Love hurts. It really, really does. You might have seen the news that scientists find “the experience and the memory of getting dumped by a loved one trigger brain regions linked with physical sensations of pain.”
Oh, like that is news to a romance reader! Thanks, science, for telling us something we already knew, from years and years of reading.
Sit for a minute and think of those times you've read scenes where one of the main characters thinks the other is gone, irrevocably, from their life, and their heart feels, to them, as though it is breaking.
And in the hands of a great author, we feel the breaking heart, too:
In Mary Balogh's The Secret Pearl, Fleur leaves the house of her employer, the married man whom she loves:
And she would not think of him. No, she would not.
But she thought of his dark hair and strong, harsh features, of the cruel scar that slashed across the left side of his face. She thought of his hands with their long, well-manicured fingers—hands that she had so feared because they had touched her impersonally and intimately and held her steady for the infliction of pain and degradation. But the same hands had held hers warmly and cupped her face and wiped away her tears.
She would not think of him.
You can just feel Fleur's anguish, right? Yes. Love hurts. Thank you, science, for the confirmation. Which is why the inevitable (in romance, at least) reconcilation is so, so sweet.
What's your sob story?