Week #2: Broken

It was broken, but she was determined to fix the heart that hung limply out of her bloodstained chest. She winced as she tried to keep it in place. There was a drugstore nearby. Perhaps she could find some bandaids or bandages there.

The pain slowed her pace down a bit as she gingerly made her way towards the small shop. Some old fashioned chimes tinkled and an elderly woman with a smile as warm as hot chocolate welcomed her in.

“Hello there, darling. What can I do to help you?”

She tried to enclose the grotesque, dripping thing with her two small hands while trying to appear nonchalant. “I don’t suppose you have any bandages here, auntie?”

“Why, we have all sorts of bandages… Pink ones with flowers, rainbow-colored ones, sparkly gold and silver ones — but, oh, we have those plain white ones, too.”

“A white one will do.” She didn’t see the point of decorating her ruined heart with all that fluff.

“Funny. Most other people who come here lean towards the more frivolous stuff. They say it covers up some of the ugliness… but then again… tell you what. I have some scarlet here in my store. Do you think you’d want to take a look at that one instead?”

“Nevermind, auntie. I just want the plain ones.” Her heart, which had grown numb, started hurting again. “And I’d like to have them now, please, if it won’t be so much trouble.”

Into the store room the elderly woman went. She had two boxes in her hand when she emerged. “I know you said you didn’t want the red one. But maybe you still want to take a look.”

She heaved a pained sigh. Maybe she should give the box a chance. The auntie seemed so set on having her buy it. “Alright. But how much is it?”

“It’s free, deary.”

“Free?”

“Yes, free.”

She opened the box, exposing her heart — already falling apart — as she did so. She unrolled the scarlet bandage and held it out into the light. “It’s… beautiful. But it seems… pre-loved.” She tried to be politically correct with her term. In her mind she simply thought, “What on earth? It’s already been used!”

“Ah, yes.” The lady smiled. “But not recently. Someone did use it, but around 2000 years ago, deary.”

She thought of all the disease that she might get infected with if she tried mending her heart with this abused bandaged. A shudder crept through her already weakening body. “The white one? How much is it?”

“10 dollars. I suppose you want that one, then?”

“I do.”

But still something drew here to the scarlet one which she had unconsciously began to wrap around her shaking fingers. In an odd way, the bandage made her feel warm. Secure. Healed. Whole, even. What if she used it to mend her heart?

“Auntie…”

“Yes, deary?”

“Nevermind. I’ll take this one.”

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9 thoughts on “Week #2: Broken

  1. Asiela Hamid says:

    each time our heart is broken, we would want to fix it. it’s excruciating painful. we’re at our most vulnerable state. we know that the next step we should take is to move on. but how? ok, we need to mend the heart (bandage).

    it’s either we start anew. forget about everything. turn into someone new. at that moment, our life is still unwritten. you want to be a different person. we’re starting over. on a new piece of white bandage, adding colour to it all over again.

    or, we gonna make peace with ourself. not to forget but to accept. things happened not because you planned it to but for you to learn to be better. to be wise. this is a phase. you need to continue adding colour to it. it is red because you love more. ironically, it is also the reason why you always end up hurting. but it’s ok. it what makes you, you. yes, it hurts. that is life. you need to feel to be a live. and being hurt is part of it.

    so which path will we choose?

    ps : i surely choose the red bandage. anyway, this is deep. you made me think. your writing urge me to interpret the meaning behind it. so yeah, this is my pov :D

    • It makes sense. :D Wow! This is very good interpretation. Thank you for taking the time to read this and to think through it, too.

      Your thoughts on the red and white bandage add another dimension to it. This is what I love about stories. They are not flat words on a page (or browser). But they come alive and they come alive in different ways, depending on how people read them.

      Terima kasih for dropping by, Asiela!

      • As an author, I’d like it to mean many things to many people. :D I like writing things that give people the freedom to wrestle, ponder, form their own conclusions.

        People who believe in Christ, for example, may interpret the red bandage as a symbol of his suffering on the cross for our hearts and for humanity. The white one could be something like a “tabula rasa”, a clean slate, starting over from nothing. Another interpretation of red might be learning, healing based on the experience/story of another person who went through the same thing. It could also be like what you said, accepting what you already have, learning from it, moving forward with it. The white one could be independence, it could be what is normal in society, it could be something which is just plain and pragmatic.

        I believe whoever reads this can add many more interpretations to the list. Ultimately, it will be up to you to decide. But as long as it stirs up something in your soul, I am happy. ^_^

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