Jar of Hearts

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So, I wrote this listening to Christina Perri’s ‘Jar of Hearts’. I wrote it from a different perspective than I normally would and just tried to let my fingers do the work instead of over-thinking it. I enjoyed writing it, and i hope you enjoy reading it.

 

Tonight is darker than most at the cabin, mostly because the power is out. Once again, the store owner has been unable to pay the light bill, and we’ve been cut off. No worries though, we’re used to the dark now, as it comes more often than not. Thankfully, it’s the rainy season and the weather is a bit cool. I especially enjoy being seated just opposite the one window in the small store. It’s flung wide open tonight, and I embrace the wind that wafts in freely from time to time. Yes, I’m perfectly fine. I’m more worried about her, really.

She’s hunched over her tiny desk in the corner of the store, pawing through pieces of paper by the dim light of a candle that will either burn out soon or be put out by the gusting wind. She’s been at this for nights o end now, searching frantically for her whatever it is she’s been so keen on finding. It hurts me that I can’t help, that I can’t reach out and hold her. I will her to turn around, to come embrace me like she does when she’s really depressed, but she doesn’t. Instead, she keeps going, pulling drawer after drawer open and emptying the contents.

The sound of thunder tears through the silence in the shop and a crack of lightening briefly lights the room. The shelves rattle briefly, jars clink and I shake along with them. The thunder seems to faze her as well. The candle she’s holding slips out of her frail hand and hits the floor. The light goes off, and we are once again drenched in complete darkness. The soft sound of rain hitting the roof is joined by sobbing. My heart breaks and I desperately want to go to her. Another crack of lightening lights up the room, and I can see her tear-stained face staring right at me. It hurts me to see so much pain in her eyes, but as much as I can’t go to her, I can’t look away.

I can’t hear the rain, or her sobs. The room is eerily quiet. I just know something’s coming. What I don’t know is if it’s good or bad. It seems like forever since she’s been this way. Undoubtedly, constantly being on the move has had its toll on her, but we’ve learned to survive; to be fine. Now, it seems like our past is back to haunt us.

“Open up!” The pounding rivals the sound of the raging thunder outside the shop. “I know you’re in there.” Shaking again, I’m genuinely frightened.

She glances at me briefly before lifting herself off the floor and going to the door. Sighing, she places a hand on the knob and turns the key. Before she can pull the door open, whoever s on the other sides pushes hard, knocking her backwards and causing her to stumble a little. Composing herself as best she can, she squares her shoulders and stares right at the visitor. “Why are you banging on my door like you own the place?”

The laughter that fills the room is unsettling. It is deep and soulless, and fills me with chills. “Lady, if you don’t have what I came for, then I do.” His words might as well have been knives.

When she speaks, I hear her struggling to remain calm “I don’t have it yet… I need more time.”

“More time?” A low chuckle that’s just as empty as his laughter “Guys, you know what to do.”

A group of men I hadn’t noticed troop past him and into the store. In the blink of an eye, they are pulling shelves down and sweeping the table, wrecking everything. “You can’t do this!!” I can hardly hear her midst the chaos. Everything is crashing down around me. One of the men appears in front of me and reaches out. “No!” She screams “Leave that alone.”

She lunges at the man holding me now, and he smacks her across the face. “Don’t be stupid” Stepping over her, he walks towards the man I now know is in charge. “Look at this.”

I’m trembling now, more out of fury than fear. Seeing her on the floor, shaking and crying, helpless, it sparks something inside of me. The man with the evil laugh comes closer and examines me “You’ve been holding out on us, ey?” He spits on her small form. The straw that breaks the camel’s back. As he reaches out to collect me from his comrade, I let myself slip. Neither of them is fast enough to catch me, and I come crashing down.

With all that is within me, I will myself to burst. It works and I find myself in a million separate pieces. Fuelled by rage, I shoot myself upwards at her assailants, burying myself in their eyes and exposed body parts. I’m not sure if it’s enough, but I hope it can at least buy her some time. I can barely hear anything and my vision is getting blurry. I manage to hear the men retreat, and I think I can see her still curled up on the floor.

The sight is somewhat enchanting, her lying there on the floor, surrounded by the coins that were once mine to protect. Suddenly, it gets really warm and the coins start to glow. Not just the coins, but the entire room. I’m overwhelmed with a feeling that’s neither joy nor sadness, trapped in a neutral plane of emotions as I listen to the steady crackling around us. Is this what peace is?

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