A boy once gave me a coral heart. After a vacation he came back and I sat listening to him talk about where he had gone, who he had seen, as he unpacked. I sat on the edge of his bed, smoothing the sheet that wrinkled around my body, as he placed neatly folded shirts into crooked wooden drawers. When he paused mid -sentence and said, “I brought you something,” I stared up surprised, a warm feeling beginning to spread in my chest.
He placed a small heart shaped coral into my hand, “It’s from the beach.”
I stared at the heart lying in the center of my moist palm, a tiny pockmarked heart. I wasn’t sure what to say, what the heart meant as it sat in the center of my hand, my fingers unmoving. I looked up to say thank-you, but he had already gone back to unpacking.
“Thank-you, it’s very nice.”
“Thank-you,” and I held my hand out.
“Oh, sure. Of course.”
He kept talking. About the weather, a new song he liked, something, I stopped listening to as I stared at the heart shaped coral laying in the center of my palm. When I got home a friend looked at the heart and said, “What more do you want? He gave you a stupid heart!” I’m not sure what more I wanted either. I stared at the heart, held in the palm of my hand and imagined that the heart held the words he hadn’t said.