Heartbeats

October 18, 2008
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There is something I want to say.

You say what? What is it? I want to know. You close your eyes, snap your wrists and place your hands on the base of your neck. You roll your fingers over the vertebrae. You say it helps you remember you have bones; it makes you feel more human. You exhale, and the air against your ribs sounds like tree branches against a glass window.

You smile and it says I’m waiting. But I’m in no hurry, so you’ll have to learn how to wait. Your heartbeat has always been unusually loud, and I’m using it to keep track of time. (It is thirty-five heartbeats to 8:34 P.M. and one hundred fifty-four heartbeats pas sundown. The clock in your room is off.)

We are alone in your black velvet brick house. There is no noise except for the radio your neighbor is playing a little too loudly, but your heartbeat is louder. Your heartbeat downs out everything. You crack your knuckles and move to the bed, then shift your position. You place them on my chest, over where my heart should be.

You say my heart’s not beating, but it is. It is soft and it is quiet; my heart is like me - just like yours is like you.

Yesterday, you said that I give too many things away. You said I need to keep some things for myself before there’s nothing left for me. Today, you say I should give this trick away. All I want is for you to make up your mind; no more double-standards, no more exceptions.

I repeat what you said yesterday, and you become silent. I inhale, and the sound is like a leaf falling to the floor (soft. You don’t know when it happens.)

I realize, suddenly, that you could never understand. Sympathy is a feeling you haven’t felt yet. They don’t that in school, but I’m sure you could make it seem academical. I lie and say there is no trick. I close the door on the way out, but your heartbeat is still louder than my footsteps.

It’s suffocating me.





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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

Anonymous This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 6, 2009 at 1:18 am
i have read all your work, and love it all. you amaze me. i love the way you put it out there. so obvious for people to know, if theyve been there. keep writing.

and be careful, you know, not to give yourself away.

thanks
 
just3words said...
Oct. 24, 2008 at 10:56 pm
You're Amazing! I love your work. I posted the comment about the dream bit you wrote. This is so just beautiful!
 
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