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The Heart Stamp This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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Once upon a time, there was a girl who was sick of ordinary, unspoken love. She was prone to clumsiness and beautiful things. So she took a marker and drew her heart on a sheet of rubber, and inked it with her own blood. (Hearts bleed an awful lot, you see.) Whenever she loved something, she pressed it with that rubber stamp. She stamped poems, cats, sunsets, strangers, guitars, whispers, sweaters, classmates, toddlers, glasses, chairs, hands, ironies, wildflowers, cinnamon, professors, and birds.
She stamped the face of her boyfriend, and every day she saw her love on his face, her heart reflected back in his eyes. The girl soon found that when you see something every day, though, it soon becomes ordinary, too. Like a sign, his appearance read, “I love you.” I love you, I love you, I love you. Every time she saw him, I love you. They found no need to say it anymore. It became an unspoken love, the ordinary, unspoken love she was sick of. The girl left him, since with him, she could not explore, and the miracle of love was only three short words. (After about two weeks of distress, the boy was able to wipe the ink off his face and move on.)
The stamp in her hands was restless, though, and soon after, she stamped the face of someone else. She continuously saw her heart on his face, and became once more sick of their typical affection. He was labeled, he was hers, he delivered his lines (I love you, I love you, I love you) as clearly as the ink on his face. She was absolutely melancholy. So, she left him. The girl became restless, as time proceeded; she had a difficult time finding beautiful faces to stamp. Months passed between these relationships, and soon hardly any of her ink was left in the world. She found less beauty in the animals, the words, the people, and the objects. The dry stamp in her palm wasn't begging to be used anymore.
One day, she was walking in a park. It was practically sunset (ages ago, she stamped sunset) and the girl was lost in thought. She was oblivious- daydreaming- when she collided into a young man with a crooked, charming smile. He was not beautiful, he was distinctively imperfect, but as he took her hand and pulled her from the ground, she felt how charismatic the stranger was. As he apologized and asked if she was okay, she felt how kind he was. It was wonderful to feel again. He had dimensions, textures, flaws, discrepancies- she thought he was life, not love.
When her lip smashed into his shoulder moments ago, it became bloodied. He apologized again and instinctively wiped the blood away. Off guard, she blushed, and finally some feeling slipped back behind her face. In fact, she could hardly bear how much more vibrant the sunset looked tonight, how her ears rang. Gingerly, he drew a heart on her cheek, a red, bloody heart under the sunset. Perhaps she had been numb for too long. The girl discreetly slipped the stamp into her pocket as she took his hand and walked away at his side.
Months passed, so many months passed that the girl and the boy started to count time in years, too. They said, “I love you” sometimes and honestly meant it. One day, the girl and the boy were eating breakfast at sunrise, alone in the mountains. The girl stuffed her hand in her pocket, searching for an old camera. Instead, she found the forgotten rubber stamp with her fingers. With unprecedented impulsiveness, she stamped her love as he stamped her years before, because she could, because she actually did love. Not on his face, not near his crooked smile, but over his heart. Her ink shone in the pale sunlight, a very pretty heart representative of extraordinary love, with dimensions, textures, flaws, discrepancies.



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Odessa_Sterling00This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Sept. 23, 2011 at 8:37 pm:
WONDERFUL!  I loved it!  So amazing!
 
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SabrinaAnnFaith said...
Aug. 6, 2011 at 10:19 am:
This was beautifully written, the description was so vivid! And I loved the storyline.  You're so right, the meaning of love gets lost all the time.  Please keep writing!
 
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