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Hard Heart

by Lolita Libra 2 years ago in dating
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A short story by Leslie Staton

She stared at the screen. How often had she responded with some placating sexual response? She wondered how many times over the years she had told a man what they wanted to hear. She rolled her eyes. “I’ll pretend my phone died…” she thought to herself.

She had an amazing libido when she was younger, but here and there along the way someone had broken her. Men started to make her cry, then scare her, then repulse her. She had long since been far away and unconcerned with the entire idea of love, but now even sex bored her. She was driving herself crazy trying to get something back, maybe be attracted to anyone, anywhere even if just for a moment…maybe not that, But something. She began to listen to old love songs that reminded her of no one in particular, but broke her heart, and reminded her she could feel something. It was like trying to ignite a pile of ashes. One particular song kept playing in her head that almost reminded her of what it used to feel like to be in love. She loved love. It was the artist in her. Even if she could not be in love. She loved the idea of love anyway, but in some bittersweet nostalgic form that was kept in a glass box as a keepsake. She looked at most couples as if they were aliens. Subservient to one another in some cloyingly parasitic or codependent way she wanted no part of anymore. Why on earth would you cook for someone or fold someone else’s laundry? Ludicrous. The idea that she had done that for the better part of her life was forgotten and foreign and she let her clothes pile on the floor. She could not be what any of them wanted, so she had to be something for herself. She tried for so long with so many, but she always fell short. She was raised in a generation that was taught to serve men, and so the years progressing that brought about the idea that a woman would not live as some sort of supporting actress in their own lives, all so a man could feel like a man… was new to her. When she finally put the last stitch in her own heart which was once in shreds, she breathed in her new found feminism like fresh, hot, lead. And the burn felt good. Let someone try to do any of those things to her again. Never again. She relished the feeling of wanting to be alone. This seemed to be the best course of action, if not the unavoidable course anyway. And so it went, for what would turn into years. But sometimes, every once in a while, the glimpse of this couple… fresh and new, babies. They breathe each other in, and she looks at them like this pathetic old beggar and she remembers. And somehow, like the creeping ivy that suffocates the sad tree; the want to be loved and touched and needed and breathed in has taken over her, and suffocates her, and wrenches the life out of her again. It was this feeling that had her searching.

She stared at the phone again. She waited for some glimpse that this man could pull her from the abyss. That he would change her mind, and she would see in some blindingly clear moment that she wasn’t right to have these walls. She would even settle for something temporary. Just a little intellectual stimulation that would awaken some other part of her and tide her over. But nothing. No different than any of the others. She began to text.


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Lolita Libra

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