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A Gypsy's Heart

A Short story about unrequited love 

I had listened to their incessant perceptions of unrequited love, quoting it as an undignified love, being a way to

ruins, an unstable foundation to be built upon; that it would never give labour to the undisclosed desires of one’s

heart. The repetitions became as loathsome as those vexing songs with catchy hooks that do not flee the tortured

mind, berating oneself for even half listening.  In their attempts to guide me, they branded me with a lack of

wisdom. When I looked at myself, I saw innocence and a fire of defiance steadily growing in my belly.

I concede, if I had honored their perceptions as my own, even fleetingly adapted to their beliefs, I would have

secured the cowards way. The precise, measured, fool- proof way, yet I was the fool in love playing in a jester’s

court of rules. The careless whispers might have ceased if I had secured the road often embarked upon.

Instinctively, if only to feel more at peace, I felt a need to conceal myself away from prying eyes.

If I had honored them and adapted I might have experienced the approval of becoming acquainted with their

well-meaning beliefs. I heard common, well-rehearsed lines “see young chap, I told you we would soon

have you the right way up again”. Gleaming with pride at their ancestral wisdom passed down through the ages.

 I would respond, “Yeah, phew that was a sure fire way to earning a gypsy’s broken heart but I am alright

now”, with my grieved heart in hand.

I would muster up the reserved energy I held dear to me; speak of it with a convincing, reassuring smile.

You know the familiar smile you see in those money magazines with pictures of fake happiness, one of those

familiar smiles.  That is what I would have inherited from their secure road, the chance to be the right way up.

At my own defiance I was spared of what surely would have been.  

My soul would have played a contradictory melody and in the quiet unoccupied spaces of my mind it would

have sharply penetrated the existence of lies I would have told myself.  I could not deprive truth nor place it

on a shelf to gather cobwebs and silt. I realised it was futile for them to conceive the invisible language my

soul spoke when it came to loving her.

Perhaps her uncomfortable rejections of my subtle advances towards her were for my own protection? I think

she knew I loved her; I think I knew she did not want me to love her.  I had not been paying heed to the fact that

she might have already known what I had tried to keep concealed. How does one conceal loving someone?  Do

you count to fifty, and then hope you forget where you hid it? Do you give it to a friend wrapped up in an uneven,

nameless and hefty box making sure to tell them to not give it back to you even if you ask for it? No, it is

unattainable to hide love, nor can you turn a deaf ear to a full heart.

In hindsight it was so unethical of love to want to protect her from myself.  I wanted to believe unrequited love

could render me untouchable, untainted. Suddenly there shone a dim lamp that interrupted the darkness, among

my thoughts I discovered the distorted reality my mind had conjured up to appease my doubt. In those moments

the fierce passion and loyal intensity I loved her with were no longer denied.  

Oh, how she had set my long held captive feelings free to roam again even if only in my mind. I remember I sat

there with her, my jaw clenched tightly with the unexpressed intensity of my own emotions. She easily made

the tightly wound up coils of me come undone; they always did spring willingly into life when in her presence.

The emotional tide she offered sparingly bewildered me, emerging triumphantly came a kaleidoscope of

changing patterns.

I sought desperately to engage with each feeling, thought, and emotion, absorb it all out of fear of forgetting how

I felt in those moments.  Perhaps that would have given me the courage to depart effortlessly, never to return,

until her silence broke that spell. I had never been comfortable with silence, her unpredictable silence.

I thought I would have welcomed the relief of broken silence, yet I wanted it to return as the response had not

yet found its way from my heart nor did I feel the appropriate response I wanted to give find its way to pass

through my tightly pursed lips.

She would see the brew of a dark storm in my eyes, the deep winces of my heart woven in my tears every time

she spoke of another love, the seduction of truth spilling from my lips. I would tell her the stories that made

my soul naked, that removed the cloak of invisibility shrouding my being, the stories that lay behind my

hopeless sighs.  I had become like the lone wilted flower, hidden under a mossy rock that the rain had neglected.

I watched her glass teardrops drip from her damp sharpened eyelashes as I stared at my reflection in the

droplets left behind. I was drenched in her midnight sadness, captured in a moment that it was I listening to her

songs of pain.  I succumbed my tightly held reservations to be rational and in control not thinking about how

unbridled love could hurt both of us for different reasons.

I had longed to caress her delicate features with my fingertips, envelope her in the strength of my love, taking

her into the safety of my own soul, a place where no one could tell me that this kind of love was wrong or what

I felt was not allowed to be.  I lay down as our bodies entwined in the small moments of denied recognition.

She was allowing me in to her private domain.  I became mesmerised with how the moonlight cast shadows

on her exposed flesh. I knew it would never happen again.

I remember the way I would take her hand as to get her attention and laugh at something that wasn’t amusing,

but being amusing just because she was there to laugh at something stupid with me.  Just like saying something

funny like I love you would make her laugh. I’d never displayed such a bold statement in jest; it had always

come from my gypsy heart.

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