From Maria's diary, when she was seventeen:
My aim is to understand love. I know how alive i felt when i was in love,and i know that everything i have right now, however interesting it might seem, doesnt really excite me.
But love is a terrible thing: i've seen my girlfriends suffer and i dont want the same thing to happen to me. they used to laugh at me and my innocence, but now they ask me how it is I manage men so well. I smile and say nothing, because i know the remedy is worse than the pain: i simply dont fall in love. With each day that passes, i see more clearly how fragile men are, how inconstant, how insecure and surprising they are ... a few of my girlfriends fathers have propositioned me, but i've always refused. At first, i was shocked, but now i think its just the way men are.
Although my aim is to understand love, and although i suffer to think of the people to whom i gave my heart, i see that those who touched my heart failed to arouse my body, and that who aroused my body failed to touched my heart.
An excerpt from "Eleven minutes" by Paulo Coelho.