When it Rings Will You Answer?

One and One and One is Three

“Heart in Hand, Feet on Ground”

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CHAPTER ONE

You may roll your eyes at the cliché that I am about to spew, but I assure you that in this instance it is true; Ingrid was not like other girls. She wasn’t just different from other girls, Ingrid was different from all other people. You see, Ingrid wore her heart on her sleeve. I am not speaking figuratively. No, she quite literally wore her heart. Exposed to the world. Truth be told, the location of her heart was on the front of her shirt, directly proportionate to where it should be beneath her chest and not her sleeve, nevertheless, her heart was visible to all and she lived her life unable to hide it and at times, unable to protect it.

Ingrid’s heart first appeared when she was just four years old. She and her mother were out for a walk one spring morning when they happened across a wounded robin. It had struck a storefront window mid-flight and fallen to the ground. A small group of people had surrounded but no one wanted to touch the bird for fear of disease. Ingrid felt an immediate pang in her chest. She did not know what it was but she knew that she had to help this robin. Ingrid’s mother saw this in her daughter’s face and despite her initial worries, edged Ingrid forward granting her permission to do what she felt she needed to. Ingrid nodded and smiled and with that smile and came a faint glow beneath her jacket.

Ingrid ran forward toward the injured bird while the crowd that had gathered murmured. She knelt down beside the robin and gently stroked its wing. What happened next is subject to great debate. Many in the crowd will tell you the bird simply came to after being stunned by the impact of its crash, but Ingrid maintains that she felt a current begin in her chest, carry down through her arm and transfer from her hand to the bird and that the bird awoke, regained its composure and delivered a gratitude-filled, ‘thank you’ chirp and flew off to rejoin its family. Which is true, I cannot say, but what is known for certain is that the glow beneath Ingrid’s jacket grew brighter.

Ingrid’s mother found this glow disconcerting. She took Ingrid home and immediately rang Dr. Stoneway to set an appointment that day. However, by the time they arrived at the Doctor’s office, the glowing had ceased. Dr. Stoneway proceeded with the examination and found Ingrid to be in a perfect state of health. He suggested that perhaps the glowing had been imagined or that it was plausible the sun had simply reflected off the storefront window and hit a button on Ingrid’s jacket which caused the brief appearance of a glow. He tried his best not to sound condescending but Ingrid’s mother was clearly irritated.  She picked Ingrid up and left the office in a huff without saying another word.

Ingrid and her mother went about their lives for several years and never discussed the glow until one day when Ingrid was sixteen, it reappeared, and this time, permanently. Ingrid had burst in through the front door. Her mother was home early and had not expected to see her daughter so soon, but knew immediately that something was amiss. Ingrid stopped in front of her mother, she had her hands on her chest. Her mother knew why. Ingrid slowly lowered her hands and there, brighter than before, was her heart.

When asked what had happened, Ingrid simply replied, “he did.” She was in love for the very first time and her heart was on full display showing the world. Being a sixteen year old girl, this mortified her.

“Does it hurt, Ingrid?” Her mother asked.

“With every single breath I take!” She cried with all the passion and dramatics of a daytime soap opera.

“What on Earth happened?!” Ingrid threw herself on the couch and buried her face in the pillow.

“I don’t want to talk about it!”

Ingrid’s mother once again wanted to call Dr. Stoneway to set an appointment, but Ingrid refused to go. She said, in a most dramatic fashion that her pain, while real in a sense, was actually metaphorical and the fact that her heart appeared on her shirt was of no significance. Her mother disagreed wholeheartedly telling Ingrid that one’s heart should never be exposed.

“Then how can we ever love?” Was Ingrid’s retort to which her mother had no response but the feeling of pride in her daughter’s sudden, aged wisdom.

After several hours and litres of tears, Ingrid’s face emerged from its pillowed hiding spot. She had an oddly serene look on her face. Her mother, although relieved to see her daughter no longer crying, thought it a strange one-eighty.

“Ingrid?” She harkened.

“I am all right, Mother. In fact, I am wonderful.”

“I am certainly glad to hear it, but tell me sweetheart, what has changed?”

“Everything.”

Ingrid smiled and stood up, hugged her mother and went upstairs to her room. When she emerged her heart was shining brighter than before. She grabbed her coat, kissed her mother and walked out the door.

 

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Written by josiahh

July 3, 2013 at 9:52 AM

3 Responses

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  1. I really enjoyed this. Very original and cute – reminds me of the Grinch (in a good way!).

    bridawn

    July 3, 2013 at 10:00 AM

  2. Thank you very much!

  3. […] This is Chapter II. Chapter I, “Heart in Hand, Feet on Ground” is here. […]


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