THE PEDDLER OF HEARTS

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
Do you know love's best form?

Submitted: March 30, 2014

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Submitted: March 30, 2014

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I recall one bitter winter evening, 
a week after my fifth heartbreak 
I blamed myself for being a weakling,
for repeating the same mistake 
of falling madly in love with the wrong girls 
I felt I was the rightful one to blame, 
for looking first at their fancy dresses and curls 
knowing too late they didn't feel the same 
Now after going through too many hurts, 
I promised myself not to look for love anymore, 
dubbing myself as the heartbreak expert 
And then suddenly I heard a knock on my door

"I am cold, please let me in", came an old woman's voice.
"Please allow me to stay for the night, if you'd be so kind."
I couldn't just leave her there, I had no other choice
And then, as I let her in, I felt she could ease my mind.

"I am the Peddler of Hearts", I heard the old woman say.
"I have hearts of different kinds. Would you like to see?" 
I laughed and answered, "No, I plan to throw my heart away.
Since I'm too bruised, I've realized there's no hope for me."

Puzzled, she looked at me with a twinkle in her eye 
I led her to my living room to stay by the fireplace 
I then noticed she held a worn out basket, and she smiled: 
"I'm here to help", she told me. "Look...you might want a trade."

I wished not to argue with her as I sat on the nearby chair 
I said, "If I let you show your goods, what's the best I can get?" 
"You'll know when you choose wisely", she told me. "My deals are always fair.
Select one from all my hearts and I promise you no regrets."

I sat back, watched her take out the first heart
It was beautiful, with a brilliant shine 
Music for my eyes at the very start, 
it looked like it could hold the sweetest wine

"Behold the Glass Heart", she spoke excitedly 
"The most beautiful I present to you first, 
the one you'd love to put on display immediately. 
But alas, I must say, its beauty is also its curse..." 

"Why so?", I asked. "How can that be? I looks so pretty..."

"Beautiful as it is, there lies its weakness", replied the peddler 
"The Glass Heart's misery is in its fragility. 
It stands for Trust, and you understand well how it quickly shatters.
This you know, broken trust leads to broken dignity."

"I've had my own Glass Heart all this time", I sighed sadly.
"See how I am now -passed over and tortured badly!"

"To my second heart then", said the old woman, putting the Glass Heart back. 
"This one you might like better, I hope it's of your taste.
You've lost your fire, this I see and understand -passion is what you lack.
But with this next heart, you must take haste."

Then I saw what was called the Firework Heart, bright and cheerful 
The Peddler of Hearts lit it up and then it rose to the ceiling,
and made its show quite loudly, so sparklingly colorful
And then I told the peddler it gave me a wonderful feeling

"Is this the one you like?", she asked hopefully.
"For the excitement it brings, the Firework Heart is always in demand. 
But its joys don't last long, this I say truthfully
-exactly how infatuation is for a shallow minded man!"

"I won't take that heart", I said, feeling frustrated.
"I've been such a fool, this I realized.I deserved so much to be maltreated!"

"You seem to be the wisest of all my customers thus far", the peddler remarked. 
''They took the hearts they fancied right away without hearing my descriptions.
After falling for the trap of the Firework Heart, they ended up in the dark.
Poor souls gifted with adequate intellect but zero intuition!"

"I don't want to be broken easily...", I declared. 
"...and I'm not after things that don't last long. 
Surely there must be a heart that can show me how to be strong!"

The Peddler of Hearts then put her hand in the basket once more
With her eyes still on me, her face seemed to glow 
I held my breath, quite anxious to know what she still had in store
A good deal she wanted 'fore she had to go

"This is it", the peddler huffed, holding a heart made of metal 
"Here's the third one, the Steel Heart - my strongest heart of all. 
If you choose this one, hardness for you would just be natural.
You may be struck down often but you will never fall!"

Hard is what I need to be, thought I
The Steel Heart would suit me well
But though I'd never have to cry,
to feel no love would be Hell...

"No, I won't take the Steel Heart", I told the peddler.
"I'd rather keep my old bruised heart; other hearts won't matter."

Not giving up, still the Peddler of Hearts showed me the rest of her goods
She told me surely there was one for me
Straw Hearts, Sandbottle Hearts, Ice Hearts, Stone Hearts, and even one made of wood
But then I saw something in her basket I had failed to see

A bottle of water, I took in my hand

"People rarely choose that", said the peddler.
"Since it has no form, it is easily overlooked.
What you've chosen is the Heart of Water.
Hold out your hands; you can't find this in books..."

I obeyed her, hands held out as she opened the bottle,
then watched as she poured water on them - I was startled
Cool and clear, on my joined palms there was a heart! 

"I give the Water Heart to you for free", said the peddler, packing her things
"You shape love through your hands, through your actions.
Promise that you'll share the Water Heart, for true love and life it brings.
On this day forth, use it as your guide in making your life's decisons."

And so after this, the Peddler of Hearts left me, no longer in shame
Thanks to the lessons of the Water Heart, life for me has never been the same!


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