About the Heart

They often squabbled. She had inadvertently overheard them, a number of times:

“You didn’t let me buy anything – again!!”

“You’re so mean! I really, really wanted to go on that Ferris wheel with you.,,,”

“Stop treating me like a child!”

“I know you’re not a child – you’re my bestest bride.” Following each row, he seemed to know precisely how to appease her – until she would positively purr:

“Oh, I do love you – with all my heart!” Then they would cuddle all snuggled under her draped bulky sweater, doing goodness knows what else.

Don’t people realize their voices and their sounds carry? Sophie asked herself the rhetorical question. Sitting directly in front of them on the coach, the only way to avoid their banter was to tune them out, by tuning on her MP3 player. Yet, she couldn’t help but smile. Kate and Peter were so very young. And for the very young, each condemnation was proof of a burnished bruise which would magically disappear by the utterance of the sacred confession – I love you with all my heart. Those were also words stowed in Sophie’s memory, which at times swirled to the surface.

“You talk about the heart as though it was some entity, existing with a life of intelligence and insight.” Malcolm had mocked. Sophie had responded perhaps all too quickly, all too defensively:

“Literature and famous people throughout the centuries have given great credence to love and the heart comingling, like Ovid for example: Whether you call my heart affectionate, or you call it womanish: I confess, that to my misfortune, it is soft.

“How like you to quote from a classical mythologist!” He argued, the way he sometimes did, dredging out more than the point in question. “I concede,” he went on with that hint of sarcasm which she occasionally championed. “Indeed, much has been attributed to this vital organ ˗ linking it to a wise persona. Really!?” This time, however, she wouldn’t let him get away with it.

“You seem to forget that even your esteemed Dante Alighieri had said: Love and the gentle heart are but the same thing. She still recalled the sudden pink hue which overtook his face. But, she was relentless as she had continued. “Then of course there is the renown mathematician and physicist Blaise Pascale who had coined the often-quoted phrase: The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing.

He recomposed himself. “You are missing my point. The heart is nothing more than a tangible muscle which ticks and keeps us alive until it stops forever – bringing our body to its ultimate finale. So, don’t tell me that you love me with all your heart …,” he paused and took a deep breath. His voice dropped to a near whisper as he resumed with a tone that she could only describe as pleading. “Tell me instead, that you love me, the way I love you ˗˗ with all my soul, because the soul is an ethereal mystery that is ˗˗  eternal.”

She remembered so many words from him, but these were the ones ˗˗ permanently etched – yes, in her very soul.

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