Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Samantha And The Pieces Of A Heart Chapter 3: What Is Truly Important?

Having left the park after acquiring the second piece of a broken heart from Vincent the painter, Samantha now had no idea what to do. She had tried asking Siri, but there were no further instructions beyond this point.

“I suppose I’ll just walk around for a bit. If only I had some kind of clue.”

Samantha simply let her legs carry her to wherever they might take her. She walked along without any thought of reaching a particular destination – only following the path that was in front of her.

Pretty soon, she found herself in the middle of an unfamiliar neighborhood. Even all the houses looked quite different in design from the ones in her area.
“Sniff! Sniff!”

She came upon a teenage girl who was softly sobbing by the sidewalk.  When Samantha saw this, she knew that she just couldn’t leave this person by herself like this. She stepped up to the crying girl.

“Umm… hello? Can I ask why you’re crying so much?”


The teenager showed Samantha the thing that she had been preciously cupping in her hands. It was a little bird’s body. Its eyes were closed and it was lying motionless. It was dead.

“It was our pet. Mine and my Sister Alexia’s. It died because she refused to take care of it after she got tired of playing with it. She went out and bought a puppy and left this little one in its cage to starve to death.”

“What? That’s horrible, but why would she do that miss… um… miss…?”

The girl sighed.

“Oh, my name’s Melania. What’s your name, little girl?”

“It’s Samantha. But yeah, why would your sister… Alexia, was it? Why would she do that?”

“It’s because she grew tired of this pet, so she got a new one.”

“Couldn’t you have taken care of it without her?”

“I can’t. She got angry at me when I tried to help the bird out. She threatened to kick me out of the house. I’m economically dependent on her, so I can’t do anything about it.”

“Economically dependent?”

“Oh… big word, huh, kid? It means I can’t feed myself without her. I have a frail body so I can’t work, so I have to depend on her for money and support.”

“But, you loved this bird, didn’t you?”

Tears welled up in Melania’s eyes.

“Of course I did… he kept me company whenever I was lonely. He was my only friend because I couldn’t go out too often because of my weak body. Now he’s gone and I couldn’t even do anything for him. My sister, she always does this. We’ve had lots of pets go through this cycle of being neglected. I’m afraid that new puppy will meet the same fate once she gets tired of it.”

“You should talk to her about it. You should let her know how much she’s hurting you when she does that.”

“She’ll never listen. She might even try to hit me. She did that once when I tried to talk back at her… and I need her because I can’t even take care of myself. I…I’m a hypocrite. I want to take care of these animals when I can’t even take care of myself.”
And then Melania broke down into tears.

At this point, Samantha realized that talking to her any more would just make Melania even sadder. Therefore, she went past the teenage girl and straight into the house behind.

The door was open, but Samantha knocked twice before entering.


“Miss Alexia, are you here?”

“What’s this? A child has invaded my premises?”

“Sorry about that. I was just talking to your sister Melania outside.”

“Oh really now? What kind of lies was she spreading about me?”


Samantha was taken by surprise at how cold and blunt Alexia was. She was also a tall, imposing woman unlike the timid Melania. If it were not for the strong family resemblance between their faces, it would have been very hard to believe that they were actually blood related. Clearly, Alexia was the older sibling based on her domineering attitude and her slightly more mature facial features.

“What is it, child? Didn’t you have something to say? Tell me already or I’ll have to ask you to leave. You’re wasting my time enough as it is.”

Samantha steeled her resolve. She had actually decided to do something about this situation as soon as she heard the story from Melania. Even if Alexia was a bit scary, she would not change her mind now.

“It’s the animals… Melania really cares for them.”

“Oh, is she still crying about that bird that died? It was just a cheap little canary. We can buy tons of others. Why, I could buy her a whole flock of them if I wanted to… but only if I wanted to.”
Alexia said with a sly smile on her face.
“But you don’t get it. That one canary was special to Melania.”

“What are you talking about? One bird is no different from the rest. Isn’t that right, Henry?” She petted the little puppy that had come up to her as she said this.
“They’re alive, so each one is different. Every living thing is special.”

“No, child. YOU don’t get it. To you, they are special. To me, they are nothing more than objects. Toys bought to entertain me and my sister. And toys to be discarded when they are no longer of use to me.”

“That’s horrible!” Said Samantha.

“That is reality, child.”

“Then… then what about your sister, Melania? Is she just another toy to entertain you too? Someone to be thrown away when she no longer pleases you?”

“Exactly! Is that all I am to you, Alexia?”

At that moment, Melania had entered the house and joined the conversation as well.

