"Today, when I saw you, I realized that what is between us is nothing more than an illusion. "
Fermina had been thinking about Florentino for the last three years, even if she couldn't meet him, even when she had to undergo hardships all so that she would be kept away from him to wipe away his memories. He is in her memories, he kept her going. When her father decides to come back home as time would have cured her of her passion in absence of constant contact. We learn that the passion still burns. All it takes for the passion go puff is not the absence but the presence, meeting him again.
I don't read love stories. No, not because I am a pragmatist, which I am, but because I am a romantic. I have seen the movie, so I know the story, I know what happens. But there are still things that catch your attention. Like the fight over the soap, which sounds so real. Fermina smelling clothes to decide if they need to be washed.
I do wonder what if Florentino's love was reciprocated would he have still gone on his adventures, what would happen when you have attained your goal. Would this have been just another story not worth telling? I find Ruth Rendell version more plausible than this one- somebody burning in passion for years to obtain the unattainable leading to disaster to both. While Florentino lives for Fermina, how could he be insensitive to the women who lost their lives because of him.
Why do women reject the likes of Florentino, and Heathcliff the ones who would do anything for their love? The prose is beautiful but very slow especially to one used to reading crime fiction all the time. Sometimes you need to work on it to get to the beauty of it. I have heard love being compared to many things, but to Cholera, no.