"So I was standing in line for coffee during my lunch break," Sebastian says as he enters Aaron's apartment.
"Please tell me you didn't only have coffee for lunch again," Aaron replies with a smile as he welcomes Sebastian home with a hug and a soft kiss.
Sebastian shrugs the repetitive yet welcomed nag and continues, "So I was standing in line, and I'm kind of scrolling through Instagram but mostly listening in on the woman in front of me's phone conversation-"
"Naturally," Aaron teases and takes a seat on the couch.
"Right. So I'm listening to her and vaguely rolling my eyes at everything she says while trying not to chuckle to myself. By this point, I'm kind of on track as far as her story's going, from her end at least. She's talking about an ex that she hasn't seen in years not because things ended badly but because things just ended, you know? And she's okay with it, but she's annoyed that people keep bringing it up."
Sebastian takes off his scarf and coat and joins Aaron on the couch, kicking his feet up on the coffee table and looking over at him.
"You got all of that from only listening to her side of the conversation?"
"Oh yeah. Easy."
Aaron smiles knowingly at Sebastian and takes his hand. He starts rubbing rhythmic patterns into the palm of his hand in time to the music playing from the stereo.
Sebastian continues, "And then she says: 'Yeah, I mean, we keep in touch. I call him every year on his birthday.'"
Sebastian looks at Aaron with wide eyes and an exasperated dramatic expression, waiting for Aaron's response.
Confused, Aaron asks, "Okay, and?"
"And? And, isn't that awful? 'I call him on his birthday every year'. Well, whoopty-doo, congratulations to you. What about every other holiday? What about Christmas? Or Three Kings Day? Or Ramadan? Or Arbor Day? Or his mother's birthday?"
Aaron can't control his laughter now as he rocks his head back and takes his hand to cover his mouth.
Sebastian continues, "I mean, she was in a committed relationship with this person for years, and all she can think to say now is 'happy birthday' once a year?"
Aaron's shaking his head as he says, "But, honey, they're broken up. What else is there to say now?"
"How about calling him up on a Thursday in August just to see how his day is? Or how his new job is? Or I don't know, just if he's doing alright? I mean, after being with someone for that long, it just doesn't feel right to only call them once a year for something as measly as a birthday."
"But they're not part of each other's lives anymore. There's really nothing left to say."
Sebastian looks at Aaron straight in the face so seriously that Aaron can't do anything but chuckle under his breath.
"I reject that statement. I reject that statement so much. When you're with someone for, however long, but if you're with someone, and you're truly with them and love them, that doesn't just go away. That can't just go away. Even if things end and you don't see each other for years, the love still remains. Where else is it supposed to go? So by saying that there's nothing left to say is like saying there's no care; that there's no love. But that's wrong. By saying that, you're saying that love can end, that love has an endpoint. But it doesn't. Love is infinite. So even if a relationship dies, and you move across the country, and you don't have to see each other again, there's still that thought in your mind that drives you to one day call him and ask him how he's doing because you still have love, even if it wasn't in the same way as before."
Aaron's smile is lighting up the overheated studio apartment as he plays along with Sebastian's soliloquy.
"So then she must not have loved him then? I mean if she's only going to call him once a year to say 'happy birthday' and she feels that that's enough, then there must not have been any love."
"Correct. They were probably the couple that said 'I love you to the moon and back'."
Losing it again, Aaron asks, "Wait, what's wrong with that? That's like, one of the most overused cliches in the world."
"Overused for every wrong reason! Saying 'I love you to the moon and back' or 'I love you from the Rocky Mountains to the deep sea' is the exact opposite of a declaration of love. You see, when you hear things like that, you think you're hearing someone say that they love you so deeply that it will never end. You think you're hearing someone say they love you infinitely, but you couldn't be more wrong. Going to the moon and back puts a measurable distance that has an inevitable endpoint, and with an endpoint, there cannot be an infinity. Going from the tip of a mountain to the bottom of the ocean, although it is a great distance, still contains an end. So, both of those sayings are really loopholes for the asshole that says it to sound like they're really committed when they're actually just waiting until they've made it back around to earth from the moon. Both of these phrases are used for all the wrong reasons, or the right reasons if, again, you don't truly love someone because love-"
"Is infinite. Love is infinite, Sebastian." Aaron says, still smiling at him.
"Yes, it can't be any other way," Sebastian says seriously as he gets off of the couch and heads to the kitchen to prepare his sixth batch of coffee for the day.
They live in silence for a few moments. Aaron stares at Sebastian still in the kitchen and never takes his eyes off him as he says, "Well, Seb, I want you to know that I don't love you to the moon and back. And I will, positively, never love you from even the highest mountain to the deepest sea."
Sebastian turns to look at him, and he smiles for the first time since he stormed into the kitchen four minutes ago.