The Polka-Dotted Heart

Walking in the forests with Jake, everything was perfect. I was wearing my best dress -- a delicate, white one. I didn't need anything else, anyone else.

I ran into his arms, and he cuddled me. "I need you," I whispered, "more than you could ever imagine."

Jake looked into my eyes, smiling, "And you don't think I need you?"

"Lately," I looked around, avoiding his eyes, "I'm not so sure."

"If you think I feel that way," he said, letting go of me, "then maybe we shouldn't be together."

I looked into his eyes, confused. "I ... I didn't mean it like that, Jake."

"Then what did you mean, Katie?" he asked, practically screaming.

"I don't know, Jake," I said. "It's just that it scares me how much I depend on you, when sometimes I'm not even sure if you need me."

"Katie," he said, "I need you. Trust me on that."

But then he walked away, leaving me lost and dumbfounded.

****

The next day, walking in the same forests Jake and I had just the day before, I noticed something -- a note and something attached to it.

I opened the note, which was from Jake, and read it, tears sliding down my cheeks:

Dear Katie,
Don't think I left because of yesterday's disagreement. There was more to it than that. Please don't blame yourself. ...

I didn't read the rest of the letter. I looked at the keychain attached to the card. It was a polka-dotted heart, white with pink dots. He had scrawled "I love you" on a small piece of paper and taped it to the back of the keychain.

I love you too, I whispered to myself, squeezing the keychain, and I always will.





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