4 June 2024

Beyond the heart of glass

Content note: This content contains mentions of blood, implied homophobia and living with depression (through the experience of drowning). 

Written by Skye


Let this tale be a requiem of my former love. 

A story, destined for a happy ending, ended up being woven by a person that was more inclined to the genres of tragedy and heart-wrenching angst. 

Instead of writing a protagonist, they illustrated the story of a tragic deuteragonist. This person’s heart was unsightly, bloody and gory and bore a striking resemblance to their innate personality. 

Aware of this, they encased their true self behind the glassiness of a false heart. This heart would be a beautiful sheen of scarlet and its accompanying persona would be gentler, kinder, yet fragile all the same. 

At the very least, the lie they lived would be the better part of them. 


A blemish on the family bloodline. 

An outlier that was never considered in this haphazard equation. 

Let bygones be bygones, but even so, I cannot bring myself to let go. 

Sometimes, I wonder how life would be if the truth never dawned on me. I don’t regret anything, but I like to think of the infinite possibilities, as countless as the stars in the sky. In an alternative universe, I might’ve been happier. 

I’ve always admired the rainbows. They were fascinating, beautiful and ephemeral – a diverse multitude of different colours dyeing my world, as a painter would to a blank canvas. However, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and this is a sight, privy to only a few people. 

On that day, several years ago, why was it that you marked ‘no’? A choice, that would decide the happiness of many, yet one you opposed. As a child, I could only watch on as the black ink bled into my heart and sullied the rainbows – the once beautiful colours of this world fading into a monochromous palette. 



Little by little, my heart begins to blot. 

If, one day, I told you the truth, I realised that you would find me intolerable. 

It’s agonising that you couldn’t love me in the same way I loved you. My sullied heart forces my hand and tells me to never say words I don’t mean, lest I find myself bound to them. 

Since when was it that I could no longer bring myself to say I loved you? 

Since when did I start hating the parts of you that I once loved? 

Since when was it that I recoil from your touch, as if static electricity has torn us apart? 

Suddenly, I feel a tug on my sleeve. Before me is an unfamiliar child, yet they evoke a feeling of déjà vu. Despite the unfamiliarity, they beg for me to not let go and I feel their pull as they drag me down into the murky waters of despair. 

Grief was often like how the ocean waded over the sand. There would be days where it was gentle and at low tide, like a soft and tender ache, and then there were times where the waves would crash and tear into the heartstrings from inside out. 

In the name of love, I let the melancholy of it all tear into my lungs and rip into my bleeding heart until I am beyond resuscitation. 

Finally, for the first time in a long time, I am at peace. 

I no longer have to bear the burden that is my false heart. I was always envious that it wasn’t my innate personality. Even if being kind was generic and lacked memorability, at least I would’ve been loved. Only fiction would ever be so kind for me to be properly loved with that sullied heart. 

My memories are only an amalgamation of what they once were, but at the very least, I can reminisce about two people. 

Once upon a time, I was hurt by someone I loved and was ashamed that my tears would not cease. I can remember that one of them sat awkwardly beside me, in silence, until my eyes were finally dry. 

Once upon a time, I said I wanted to go far, far away – to a place where nobody knew me. I would leave it all behind, change my name and surrender myself to the unknown. One of them asked me to come back. 

Once upon a time, there were three of us, dreaming of the distant future together. In moments like these, we exchange a language that needs no words and I contemplate on how long it has been since I experienced such comfort. 

Oftentimes, I find myself lost – staggering and stumbling – in the prison that is my mind. Physically, I am surrounded by sturdy brick walls, in the place that is dubbed to be my home, yet why do I feel so uneasy? Why does this loneliness never reside? Why am I still haunted by memories of those whom I once loved? Why does this guilt never cease? 

Alas, I can feel the lines between fiction and non-fiction being blurred. Perhaps, everything wasn’t as fictitious as I thought it to be. 

The heart, encased in glass, was supposed to protect me, but now, I feel its shards reopening my wounds. 

In my despair, I can hear a child weeping mutely, attempting to conceal their sobs. I reach out to dry their tears, only to pause once I hear the distant sound of laughter behind me. Somehow, I am struck with the awareness that a place, where there is no need of fear, awaits me over on that side. 

Again, I feel a tug and observe that child. If I was kinder, gentler, maybe I could’ve dried their tears and still had a happy ending, but I am only human. There is only so much I can do. 

Let bygones be bygones. Finally, I can bring myself to let go. 

I keep running and running, without ever looking back. If I hesitate, I will lose all that is precious to me. 

Gradually, slowly yet surely, the colours of this beautiful world are returning to me. 

My eyes sting, yet the tears never flow. 

My heart, made of flesh and blood, begins to ache. 

Tender affection, so profound, that I didn’t even know I was capable of possessing. 

The place I’ve always yearned for – where even my blights are treated with kindness – is beside them. 

Even if you tire of me, please don’t ever let me go. For the first time in a long time, I am euphoric. 



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