ph: Anja Mulder

What do you do about first loves? Where do you put them in your heart? Where do you put them in your mind? He will always be a scar like the one from summer camp permanently tarnishing my unblemished skin. Scars are ugly. They are the remnants of a painful, bloody mess. Physical and emotional wounds result in the same consequences. Just because this scar is on my heart and not on my skin doesn’t mean there’s any less of a story or significance. Actually, this invisible wound has a much darker, dismal, severe story to tell. It is far more painful than actual gushing blood and spilling guts resulting from adolescent clumsiness. I hardly ever notice the scar on my leg; I only remember it is there when someone asks about how I got such a gash. I wish I could do that with my heart. Only, no one would observe this internal mark, so it would never be brought up again. I think my mentality about this scar is flawed. I must think about it like my leg. The event happened; it hurt badly; I cried; but it has not affected me in any way ever since the stitches came out and the skin molded itself back together. It’s just there. Nothing more; nothing less. He will always be there to some extent. He co-piloted my youth, so undoubtedly, when I reminisce on those days, he will be in those recollections. But he will just be there. Nothing more; nothing less.

My heart has somehow managed to repair itself; the pieces I’ve haphazardly stitched together over the past year have somehow managed to mend. The blood once escaping profusely, depriving me of life and exuberance, is now coagulating. My heart has a beat. But it isn’t the same heart I had before this debacle. It has his name permanently engraved there. Like lost lovers’ names on an old tree. But, the tree still thrives regardless of the deep cuts into its flesh; its foliage is green and lush. This must signify that I can still flourish, despite his mark on my heart.

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