By Isabella Tziolis
You know, our hearts are like monsters, that’s why our ribs are cages.
A heart once beating now lifeless, useless. That’s the thing about heartbreak, it -
Forces our minds to roar.
Forces reactions that are unnatural, unprecedented, unwarranted.
Forces change that uproots the foundations of life.
The pen relieved of its duties clambered to the floor and I screwed up the paper, threw it into the bin where it belonged with the realisation I would need to start again. It isn’t working, I need a new angle, one that captivates my reader, draws them in, makes them feel the pain. I know what I need to do, I need to create some action, start in medias res, I need doors slamming, I need action, anger not melancholic angst.
“How could you” she screamed, hot, furious tears streaming down her face. “Answer me!”, slamming her hand against the marble bench in a fiery rage.
He stood, speechless, words stuck in the back of his throat unable to be heard. How did she find out, his thoughts interrupted by the slamming of the door.
He walked cautiously to the door, “It didn’t mean anything, I swear”
“I can’t do this anymore”, her back collapsed against the door, her body too weak to hold her up. Nothing had ever made her feel so worthless. Like she was stranded upon a mountain, trying to escape from the pain.
“Please, come out” he pleaded, “I love you. You said my love was all you needed”
She knew she shouldn’t go to him, it only ended in pain. But this was the last time, the last time she would forgive. But this time she wouldn’t forget. She stood, wiping her eyes from the tears that kept on cascading, held her head high and left the confines of their room. “I love you too “she whispered inching towards him.
“I love you, you’re not a chapter in my story you’re my whole story,'' he uttered, brushing his fingers along the contours of her face, swiping the glistening tears from sight. Out of sight out of mind.
“I care about you, I will always be here for you,'' he assured her while running his fingers through her hair. She smiled and crawled on his lap and let him hold her, closing her eyes still smiling, and whispered something that confused him.
“Tell me another lie”
Twice before writers showed me the pain of heartbreak, the pain so real it was palpable, how could I capture the emotions of Bronte and Shelley, I want to create that pain and blast apart the world so suddenly life looks different, I want my book to do the same. I will use their words, make them my own, like a patchwork prose…
The glass shatters against the wall as she scrambles to escape his violent rage. Backing up to the wall as he approached her fragile frame.
“Darling, I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine, and rage the likes of which you would not believe.” he grips her chin in his cold hand, whispering in her ear, “if I cannot satisfy the one, I will indulge the other”. He throws her away from him, leaving her broken on the floor, crumpled in a heap of pain.
“I gave you my heart and you took and pinched it to death”, she mumbled, collecting her sprawled limbs from the floor to stand, but failing, the pain too much to bear. People feel with their hearts, perhaps he doesn’t have a heart.
“I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe. If I cannot satisfy the one, I will indulge the other” – Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
She closed the book with a slam, as it clattered to the floor. She was overwhelmed, yet in acceptance; They say love is the monster, but why isn’t the one that forces heartbreak the monster. Why do we blame our hearts, or the human tendency to fall in love erratically, and spontaneously. Why not the person who rips our world apart, turns it completely around, and shatters everything you once thought was eternal. Why when love fails, does rage prevail. Why did she give him her heart, that he punched to death. Why?
No, this won’t do, I need initial silence, I need the quiet, the solemn acceptance before she breaks, I will have them having their final dinner.
The silence came in under the door, they sat and ate, their eyes down, actions mechanical, familiar yet resentful. She looked at him and thought with sadness, you know, our hearts are like monsters, that’s why our ribs are cages. But, what do I do if my ribs are broken, and my heart broken beyond repair.
She couldn’t do this anymore. She stood there in front of him, shaking as she gathered all of her courage and asked, “Do you hate me?” He gave her a sceptical look.
“Of course not.” He looked into her eyes with those beautiful brown eyes of his. “You’re always so kind to me”.
Those words shot through her heart like a thorn puncturing a rose’s delicate petals. Tears started to spill down her sombre cheeks.
“Then why are you always so cruel to me?”, she whispered.