Aida Zabidi

Women in love are sad and vulnerable things.

It’s the cynic in me that says that.

I watched her wear her heart on her sleeve, smiling willingly as her lover shredded it one strip at a time at a time in his ignorance, in her anger, in his hurt – and yet there it stayed, bright and beating and unashamedly vulnerable to the hurt that would undoubtedly come, as it normally does to human nature.

“Isn’t it sad to leave yourself open to hurt?” I asked.

“Shouldn’t you shield yourself a little bit, perhaps keep your heart away in a box while it still bleeds?”

She looked at me with love shining in her eyes, even as her heart continued to bleed.

“Look at him. You cannot see, but he wears his heart as I do, pinned on his sleeve as well. He is equally open to the hurt that might come, as am I.”

As she said, I could not see. Perhaps she was the only one who could.

“I once kept my heart in a box, and it shriveled, and became a husk of a thing, until he showed me how to open the box and open myself to love – and truly, it is the nature of love to face everything that may come.”

“I see you have your heart kept away.”

I shrugged.

“It is the cynic in me.”

“Perhaps in time you will find a way to overcome your fear,” she smiled. “For truly, it is fear.”

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