Stop! In The Name of Love and Profit

A story by REGINA CO.

To the recipient of this email,

I am writing to you because I have a problem. It is an issue that is important to not just my company, but for the greater good of humanity. I am not exaggerating. Please do not put this email into your spam folder. I am not insane.

But, before I proceed, I must introduce myself. To keep things simple, let’s just say, I am the CEO of what you humans call the forces of love. Yes, you read that right. Love is a business now. It’s one of the largest multinationals out there. I am the 6,478th descendant of Cupid and Psyche, who both founded the firm. Yes. That Cupid and Psyche.

Prior to them, the market existed as a kind of… perfect competition. At the time, there were many love gods, goddesses, deities from all around the world, trying to make money their own way but all with the same goal. However, Cupid and Psyche, as one of their first orders of business as a married couple, decided to band everyone together. They persuaded the various deities of the world to invest, start a company and make profit.

I am the result of generations, millennia of intermarriage between different deities. Currently, the descendants of those gods and goddesses are my shareholders. And, like any other multinational, they are the ones who vote for the next CEO. For most cases, the shareholders are also my cousins. We are all somehow related. However, we don’t have petty family feuds because of our voting process. Sure, we have disagreements, but we sort things out with mutual understanding and agreement. It’s peaceful.

My predecessor was my mother. She was responsible for keeping the business profitable during both World Wars, the Great Depression and a variety of civil squabbles. It’s why she brought me with her to her office everyday— she didn’t have enough time to separate her mothering duties from her work. I learned everything about the business from her.

Enough about the history. You are probably wondering: if love is a feeling, an emotion, how do we turn it into money? There must be a way for us to earn revenue, right?

For starters, we don’t sell goods. We sell services. The arrow-shooting thing was the very first product we came up with. We have since evolved and innovated (our Research and Development team is extremely efficient). So, we don’t rely on that ancient stuff anymore. Instead, we honour our company history by placing the arrow in our company logo. But that is as far as I am allowed to tell you: I wouldn’t give away the firm’s most prized secrets just like that, would I?

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Thus, how we earn income is this: your emotions are our currency. I know I am oversimplifying the complexities, but I want you to view me as an approachable, professional figure. We make the most sales out of every time you feel a “romantic” attraction to someone. Any relationship that comes out of that, say, you have children, you meet their in-laws, their friends, etc., we also earn revenues. I am once again simplifying here (because there are many different types of love) but we also make revenues based on platonic or, “non-romantic,” relationships.

Of course, some relationships don’t last very long. Some break down, some break up, but such is the way of working in a large multinational. There will be times the product will be faulty, your losses are our costs. Therefore, no matter how many times you try to sob your heartbreak out in the pouring rain pretending you are in a music video, complaining to our 24-hour customer service hotline, the fact of the matter is: sometimes, things just don’t work out. Sorry. Deduct those losses from our sales and we get profit.

But if love is universal, does that mean our business is a monopoly? Not really.

In essence, our main competitors are the forces of evil. Cliché, I know. But do you really think that the forces of evil are just soul-sucking, torture-loving ghouls? No. They’re as sleek as Swiss hedge fund managers, with clients from Wall Street and Panama. They are very persuasive beings, albeit with that dark, unapproachable vibe. Negotiations with them are the absolute worst.

So the market is essentially a duopoly, but we still control the majority of the global market share. And we have to: so long as the profits of love outweigh the profits of evil, humanity is in check. That is our mission, vision and objective as a firm. Yes, to make profit but our way of making profit is also the highest form of corporate social responsibility any firm on Earth could make.

That brings me to my problem: I’ve never known what it is to be in love.

I, an almighty CEO-deity of love, have never been in love. I have read everything from Empedocles to Wattpad BTS fanfiction. Nothing. I’ve done my rounds dating the various shareholders and their cousins and their friends. Nothing. This is my darkest secret. It’s always been at the back of my mind, but it is only now that I am admitting it to myself. As far as company records go, there is no historical precedent for someone like me. There hasn’t been anyone who led the firm and didn’t know what they’re doing. You think your impostor syndrome is bad?

Thankfully, our forecasts indicate that we will still be profitable, at least for the next 20 years. This sounds great, but for a deity’s lifespan, 20 years is very short. Therefore, I don’t have a lot of time before I get exposed or if the forces of evil start gaining a lead or both. So far, I’ve been leading based on my mother’s leadership. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to rely on further historical records for my decision-making because my Earth is so different compared to theirs. They only had to deal with matchmaking, which is really basic. I have to deal with Tinder and Bumble.

You are reading this, human one, because one of my company’s Archers interpreted this email to not come from their CEO. You are reading this because our algorithm dictates that we would make a great fit, hence why the Archers matched us. I have never met you. I don’t even know who this email is going to. For all I care, you could be a psychopathic serial killer in Canada or a humble hardware salesman in Mozambique. But I trust my staff. I trust our services. And if there’s anything I know about love, in all my years, all my history in this business, it’s this: love is priceless. And that is a risk I am willing to take. Please reply back.

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