Once upon a time there lived a girl. She was a special girl this one, with a mischievous smile that always light up her eyes. There are so many things I could tell you about her, so many things that made her, well her. For instance she was a dreamer, she always had her head in the clouds. Ever so often I have seen her eyes glaze over as looked away into the distance, lost in thought about something or another. Of all the things that I could say about her though, there is really only one thing that you need to know: she was in love with boy

Her story is rather un-dramatic. There were no ships launched, there were no epic battles fought, no one was murdered and most certainly no one had to dash off to the airport at the last minute to make any declarations. This was not love at first sight or the stuff of legends. It was in fact a quite sort of love, the love that creeps up on you slowly and catches you unawares, until one day you wake up and realize that you will never quite be the same again.

Silent but deadly I call it. I could see the effect of it on my friend. One day she was sitting next to me planning to take over the whole world and the next, she had suddenly lost the desire to do anything for herself. It was as if he was the sun and she orbited around him like a planet. On the surface it was very hard to tell that there was any difference at all. I don't think most people even noticed. I did though.

It started with the smiling for no reason. Suddenly in the middle of conversation her eyes would glaze and her lips would curl into a dazzling smile. Then slowly, one by one I could see her start to give up doing things that she loved, soon all her decisions about the things that she had always wanted begin to change. Annoyed at what I thought was a passing infatuation I confronted her.

"What about him do you like really? Is he really worth all this?"

"I don't know," was her stunned reply. "There really isn't a single reason, or any reason. Just like you know that Tuesday will always come after Monday, the sun will rise in the east and set in the west, the compass will always point to the magnetic north, I know that I love him."

"Oh come on! Cheesy much?," I scoffed. "He's not even good looking! This whatever this is, isn't going to last."

Her reply was dead serious, " I can't tell whether he is good looking, what I can tell you though, is that sometimes at night his knees give him a lot of trouble. I know that given a choice between fine dining and Burger King, he would choose Burger King. I know that on the weekends he will never wake up before ten thirty. He's read every single book in the Twilight series and secretly he's enjoyed them. He listens to all the old eighties music like I do. Ever so often he starts to doubt himself and starts to feel unwanted and out of place. I know all the best parts of him and all worst parts of him and I know that he is not perfect, far more it, he is flawed, very deeply flawed. But I don't care. There are people who are better looking than him and there are people who are smarter, there are even people who are nicer, kinder and more forgiving. But I love him, I will always love him."

At that I was taken aback but I was still unconvinced. In fact my conviction that all of this was bound to end one day was only strengthened. Of course it would. After what she had told me that day I realized that the relationship was hopelessly unbalanced. The boy in question was very ambitious and focused on reaching his own goals. He was also as several other people had pointed out to me an unfortunate flirt. Even though all in all he was a good sort of person, there was no doubt in my mind that he didn't return her violence of her emotions.

I derive no satisfaction in saying this: with time I was proved right. Actually only sort of right. Well honestly only kind of right.

Frustrated by the lack of reciprocity in her relationship my friend finally got the nerve to walk away. " Love yourself with the same passion", I advised her "Do things for yourself now."

And from that day forward she did. She achieved much and she saw much. No longer, bound to him she was free to go wherever it took her fancy to go. She fell in and out of love and meet people from different places, of different colours, shapes and sizes all of whom had their own stories.

Her freedom didn't come cheap though and it was never easy. Wherever she went and whomever she meet, he always went with her. She saw him everywhere, in the large burger king in Paris and then on the Bridge between Buda and pest in Hungary. In Vienna he walked side by side with her in the castle, remarking on the architectural styles of the building. In Istanbul in the catacombs below the city he whispered excitedly to her about some or the other thing he had read about in the newest Dan Brown novel. Croatia was the worst, she imagined him running all around her with his camera frantically clicking pictures of the castle from their favourite television show.

No matter where in the world you go, the compass will always points only in one direction. So also unfortunately did her heart.