The Lost Heart

4.6
(10)

This short story explores the nature of human emotions, empathy, vulnerability, and the societal pressures on women regarding their feelings and expressions of love.

The narrative uses magical realism to tell a tale where a man finds a living, pulsing heart on the street and takes it upon himself to find its owner, believing it must belong to a woman due to its delicacy and the way it responds to touch.

Walking through the city streets one evening, I saw a red object on the ground; I bent down: it was a bloody, living heart that I carefully picked up. “It must have been lost by a woman,” I thought, observing the whiteness and delicacy of the tender organ, which, at the touch of my fingers, throbbed as if it were inside its owner’s chest.

I wrapped it carefully in a white cloth, sheltered it, hid it under my clothes, and dedicated myself to finding out who was the woman that had lost her heart in the street.

To better investigate, I acquired some wonderful glasses that allowed me to see, through the bodice, underwear, flesh, and ribs – like those reliquaries that are the bust of a saint and have a small glass window on the chest -, the place where the heart is located.

As soon as I put on my magical glasses, I eagerly looked at the first woman who passed by, and oh astonishment!, the woman had no heart. She must be, without a doubt, the owner of my find.

The strange thing was that, when I told her how I had found her heart and kept it at her disposal if she liked to pick it up, the woman, indignant, swore and swore that she had not lost anything; that her heart was where it usually is and that she felt it perfectly pulse, receive and expel the blood.

In view of the woman’s stubbornness, I left her and turned to another, young, pretty, seductive, cheerful. Holy God! In her white chest, I saw the same cavity, the same pink hole, with nothing inside, nothing, nothing. She also had no heart! And when I respectfully offered her the one I had kept safe, she was even less willing to accept it, claiming that it was a grave offense to suppose that she either lacked a heart or was so careless that she could lose it in the public way without noticing it.

And hundreds of women passed, old and young, pretty and ugly, brunettes and blondes, melancholic and lively; and I threw my glasses at all of them, and in all, I noticed that they only had the place for the heart, but the organ either had never existed or had been lost a long time ago.

And all, without any exception, when I tried to return the heart they lacked, refused to accept it, either because they believed they had it, because they were divinely found without it, because they felt insulted by the offer, or because they did not dare to face the danger of possessing a heart.

I was despairing of returning the poor abandoned heart to a woman’s chest when, by chance, with the help of my prodigious lenses, I happened to see a pale girl passing by in the street, and in her chest, at last!, I distinguished a heart, a real flesh heart, that jumped, beat, and felt.

I don’t know why – since I recognize it was absurd to offer a heart to someone who had it so alive and so awake – it occurred to me to test presenting her with the one that all had rejected, and behold, the girl, instead of rejecting me like the others, opened her breast and received the heart that I, in my fatigue, was about to let fall again onto the pebbles.

Enriched with two hearts, the pale girl became even paler: the emotions, however insignificant, shook her to the core; affections vibrated in her with cruel intensity; friendship, compassion, sadness, joy, love, jealousy, everything in her was deep and terrible; and the very foolish girl, instead of resolving to remove one of her two hearts, or both at once, seemed to delight in living a double spiritual life, loving, enjoying, and suffering doubly, summing up impressions of those that are enough to extinguish life.

The creature was like a candle lit at both ends, consuming in brief moments. And, indeed, she was consumed.

Lying on her deathbed, livid and so emaciated and thin that she looked like a little bird, the doctors came and assured that what was taking her away from this world was the rupture of an aneurysm.

None (they are so clumsy!) knew to guess the truth: none understood that the girl had died by committing the imprudence of giving shelter in her chest to a heart lost in the street.

Also Read: The Master-Thief a Legacy of ShadowsAn Angel’s Adventure

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5 thoughts on “The Lost Heart”

  1. Sorry my bad, They fall asleep when i was reading the last lines if the 6th paragraph, What an incredible writer, Finally some bedtime stories worth the time to read and enjoy reading

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