“The first time I saw her, everything went quite… When you have obsessive compulsive disorder, you don’t really have quite moments.” Neil Hilborn – an OCD patient- said.
It was 2013 when Neil took the stage to poetically share his amazing gripping love story. That love story that you will not hear about in a Taylor Swift song, the same love story that novelists try to capture its essence in their haunting novels in which they either end them with a tragic death of an almost perfect character, or they turn them into Disney theme stories where everyone lives happily ever after. The only thing is that this is neither written by a lyricist nor a writer; it’s written by the lovers themselves.
“…even in bed you will find me thinking ‘Have I locked my door yet, washed my hand’ (he repeated 3 times) but when I saw her the only thing I could think of is the hairpin curve of her lips and the eyelash on her cheek, the eyelash on her cheek, the eyelash on her check.” he added “I asked her out six times in thirty seconds. She said yes after the third time but none of it felt right so I had to keep going.” He just had to keep going, not to make sure that she actually said yes. He just had to keep going till it feels right, he had to keep going not because it is a typical OCD trait, but because he only had to feel right.
In description of their first date, Neil pointed out that he spent a lot of time organizing his food according to shape and colour and that he kissed her goodbye about 16 ,or 24 times – if it was Wednesday– but then he added “She loved it.” She loved how it felt to be on the road with him, it just felt endless. She loved the safety she felt with him because he “definitely locked the door 18 times” She simply chose to see the good in his bad. This far it all looks out of a John Green’s Hopeless romance, doesn’t it?
But then, one day, when he kissed her goodbye in the morning over and over and over again she said “ I love you” but not the “ I love you” he was used to hear, her lips did not just curl the way they had always curled. She told him he was taking too much of her time and that it’s wrong. It’s wrong that he got attached, it’s wrong that they fell in love, in fact she moved out, but how could it be wrong when he doesn’t have to wash his hands after he touches her. “Love is not a mistake.” Neil said.
Love… tricky four letters that are often misinterpreted, Love is contradictory. It can cure, but it can sicken. It can strengthen; but it most certainly can weaken. It can be the answer to many of our problems but it may also add salt to the wound. Here is the funny part, all of these contradictions work simultaneously.
“Now, I just think about who else is kissing her. I can’t breathe because he only kisses her once and he doesn’t care if it’s perfect. I want her back so bad that I leave the door open.” Neil uttered the last sentence while being a complete mess. On the other hand, he leaves the door open, a perfect deception of the simultaneous contradiction. A further proof, Neil is so far away from perfect according to our world’s standards but that didn’t stop him from pursuing what seems like a perfect girl whose lips curl into a smile when she talks. Love did cause his heart to ache but it made him brave enough that he no longer locks his door. Love conquered OCD traits and instead turned it into love traits. And that is what real love is… a perfect mistake.
Here is Neil’s full speech. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnKZ4pdSU-s
PS: Prepare a box of tissues.