful even if he had gotten sick in a hedge and spent the day after hungover trying to kid his mother into believing that he hadn’t drank any alcohol at all.
At the time, Cormac truly did believe it was true love despite the constant issuing of ultimatums on Kelly’s part, their constant bickering caused by his unwillingness to travel from the city to see her, and all the other tense moments that had seemed like normal behavior to him. It was his first proper relationship, he didn’t want to view it as anything less than perfect, he didn’t want to view it as what it truly was.
It wasn’t until he was sitting at the table in his grandparents’ farmhouse listening to his mother rant and rave about how reckless it had been for him to sneak out and trudge through the fields at night, hopping electric fences and running from bulls in the process, just to see Kelly, did Cormac realize that something wasn’t right with the relationship. He realized, as his mother told him that he was going to be punished for his actions, that whatever existed between him and Kelly wasn’t love. Love wouldn’t have been so hard or caused so much heartache for everyone involved.
Kelly had not taken it well when he’d told her this the next day, after acting recklessly once again to trek through the same fields his mother had grounded for running through just the day before. In retrospect, he should’ve phrased it differently when he told her but he was young and stupid and learned two valuable lessons from the entire experience.
1) Love should be easy and hassle-free
2) If you wanted to avoid someone throwing the decapitated body of the teddy bear you’d bought them for your one-month anniversary at you, then you really should choose your words carefully when dumping them.
Cormac could look back on that particular experience and laugh now but at a young age, it had felt rather traumatic. The first lesson is what really stuck with Cormac though and throughout his few dating experiences throughout college and beyond, he maintained the view that love should be easy and hassle-free.
A view that caused the premature end to most of his relationship as he ended up bailing whenever things got mildly difficult. Breaking the hearts of perfectly nice girls who loved him in the process. It wasn’t until meeting and falling in love with Abigail Davis, two occurrences that happened expectantly in the same night.
Although his relationship with Abigail, the woman who’d become not only his wife and partner-in-crime but also the mother of his children, tragically ended far sooner than either of them would have ever wished for. It was a relationship that Cormac everything that one needed to know about love.
It thought him that love was patient, kind, messy, passionate, wonderful, and unconditional amongst many other great and not-so-great things. His love story with Abigail wasn’t always easy and hassle-free like he’d expected but it was always unconditional and that after Abigail had taken her last breath, Cormac vowed to never forget the fact even though he never expected to find a love like theirs again.
There were moments when Cormac struggled to remember the fact, times when Liam purposefully hurt Austin in the way that just an older brother could, or the times when Austin got petty revenge in the way only a younger brother could. His boy’s antics often had him questioning the whole unconditional love thing more than he was willing to admit but as soon his eyes would meet theirs whether they were gleaming with delight or regret at what they’d done Cormac would remember how much he loved them even though they were right pains every now and then.
Cormac was often reminded by his boys that love should be unconditional but it wasn’t until after he grabbed Meredith Grey’s head in his hands, exactly six months after finding her passed out on the tarmac of the hospital parking lot, and kissed her for the first time was he reminded about all the other things love could be.
When Meredith agreed to take it slow as they embarked on the beginning of their relationship, Cormac was reminded that love was patient.
When her children decorated cards and drawings for him after hearing that he had a bad day, Cormac was reminded that love was kind.
When she loudly shut the front door of her house after their first fight as a couple, Cormac was reminded that love was messy.
When he was lying naked in her bed, Cormac was reminded that love was passionate.
When their children interacted with one another and began to view each other as family, Cormac was reminded that love was wonderful.
His relationship with Meredith reminded him that love was many great and many-no-so great things and although their love story, which was longer than either of the ones they’d shared with their late spouses, was filled with many ups and downs, it was always filled with the truest kind of love.