“Melania! Of course not. You are more than a toy to me… you’re family.”

“Then why can’t you treat these animals that way as well? As family?”

“Because they are just toys for me.”

“They are not just toys! They are… they were my friends!”

“Friends? Come now. If these are what you consider friends. I can buy you some new friends to replace the old ones. Stop causing such a drama over nothing, sister.”

At this point, little Samantha had become quite frustrated with the endless back and forth argument between the two sisters. She knew that this conversation was going nowhere fast, so she decided to step in. Taking a deep breath, she shouted out as loud as she could.

Even the normally calm and collected Alexia jumped back in surprise at the decibel level of Samantha’s voice. Who knew that such a loud voice could come from such a tiny body?
“I get it now. There is no way that you two are going to convince each other. For Melania, animals are her friends;pets to be loved and cared for. For Alexia, they are just objects. I have never even had a pet, so I can’t say who is right or wrong here. What I do know is that you two do care for each other.”

“Well, of course, child. It’s just that Melania here is causing such a ruckus over…”

“Listen for a moment and let me finish!”
Samantha interrupted Alexia before she could finish – even though she knew it was wrong to do this to people – especially someone older than her. However, there are times when manners and scruples must give way to necessity. Samantha realized that this was one of those times. She had to say what she wanted to say now or these two would never listen.
“Why don’t you make a compro… uh… what’s that word…?”

“Compromise?” Asked Melania.

“Yes, compromise! Melania can take care of the needs of the pets and Alexia can treat them as toys if she likes, but at least allow Melania to tend to their needs – even to the needs of the ones that Alexia no longer wants. Alexia, if you care for your sister, then you can let her do this much, right?”
Alexia covered her face with one hand and bowed her head low so that her bangs covered her eyes. She trembled for a few moments. Melania took Samantha in hand and shielded her with her own body protectively from Alexia’s impending wrath.
“Haha… haha! HAHAHAHA!” Alexia laughed menacingly.
“That is an absolutely brilliant suggestion, child.”

“It’s Samantha.”

Alexia stomped towards Melania and grabbed Samantha by the shoulders. She then hurled her into the air with carefree abandon. Samantha rolled around limply in mid-air. She closed her eyes and braced herself for impact, but when she opened them again, she found herself cradled in Alexia’s arms. Even though it felt a bit scary at first, she found it quite secure and comforting to be held this way.

“Thanks for that. It really cleared my head. Now… Melania?”

“Y-yes, Alexia?”

“My dear sister… I’m sorry if I caused you so much grief before. I’m sorry if I disrespected you and applied my own standards on you. I really didn’t mean to. It’s just that I can’t accept your way of thinking about these… things… fine, these animals, but, you probably can’t accept my way of thinking, either… correct?”

Melania shrugged hesitantly, but nodded to confirm her sister’s words.

“But Melania, you should know that I love you… I’ve always loved you.”

“Alexia… I love you too. You’re my only sister, of course I love you.”

Alexia was almost in tears… but not quite.
“Excellent!” She said snappily as if to prevent herself from giving in to tears. She had no time for such dramatics after all.
“Then just as this sweet child has suggested, let us have a compromise… now, I’m not sure if what she said was the most adequate solution, but… let’s work things out.”

Alexia put Samantha back on the ground gently.
“Awww… I was just getting used to it.”

Alexia smiled and then turned to Melania.

Holding out her hand, she spoke, “Let’s talk this over, sister. We have a lot to talk about.”

“We sure do,” Melania replied, “Oh but before that. We haven’t thanked Samantha properly.”

“We certainly have not. Oh, I know, would you like to stay for dinner, Samantha?”

“No, thank you. I wouldn’t want to disturb you two. There is something though… would you happen to have something that would match these? There are supposed to be seven parts of these heart pieces and I’m looking for all them. You see, I am a girl without a heart. That’s why I’m on a quest to find the seven pieces of a heart so I may have my own.”

“Melania, doesn’t that look a bit like…”

“Why yes, Alexia. It’s the same shade as that wooden coaster that father used to love. It’s our special memento of him.”

“But surely, our little friend deserves to have it, wouldn’t you agree, Melania?”

“Undoubtedly, sister. Father’s memories will remain with us forever whether his coaster is with us or not. As for Samantha, she earned it.”

With that Alexia disappeared into the kitchen only to return a few moments later with their father’s wooden coaster -- the third piece of a heart.

“Take good care of it now, child… I mean, Samantha.”

“I will! Thank you very much and you two take care of each other too, ok?”

To be continued.

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