I will love you if I never see you again, and I will love you if I never see you again, and I will love you if I see you every Tuesday. (…) I will love you as the iceberg loves the ship, and the passengers love the lifeboat, and the lifeboat loves the teeth of the sperm whale, and the sperm whale loves the flavor of naval uniforms. I will love you as a drawer loves a secret compartment, and as a secret compartment loves a secret, and as a secret loves to make a person gasp… I will love you until all such compartments are discovered and opened, and all the secrets have gone gasping into the world. I will love you until all the codes and hearts have been broken and until every anagram and egg has been unscrambled. I will love you until every fire is extinguished and rebuilt from the handsomest and most susceptible of woods. I will love you until the bird hates a nest and the worm hates an apple. I will love you as we find ourselves farther and farther from one another, where once we were so close… I will love you until your face is fogged by distant memory. I will love you no matter where you go and who you see, I will love you if you don’t marry me. I will love you if you marry someone else–and i will love you if you never marry at all, and spend your years wishing you had married me after all. That is how I will love you even as the world goes on its wicked way.
For Beatrice – A Series of Unfortunate Events (dedications, pt. iii/xiv)
The Beatrice Letters