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She Will Be Loved
Its those people that need us that we start to need as well.
I met Delaynie and fell in love with her in this way.
I was just walking down the sidewalk, a bit more quickly than usual because of the rain, when I saw a glittering fragment of a broken heart. You see them all the time these days, nothing special really. But this piece was so small and beaten looking, that I was surprised it had survived it's last ordeal. Something must ripped the original creation apart terribly to come up with a piece such as this.
I began to look around for it's owner, and spotted her sitting against a wall, curled into a little ball as the rain washed into her dark brown hair. I touched her arm and she jumped and pulled away like a wounded animal. To my surprise I knew her, she was the daughter of the post master, I was a delivery boy. I don't know if she recognized me. "Do you need help?"
She shook her head.
"I didn't ask if you wanted help. I asked if you needed it."
Her first words to me I could barely hear, so weak was her croak."I don't want help."
"But you most definably need it."
I took her small cold hand and led her forward.
She seemed so frail sitting on my worn couch. She was pretty in a weak way. Her hair getting fluffy as it dried. The blanket she was wrapped in was shamefully worn, but she kept it wrapped around her desperately while her clothes dried. In the awkward silence I stuck my hands in my pocket and found the little fragment of her heart. A dingy rusty red color.
"Here." I said as I handed to her, "Do you have the rest?"
She looked shocked, and her hand trembled as she held the piece like it was the most precious thing in her world. It would soon come to hold the same reverence over me.
"Why did you give it back?" she whispered.
"What would I want with it?"
"I don't know what you boys do with my heart," she replied bitterly, " Eat it possibly? Lock it in a trophy case?"
"That's only a piece of your heart," I pointed out.
Her whole frame seemed to collapse in on itself, and she clutched her hands in little fists to her chest. "It is better than nothing."
I saw her a few days later when I was at the post office. She had just come from school, everything about her a mask. Her face spotless and beautiful, clothes perfect. Did anyone else but me notice how sad her face became when she thought no one was looking? She sent me a small wave, but nothing more. I looked down at my hands wondering if somehow a piece of her heart had rubbed off on my by accident. With her reputation I wondered if she still even had it with her.
The next time I saved her wasn't a rescue, more like a recovery, and very much like the first one. I was working late and heard shouts and arguing. The post master and his wife were fighting again, but as I spied I saw the woman walk out, and Delaynie step in, taking her father's arm gently. For that, he said so many horrible things to her, his temper leaving a mark on her own arm.
She strode out of there tall and proud, but collapsed again on the sidewalk, this time dialing a number. Soon some man came a picked her up and she was gone. I drifted around the city all night until I again found her heart ground into some pavement. Again I took her home, fed her, and she said before she left, "You shouldn't waste your time on me."
But even I didn't know what I wanted out of that time.
The scenes were part of a pattern. Fights, and new guys to make her feel better. She came into the habit of coming to me after her heart was broken, when she was too empty to even see straight. When she fell asleep on my couch I saw her beautiful form become vulnerable and timid. The real her.
This is how I know Delaynie. Does she notice how when she's sleeping, I slip out to gather bits of her heart back? How I am putting it back together on my kitchen table? Does she notice that bits of my own heart are starting to weigh down her pockets?