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.”
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?”
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?
“Nevermind. I’ll take this one.”