What The Heart Wants

Posted: March 29, 2014

The human heart has a volition all its own, a weakness all its own. What does the mind do when the heart wants the undesirable?

One of the top 5 entries for March’s muse of the month writing cue, “To want is to have a weakness.” (from The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood)

As she sipped her cappuccino, she glanced at her watch and realized that he was thirty minutes late already; seems all she had been doing for the last few years was waiting for him. She looked around at the bustling coffee shop on a Saturday afternoon and noticed groups of friends sharing a laugh as well as twosomes who seemed to be too wrapped up in each other to care what was going on around them.




March 2014She remembered a time when they were just like that. Suddenly the people and the noise around seemed to fade and she was back to the time when they had first met.

It was a sunny day despite the cold winter, when they’d both been clamoring for the same parking spot on a busy weekend. She remembered how he had been kind enough to let her park whilst he seemed anxious to get somewhere himself. Fast forward to a week later where they both ran into each other at the same event at a popular club. He walked over and introduced himself and asked, had she any trouble finding a parking spot that night? She wittily replied – valet! They spoke for hours into the evening, unconcerned about the others present, enjoying each other’s company.

She told him she worked with an art gallery and had a fondness for the Old Works but loved the contemporary art that seemed to have sprung up over the years. He informed her that he worked with a marketing firm with its headquarters overseas due to which he was constantly on the go. Sometimes he felt he lived out of a suitcase and had seen enough airports to last a lifetime.

Days rolled into weeks as they met frequently for conversations over coffee, movies, walks or dinner. She fell head over heels like never before. Never had she experienced an affiliation and passion so intense and she gave it her all. She knew he felt the same, yet at the same time was aware that he had certain reservations when it came to her. She was in love, unconditional and unrestrained.

In their times apart, they would write to each other. Long emails that documented their time apart and spoke of how they each spent their days when they couldn’t be on the same continent. It all seemed to add up beautifully until the time it came crashing down like a house of cards.

His revelation that he was with someone for the past two years made her heart stop in that instant. He said he had still gone ahead with her as to him, she was a breath of fresh air. Yet she thought to herself, not fresh enough to want to just be with her.

The pain that seared through her was worse than walking on hot coals. She knew in that moment that he did not love her as she wished to be loved. Yet at the same time, she had a sinking feeling, knowing that she still loved him.

She retreated to lick her wounds, all the while feeling an emptiness so grave that she knew in heart she had to be with him. She ran back into his arms as she felt safer there despite all his shortcomings, than she did alone.

But each day left her feeling more vacant than ever. A Scottish proverb reads – were it not for hope, the heart would break.

She realized that she was ‘desiring the undesirable’. In an attempt to prove to herself that she could not have been so wrong, she made a desperate attempt to stick it out. She did so in the vain hope that he would see the light of day and commit to her, only her. Over the months she managed to block out this painful reality but would be reminded every time his phone rang and he excused himself to take the call. She knew it was her. The other woman. Or wasn’t that her?

As she saw his car make a swift turn towards the entrance she strengthened her resolve to make a clean break of it. She vowed to herself that she would end it and pick herself up and move ahead. He moved towards her with a smile and an apology for having shown up late. As he kissed the air somewhere near the top of her head, she thought to herself, tomorrow. I will tell him tomorrow.

Pic credit: Carbonnyc (Used under a Creative Commons license)

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