"A profound unmitigated loneliness is the only truth of life"
- R.K. Narayan

Strength and Courage seem like two sides of the same coin. They may be used interchangeably yet in their specific context. Courage stands in mental frame, for what strength stands in the physical realm. Yet experience teaches that strength and courage, though springing from the same seed, are fruits of very different trees.
A guy and girl are very good friends. They manage to retain a strong bond in the face of grievous problems in their own personal lives. They react to their problems in different ways. The girl has bouts of hysteria, while the guy has lapses of depression. Their lives are on different tracks yet not too divergent from each other. The guy is a wanderer, struggling from post to post, trying to find an anchor for his lifeboat. The girl is a dreamer, aspiring to make her life count, yet finding odds stacked against her hopes. Their friendship is a sanctuary of solace for them. They find happiness in the fact that though they aren't able to physically help each other, yet their company adds music to their dreary lives.
But when scratched persistently, every wound is bound to start bleeding at some point...
Society consistently gnaws at the girl's life and creativity takes a strange turn in her mind. What has been her support for so long, she thinks why can't it be the full-fledged base now? She proposes marriage to the guy. It is a perfect solution, for the guy knows her well enough to keep her happy. She fears trusting anyone else. The guy is tongue-tied, not because he didn't anticipate this situation, but this was exactly the situation for which he never had a solution. He could not commit to her as he knew his life was a like a paper boat on the wide ocean. He had not the strength to change his life and settle down. Nor could he let her go, as he feared her innocence would be messed up by society's vicious forces. He had not the courage to let go, and hope that things may go fine too.
What was accomplished through prayers and love for so long, did not seem to suffice anymore. Either he had to find the strength to take a side, or courage to do the opposite.
And then it was, that he realised, strength and courage were actually contraries. Like two roads diverging in a yellow wood, and the sorry state that he was in, he could not travel both...