Study Guide

The Future of Us Love

By Asher, Jay and Mackler, Carolyn

Love

Lost for you, I mouth the words. I'm so lost for you. The lyrics always make me think of Cody Grainger. He's on the track team with me. He's a senior and an incredible sprinter, ranked in the top twenty in the state. Even though I don't believe in true love, I could reconsider that for Cody. (1.39)

This is the first time that we hear that Emma doesn't really believe in true love… or so she says. We're not quite convinced, however, based on her feelings for Cody. For more on this, check out Emma's analysis over in the "Characters" section.

"I wasn't walking fast because I'm excited," I say. "I just hate it when you… you know… touch my hair and stuff." (8.13)

Ah yes, sexual tension—Emma may have rejected Josh, but there's something about knowing where you can get attention if you want it. It's not fair of her to tease him, plus it makes him feel uncomfortable. But she can't help doing it, which may tell us that maybe she should reconsider her feelings for Josh.

"My parents have been in love for nineteen years," Kellan says. "And look at Tyson and me. We were probably the two most—"

"He broke your heart! How can you call it love when he hurt you so badly?"

Kellan pops another fry into her mouth. "It was love because it was worth it." (9.48-50)

Emma is resistant to one of the key ingredients in love: heartbreak. Does love always work out? Nope, but so it goes; some of the greatest loves have drama attached—just think of Romeo and Juliet. Kellan is a very dramatic person, which perhaps makes her less fearful of getting hurt.

Tyson and Kellan are such opposites that Emma and I never imagined they'd get together. The four of us have always hung out, but last July, an intense flirtation sprouted out of nowhere. They kept it up for the rest of the summer, but on the first day of school Tyson called it off. They were like two magnets who couldn't decide whether to attract or repel. (10.12)

Tyson and Kellan are either fighting or making up. What they have is real when they have it, but it's so inconsistent that it also causes them each some misery. Do you think this is really love then? Or is it possibly just a whole lot of attraction and hormones at work?

"You're… Josh."

But I meant it. For my whole life, Josh had been the one person I could always count on. If something happened between us and it didn't work out, I knew I would lose him. But in trying to protect us, I ended up losing him anyway. (13.19-20)

Josh thinks that Emma's into him as more than a friend, but Emma thinks she isn't. Thing is, though, that they both care a lot about each other—so even if it's not a hot romantic love (right now), their bond is the type of thing that they should want to hold on to. Sometimes this love is the type that matters most.

"Okay, imagine you're about to die in a head-on collision. There you are, driving down the street, when a Ford Bronco comes hurtling toward you. You know this is it, the end. So you glance in the passenger seat and… who do you see?" (19.9)

This is Kellan's very scientific approach to figuring out who your true love is: If you're about to die, who comes to mind? While we wouldn't necessarily quote Kellan in a science paper, we do think she kind of has a point. It's like the old coin-toss trick—as soon as the coin's in the air, you know exactly how you hope it will land.

"That was different," I say. "A long-distance relationship is one thing. But hanging out every day when you don't really like someone, isn't that hard? I'd rather already like someone at the beginning, and then fall madly in love with them over time." (31.40)

Josh doesn't understand how Emma can date guy after guy and not really care about them deeply. It seems like a waste of time to him, and he would prefer to make a commitment to somebody he knows he cares about.

This is so reckless. Emma doesn't care what happens to her future because she doesn't want the future she has. All she cares about is Cody. But since there's no mention of him on Facebook, she has nothing to lose. (41.55)

Emma's so hot for Cody and frustrated that her future isn't lining up with what she wants that she's doing really drastic things. Playing with her future life because of a crush seems kind of dangerous, though, doesn't it? But love can make people do crazy things, we suppose.

"Going out with people and not caring about them," Josh says. "Even with your future you got rid of Jordan Jones like he didn't matter. And today you dumped Graham and immediately moved on to Cody. I saw you in the hall with him. But in case that doesn't work out, now you're starting something with me. Who's next?" (42.12)

Emma, the girl who doesn't believe in love, is going through men like Kleenex. It's so bad that she's even dumping future husbands, and to top it off, she's taking advantage of Josh, who really likes her. She's allowed to be skeptical about love, we'll give her that, but it's not fair of her to use other people to amuse herself and figure out what she wants.

I'm crying because Josh is going to marry Sydney and they're going to have a beautiful life together. And maybe I'll have an okay life, too, but I'll never meet someone like Josh again. He knows the real me, and he likes me for who I am. Josh is… Josh. And now he's gone.

I press my wet face into my pillow. This is what heartbreak feels like. (62.16-17)

Emma finally learns her lesson: It can hurt when you put your heart into someone else's hands. And perhaps more than that, try though you might to keep your heart to yourself, when you really have feelings for someone, there's just no stopping them.

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