Scratches on the Surface
By: Manna (Kitten Kisses)

Many people liked to say that the heart was made of glass- fragile, and so easily broken- but he knew better, and he preferred not to think of his heart as being something easily shattered like a rock through a window.

When he thought about his heart, he could remember the one time that he had felt truly alone. Not alone, by himself, but alone in a crowd,alone emotionally. Empty. Absolutely empty of almost everything he had ever felt in his entire life.

Before that one moment, when he had glimpsed her lying there in a heap on the ground, looking so alive, and yet, so utterly not, he had felt everything. Joy, hope, trust… and in an instant, it had been shattered- his hope, his dreams- leaving him vulnerable.

She would never give up her job to be with him, his parents would never meet her, and they would never see their children running between their legs squealing with delight as they played in that perfect home with the perfect yard while they lived the perfect life.

His heart had been so full, and after he had heard her pronounced dead, it had felt heavy and empty, like someone had replaced his happiness and hope for a large rock, leaving him weighted down and burdened.

If Only rang through his head with every possible scenario, and even as he dug her grave and patted the soil lovingly, he could find an infinite amount of ways around her death. If only he had said this, or done that, or…

None of it would do him any good, and he knew it. The mere thought that there was nothing he could do- it was too late- made his heart sink faster than a boat with no bottom.

Like glass, they said. So fragile, so…weak. Easy to break, to shatter, to maim.

He disagreed. If hearts were as fragile and weak as glass, everything he held in his heart for her would have died along with it. His hope, his joy, his laughter… and his love. But he still held onto that love, grasping it with fingers that were wet with the water of despair that swirled around him. With that love came all of her emotions.

He was a drowning man, and even though she wasn't there to save him, what remained of her was- her love, the joy she had known, the laughter he could remember, and all of her hopes and dreams. Because the heartdidn't shatter like a window; it held firm, it was steady. Full of trust, and all things natural… it didn't try to disguise what it was, but even then it seemed to blend in with its surroundings, as if it merely belonged.

Hearts were like rocks, he knew. Plain and boring on the outside, one might be lucky enough to find a gem hidden within… Heartaches and sorrow did not break the heart. It was too solid, too strong… When she had died, a part of him had died, too. But his heart had not died, itself, had not been broken so easily. Her death had left a long scratch on the surface of his heart, marring it enough that he would not forget her, could only remember her, love her, think of her, and rejoice in the life she had been fortunate enough to live.

Over time, the mark would fade, but it would be an ever-present reminder that she had loved him, and he her… that she had wanted to learn to do mathematics, that she loved gardenias and gladiolas, that she loved life and lived life, and learned from her mistakes.

Perhaps he would gain a few more scratches along his journey to the end of his life, but when things were rough, or slow, or downright frightening, he could look into himself, down into the depths of his heart, and he could see her smiling face looking back at him.

His heart was covered in scratches from Leila…a map of their short time together… small nicks from fights, from arguments, larger scratches from precious moments they had spent together, and that one bright one that drew across all the others, making them harder to see but never covering them completely, was the scratch that marked her death.

He would live her dreams, and carry her hopes with him for the rest of his life. It was what kept him going.

I'm doing this for you, he would think as he closed his eyes after a long, weary day, or at a second-long break in a fight, or even when things felt utterly hopeless. I'm living for you. His eyes would snap open again as he shifted restlessly. I'm fighting for you, I'm breathing for you…I'm dreaming for you, I'm laughing for you…I'm hoping for you. I love you.

Author Notes:

Weird, huh? Well, that's me, the weird person who writes random things…uh…randomly. This is kind of self-explanatory… I don't think I have much to say for once.

Anyway, thoughts and constructive criticism is very much appreciated.

Thanks for reading!