Corner of Your Heart

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There’s a corner of your heart for me. There’s a corner of your heart just for me. I will pack my bags just to stay in the corner of your heart. An Ingrid Michaelson song is playing in her ears. It’s been on repeat for the past hour. She is lying down on her twin sized bed, her head resting on her favorite soft pillow. Her eyes are closed. She sees darkness. Ingrid’s voice has a way of both soothing her and depressing her when she’s trying to sleep.

I.
She opens her eyes. No one is home she realizes. She focuses on the cracks in the ceiling, where tiny edges of paint are chipping off, for a minute, before looking at herself. She sits up and stares at her closet door mirror. Her dark brown eyes startle her for a minute. Her chestnut brown hair is neither straight nor curly but in between, and falls flat at her shoulders. She has tanned skin and chubby arms. Her stomach isn’t as flat as she would like it to be and she hates her curvy hips because trying on jeans is a bitch. Her eyebrows are dark and thick. She doesn’t like her nose because from a side view, it is too wide. Her legs are her grandmother’s, short and stubby. She looks right through herself because it’s been a while since someone has told her she was pretty.

II.
She looks away and lies back down, this time on her right side, and stares at the wall.
III.
She spends her weekends alone in the library, finding a corner between bookshelves and reading book summary after book summary until carefully and thoughtfully choosing 30 novels, the maximum limit. She walks with her precious treasures and when she gets home, she arranges them on her desk in the preferred order in which she would like to read first. And even when everyone else was asleep, she continues to read alone, a dimly lit desk lamp on her nightstand, until she can no longer keep her eyes open.

IV.
She writes in her journal every day. Sometimes, when she is feeling curious, she walks over to her bookshelf and looks for those brightly covered journals, covered with doodles of hearts and flowers. Written years ago in middle school, every entry begins with, “What I did today was,” or “He still didn’t notice my existence.” Lyrics, poetry and short stories filled them, all in her tiny, cursive handwriting.

V.
Sometimes, when no one is home and she has woken up, she walks outside by herself; block after block, past the motherless neighborhood kids with tattered clothes, past abandoned, broken down buildings, past the drug dealers on the corner and the park that she knows she shouldn’t be walking through at night, contemplating whether or not she should walk back home; if someone, anyone, would miss her.





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