Bleeding Hearts This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     My wet jacket felt heavy on my back. Cold drops of water trickled down my face. My hair dripped. Water splashed beneath my saturated sneakers.

We walked in silence. The only sounds were the soft rain on the grass and the call of a mourning dove nearby. I took in the sounds and sights and held them in my mind. I would not see this place or him again for a year.

I slowed my pace, hoping that it would slow time. The road we had been following ended and the building came into view. No words. We walked in silence.

He began to move closer. My heart raced and my pace quickened. He followed, moving still closer. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw his hand edge slowly toward mine. Automatically, I shoved my hands in my pockets. Whoever invented pockets had saved me several times that weekend.

We continued walking. No words. Just rain and birds. I relaxed and slowed my steps. Then I felt his arm link with mine.

I panicked. I had not expected him to be persistent. My eyes glanced wildly around me. I spotted a pine tree yards away and walked to it. Then I casually undid my arm and studied the tree. He watched.

“It’s a pitch pine,” I proclaimed.

He nodded, but said nothing. We continued to walk toward the main building in silence. No words. I prayed that I hadn’t hurt him or sent him into another of his depression spells.

Drip, drip went the rain. Coo, coo went the dove. Then we passed the garden and he paused to glance at it for a moment.

“Bleeding hearts,” he said.

Bleeding hearts.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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