Liz's Heart


United States
36° 44' 8.952" N, 76° 1' 39.3096" W

As I kicked the tiny, gray pebble in the street, walking home from the park, all I could think about was the fact that I needed to get home right away. Something inside my core was pushing each step I took faster and faster as I rounded the bus stop corner at the end of my street. The day was almost gone as the sun slowly faded below the horizon and the blackened, silhouetted trees spoke soft, silent words that transcribed an ethereal air in the day’s twilight. “Click, click, click,” sounded the pebbled each time I shuffled it like a soccer ball down the graveled street. As I neared my ranch-style house, I could see a woman sitting alone on her front porch of the house next to mine. Like a snorting, hot-blooded racehorse ready to take flight from the gates at the sound of the starting bell, the urgent feeling only increased as I neared the woman sitting on her front porch. As I looked closer, I saw that the woman had her head down, placed in her worn and tired hands; it appeared to me she was sobbing. The growling from my stomach, a keen desire to eat my mother’s mouthwatering homemade cooking, and the playful mind of a child, had simply stopped for a moment. The pebble bounced once more from my purple converse; everything had simply stopped for a moment.
The wind’s whispering trees and the last notes of the songbird’s songs in the air had become a dulled sense of what had been known. I had never been very close to this woman, who sat all alone on this porch, however, something inside my core inched my untied and tattered converse shoes one step closer to her with each passing second. Her ripped, crying sobs came to ring an alarm in my senses, and I immediately wanted to save her from her pain and suffering she was facing. As I neared her, quietly but purposefully, I could slightly make out audible words being uttered from her tear stricken face. She seemed like she was talking to someone very dear to her, however, no one was at her side, for she was alone. I sat down on the bench right next to her and I listened to her words. She spoke of a man’s life that had been lived fully and wisely, and she spoke of him as a hero and as a glorious savior. I simply sat next to her and listened to her tell this man’s tale. I imagined him as a shining knight fighting all the enemies in the world and rescuing her from a dark and tall tower that had kept her life cooped up, and not lived until he had arrived. I imagined he raised her to be an extraordinary being and to live life to its fullest. I imagined he taught her how to love and how to live. In essence, he had.
I looked down at my converse, old-and tattered they appeared, and I watched their created shadow from the day’s sun slowly fade into a neutral, worn darkness, as the time from the day slowly ran out. The woman peered up at me, looking tired and helpless. I slightly smiled at her and took her hand in mine. I looked deep into her teary, darkened eyes, and I saw in her soul the grief and the loss of a loved one. For me, it was incomprehensible, considering the only thing I've ever lost was a simple, gray pebble. However, she didn't need to tell me anything, because I already understood her pain. As I hugged her, I slowly but surely, felt her relentless strength shine through the beauty interlaced in her ever fervent soul. After some time, she eventually pulled away from me and smiled; everything had simply stopped for a moment.
Hearing my mother’s voice calling my name, I rushed home, but not before I turned around once more to look at this woman who didn't appear alone to me anymore. Her appreciative face ceased that urgent feeling inside my core, and my most cherished converse shoes took me home. Before going inside, I picked up the tiny, gray pebble and placed it tenderly in my pocket.


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