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A man’s heart is buried in his chest, encased in flesh to protect it, connecting to the veins and arteries that spread blood and fluids to the other areas of the human anatomy. There are miraculous stories of individuals who have lived with half of their brain, and touching tales of those who suffer through life without a limb, or several limbs; but no human being lives without a heart. A man can be pronounced brain-dead, but he is not truly deceased because his heart is continuously pounding in his chest; but once the heart fails, the body may be allowed to decompose and return to the earth.
My closest friend has the biggest heart of anyone I have ever met; it is not obvious to the naked eye, but I beg of you to search harder. When you first interact with him, he may appear cold and even bitter at times. He appears ancient, emotionally aged before his time. You will question yourself as to why he looks so fatigued. Does he have a horrid home life? Is he festering inwardly? What is wrong with this child?
I decided to find this out for myself. I have always been intrigued with things that I do not understand. People tell me this is a control mechanism. I suppose this makes sense; trying to uncover and resolve the problems of others, so I don't have to confront my own. As we became friends and I gazed in wonder at the part of him that was slowly being revealed to me, I started to realize that he was hardly cold. He was a warm, beautiful individual with a hard, calloused shell protecting him.
One day, at school, we were slowly swimming through the crowds of second-lunch students and sixth grade elective students. Taking our time, we headed for our upstairs wing. Clinging to each other as to not be swept away, I sensed he was troubled.
“What’s wrong?” I gazed at him in worry, and slight curiosity.
“I need to talk to you.” He was gazing at the floor, hands in his pockets. We curved to dodge the janitor and his plethora of trash-bins.
“I thought a lot about you this weekend,” he kept his eyes glued to the stairs. It was not his ultimate destination, and I became aware of the fact he was stalling, and walking me up the stairs to deposit me at class. “I came to the conclusion- well…” He stuttered slightly, looking for the correct way to explain. “I was in the country, near a campground. They had this cute little shop there, and I would have bought you something, but I didn't have money for anything but this,” He pulled out a small figurine out of his pocket. It was a lustrous heart figurine, painted red, and flecked with white, if I do remember correctly. “I was going to give it to you, but I decided… Well, I decided that I needed it.”
I was slightly confused by the sudden emotional outburst. “It’s okay,” I muttered, a bit overwhelmed. “It’s fine.”
He continued, brushing off my confusion, forcing himself to continue.
“I needed it, so I can look at it and remember that somebody cares about me; sometimes I need to remember that someone loves me… that you love me. I need that when there is nothing else.”
So there you have it. Everyone has a person that they can always count on; somebody that they can love, and be totally reassured that that person loves them right back. Everyone is destined to find that someone. I think I already found mine.
(Side note: This is a true story. There is a little detail I forgot to add, however. My best friend added it when he reviewed this for me. So I thought I would throw in his ending. I have included it below.)
“In my mind I wanted to hold her close. For my love was real. It was for her. I open myself to few people but on that day I opened up to her. I'm so happy I did. Love you Cadie.”