Shrouded in openness and known to all
An entity used over and over, an entity abused
Here lies a heart that loved
Loved again and lost again, and loved again and lost again
Here lies a heart that always loses something precious before every festive session; a heart that has learnt to smile in sorrow
A heart that has packed up not in life but in love; a heart that has died a very long time ago
A heart quietened by life’s pain; a heart closed for ever
To rest in peace for all eternity; never to feel the pain of true love.”
She closed the book and looked at the painting above the book stand. It seemed to synchronize with the words she read, the words that now rang in her head. It was a painting of a lady with curly black hair, being consoled by her battered-looking, injured but beating heart as tears poured down her face. The scene was drawn in black and white, as if to share in the grief of the drawn woman.
A couple came to stand beside LeAnne as she continued staring at the artwork. The man shook his head with an air of empathy.
“The artist must have been really hurt to draw this sorrowful scene, but the depiction is so majestic” he started. His wife nodded in agreement as he turned to her. “What do you think of this, young lady? Any ideas of who could have done this art?”
LeAnne shrugged. “From what I heard, the artist chose to remain anonymous because she did not want to attract pity to herself. She also decided the proceeds would all go to charity. And I feel this might just be a work of art, not necessarily something else”
“I beg to disagree”. The woman, who had been quiet all along suddenly turned to them both. “The person who drew this was clearly in pain. This art has so much soul to it, it almost speaks to me. Honey, look at these words_” and while their attention shifted to the little poem attributed to the art piece, LeAnn slowly made her way out of the art gallery, her eyes catching a few owners of other artworks who also came to exhibit their works. She stood on the sidewalk, watching the last of the sun set in the sky with glorious embers of red.
“You okay?”. A familiar face joined her on the sidewalk.
“Yes I am” she said, sounding unconvincing even to herself.
Another round of silence followed. “Where will you go from here?”
The face turned towards her. LeAnne knew this question would come sooner or later; Madame Lenoux was not one to desert on her closest friends.
Especially the one who gifted her with the artwork that now had many scratching their heads in wonder.
“Wherever my heart leads” she replied simply. Then she kissed the plump lady lightly on the cheek. “Thanks for the support, Elise. You have been a sister, and I hate to be a burden”
“You know you are always welcome back, LeAnne. I truthfully wish you did not give all the proceeds to charity, you know. Sounded silly, but……” she smiled kindly “if it makes you happy, okay”
LeAnne smiled weakly and turned towards the road that led out of the city. She walked some meters before coming to a garden she knew so well. Here, under a beautiful rose shrub, she knelt before a stone marker that she had made a day before. It read:
“HERE LIES A HEART THAT ONCE LOVED, AND LOST”.
Tears almost blinding her eyes, memories flooding back, she removed her necklace and placed it round the stone. She quickly stood up, took one last look at the environment she had called home for years- and left, never to return, never to feel the pain of broken trust, never to cry again tears of bittersweet nature. Like the rare mountain vapors, she vanished. No one ever saw her again.
All that was left of her was the drawing in the art gallery, the secret of which Madame Lenoux treasured and kept till the day she ceased to live.