Thursday, July 6, 2017

Samantha And The Pieces Of A Heart Chapter 6: Heart To “Heart”

With five heart pieces down and two to go, Samantha had a spring in her step as she bounced along to her next destination. She took a quick glance at the list that Dr. Rationale had given her and then confirmed her next heading.

Along the way, she came upon two girls who were playing house with a foldable pop-up tent, or rather, two girls who wanted to play house, but for some reason were not.

As Samantha got closer, she noticed that they looked quite sad – almost as if they were about to cry.

You might have realized this by now, but Samantha was simply not one to ignore someone who was in trouble.

“What’s wrong, girls? Why do you look so sad?” Asked Samantha.

“Our friend Anna and her family moved away to a different neighborhood today.” Said one of the girls.

“We used to play house together – just the three of us. Milly as the Mother, Chloe, that’s me by the way, as the father, and Anna as our child, but starting today… we won’t be able to do that anymore. We already miss her.” Said the other girl.

“I see, that really is sad. I wish I could help.” Samantha said sincerely.
Chole’s eyes lighted up.
“What’s your name, little girl?”

“It’s Samantha. I’m pleased to meet you, Milly and Chloe.”

“Milly… what do you think?”

“Yeah, she’s just about the right size. She even looks a bit like Anna… sure, she’ll never be Anna but, that doesn’t mean we can’t play together, right?”

“How about it, Samantha? Would you care to join us? Sure, you’re not Anna, but it’s fun making new friends as well, right?” Chloe offered.
Samantha lowered her gaze and thought for a while, and then she held out her hands in front of Chloe and Milly.

“I’m sorry, girls. I can’t… at least not right now.”

“Huh? Why not?” The two girls shouted simultaneously.
“It’s difficult to explain.”

“Try us.” Milly giggled.
“Well…” Samantha reached out for her backpack.

“It is because, children… she does not have a heart.”

The three kids looked up at the new voice that had entered the conversation. It was not-so kindly old Professor Ian who had overheard everything.

“Eh, Uncle Ian, what do you mean by that?” Asked a bewildered Chloe.
“Exactly what I said. You two stay away from this one. She’s bad news. Don’t you know? She doesn’t even have a heart!”

“But that’s impossible, there’s no such thing as a girl without a heart!” Chloe retorted

“She’s right!” Milly backed her up.

Samantha closed her eyes and covered her ears. She wanted to run away at that moment… but then she remembered Billy and how he had said that they were pretty much alike. She thought of how he had faced adversity head on without trying to escape.

Slowly, she uncovered her ears and opened her eyes.

“Everyone, please stop arguing.” Samantha said gently.
“Hmm? What do you want, heartless girl?” Professor Ian said snidely.

“She’s not heartless! There’s no such thing!” Chloe insisted.

“It’s fine Chloe. Your Uncle Ian is right. I really don’t have a heart. I don’t know why, but I have always been this way. That thing which beats here…?” Samantha pointed at her chest where heart should have been, “there is really nothing there, you can even come closer if you want to try to listen.”

Chloe and Milly reluctantly approached her and placed their ears to Samantha’s chest.

“It’s true there’s no beat … you really don’t have a heart?” Chloe retreated a few steps backwards, unable to understand what was going on and Milly reluctantly followed suit.

“You see? This one is different – a totally heartless girl. I was right! I was right all along! She even admits it? Now do you see the error of your ways, children?” Professor Ian pointed at Chloe and Milly.

“Yeah, but… so what? Does that matter?” Chloe said hesitantly at first but then she gathered her resolve and stared defiantly at her uncle.

Milly smiled sheepishly and looked around frantically -- unable to understand what to make of the situation.
Meanwhile, Samantha carefully took out her five pieces of a heart from her drawstring backpack. Carefully cradling the precious little pieces in her arms, she raised them up to Professor Ian so he could see clearly.

“It’s true that I don’t have a heart right now, but look! Siri told me that all I needed was seven pieces of a heart in order to have my own heart and I’ve already found five of them. Why, I just need two more pieces and I will soon have my own heart!”

“Why, that’s wonderful Samantha!” Milly clapped her hands joyfully.

“What do you say to that now, Professor Ian? Samantha will have her own heart soon and then you’ll have to let her play with us, right?”

Professor Ian snorted.

“Hmph! Pieces of a heart indeed… gimme those!”

Without warning, he roughly snatched the five precious heart pieces from Samantha’s small arms.

“What the…? These are nothing but painted wood! Look at these things! What kind of stunt are you trying to pull here, Samantha?”
The little “heartless girl” smiled.
“Of course, Professor Ian. I understand that they may look like wood pieces right now but… if you please?” Samantha held out her hands motioning for the Professor to return the heart pieces to her.
Professor Ian hesitated for a moment, but he eventually returned the pieces to Samantha due in part to the accusing glares of Chloe and Milly.
“Here… see?” Samantha said proudly.

She had assembled the five wooden pieces and when put together, they really did resemble a heart. In fact, only two more pieces were indeed missing at the top part in order to complete the shape of a heart.

Professor Ian eyed a nearby well. It was about two meters away from where they stood.

“Now then, Samantha. Let me tell you a little secret.” Professor Ian said menacingly.

“Umm… I don’t think I like secrets, Professor.” Samantha could easily see through the malice in his voice.

“You see, Samantha… no matter what you do, you will never ever have a heart. These five wooden pieces of junk aren’t heart pieces. THIS is what a real heart looks like, you silly child.”

Professor Ian showed her a diagram of an actual human heart which he had taken from his coat pocket.

“You see, child? I am a professor and I deal in human anatomy. That is the study of the human body, just in case you didn’t – no, you probably DON’T know. And this, you heartless little girl, THIS is what a real heart looks like… now, does that look anything like your picture.”

“N-no, it doesn’t but…”

“Ah-ah-ah!” Professor Ian shook his head, “no buts, little girl! Your stupid little wooden carvings will never be a substitute for a real heart… and besides, there is another reason, why you will never have a heart, Samantha.”

Suddenly, Professor Ian grabbed the five precious pieces of a heart from the ground and with one single motion, he launched them into the air and straight into the well which he had been eyeing earlier. One by one, the heart pieces fell into the depths of the well and landed with a faint but audible splash.
“You see, Samantha… you are a puppet. Wooden puppets have no hearts.” Professor Ian said coldly.
Samantha bowed her head low and stepped forward slowly… one  step, two steps, three steps, four, five, six, seven…
“S-Samantha… where are you going?” Chloe shrieked.

In the blink of an eye, Samantha had charged towards the well – determined to retrieve the five heart pieces that she had worked so hard to attain.
With no thought as to her own safety, she jumped as high as her little legs could carry her.

To Be Continued

Next Chapter

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