Monday, May 24, 2004

vignette: broken

Every morning after she forced herself out of bed (she was an early riser from childhood, and there are some ingrained things that even heartbreak cannot alter), Miren made herself a cup of black coffee and stood before her catalog of loss. She did this every morning because she felt less vulnerable when the sun shone. When light invaded the secret intimacies of her home, Miren felt she had nothing to hide. At night, however, when darkness only reflected the dismal emptiness within her chest, all she wanted to do was to close her eyes.

Miren kept the broken pieces of her heart in an old Chinese cabinet, each fragment in a drawer of its own, tagged with short descriptor and a date to help her remember. On a small table next to the cabinet was a box, its velvet interior enclosing a small pile of unsorted fragments, dislodged when her heart shrank at the end of last week’s love affair with the boy with the nice hair.

She opened the box and upended the contents on a large tea cosy, her eye immediately caught by the largest fragment. Miren picked it up with a steady hand and brought it to her eye, squinting to interpret the pattern laid down by her own passion.

If I love you, will it be only for a little while or forever? Tell me.

With a snort of disgust and a stifled laugh, Miren dropped the fragment on a corner of the padded cloth, picked up her half-empty cup and went to the kitchen to refresh her coffee.


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