‘Follow your heart’, they say.
What if your heart can’t be trusted? Mine lied about the girl next door and her flirtatious glances ‒the way she materialised in an outfit at once low and high cut each time I went to fetch the milk. Turns out she was looking for my flatmate. Eventually she found him – I heard the proof of that through the stud partition wall.
My heart lied about the woman at the office who was always in the kitchen when I went to make tea. She’d lean on the counter smiling, fingernails beating a polished red tattoo as the kettle boiled. She just took long tea breaks – they gave her the sack but not before she’d emptied the stationery cupboard and stolen my favourite mug.
One day I made the decision.
I took a knife – fresh from its vacuum pack, blade still flecked with grains of card – and cut that blackened lump of muscle free from my chest. It didn’t hurt for long. Only until the pulse in my ears had stopped. Only until my clothes felt heavy with my own blood. Do I miss it? As much as you miss a headache once it’s passed or the pain in a tooth once the damn thing’s been pulled.
Now, instead of following my own heart I follow other peoples’.
Bars are the best. Bars are where folk go looking for love, where a few cheap beers or a line of shots can tear down any barrier. Alcohol works its magic, transforming Quasimodos into Casanovas.
Jostled by drinkers, ears prickled by beats and bass, I watch the women, watching the men, watching the made-up faces melt like waxworks in the heat of bodies and lights.
I can almost see their hearts flicker like faulty neon tubes. If only they’d learn to let that troublesome meat go.
I can teach them how.
This was written in response to a challenge set by Samantha at fictionwriterwithablog
My chosen cliche was ‘Follow your heart’ … And my twisted imagination took me the rest of the way.