1/2 a <3 (A Valentine's Day Short Story)

halfAheartShe always could barely wait for the first day of each month, as it was the day when donations came in. When she could finally catch a glimpse of what the normal people were wearing or using – not that she wasn’t normal, of course, but it was hard for a girl that lived in an orphanage to own all those amazing items in any other way. This time, she was hoping for a purse – and yes, there it was, right at the bottom of the sack. A brown purse with many pockets, including a little zipped one, so little you could perhaps think it was fake… But wait – what’s this? Something inside, a hard piece of paper, maybe a label… But no, it doesn’t look like a label, it’s not a label at all! It is a little card, not larger than an inch, painted in red and white. Minutely cut in it was half a heart, so that one could see through it the inside of the card before opening it – then, once opened, the full heart is shown, but with an empty half.

For P, hugs & kisses

It was obviously a Valentine’s letter from one a year ago, and she remained speechless realising how much love and care have been put inside something so little, just by the fact that it was manually designed and written. But… What is┬ásomething like that doing inside the smallest pocket of a donated purse?! Perhaps the girl who received it forgot it there… She could imagine the smile on the girlfriend’s face when she received it, how she hugged him and thanked him for it, then put it inside that pocket where it fit perfectly, and forgot it there…

But still, who would forget something like this in a bag? Not when it means so much, more than something expensive, actually, cause a hand crafted object takes time, and a piece of your time is the most important gift you can give to someone… Well, this means it didn’t mean so much, in the end. Perhaps she wanted to forget him and left it there, put it somewhere where you could even trick your mind into thinking that the pocket is false, so that you will never see it again… But then, why not simply throw it away?

It’s so small and still full of details, though, that I feel it was made by a girl. And assuming it was meant to a boyfriend P, what is it still doing inside her purse? Again, she couldn’t have just forgotten it there, neither before nor after giving it to him… A shadow of sadness covered her face. This letter never found its destination, cause she changed her mind. Perhaps he broke up with her right on Valentine’s Day last year, which would be so sad, but it does explain it. Or perhaps she felt ashamed in the last minute to give him something so small and inexpensive like a hand crafted paper, but in this case she was more than wrong, as this kind of gifts values sometimes much more than a golden bracelet or so… And indeed it values, or else the little card would have been burned by now – but perhaps even though she did change her mind, she didn’t want to forget. The gift still meant so much, a symbol of what had been, of infinite love, that she couldn’t just erase it as if it was never there, she couldn’t just destroy something she had put so much love into, something she put inside the smallest pocket of her everyday purse, cause it fit so perfectly there, and then carried it with her everywhere, but somehow never feeling the urge to give it to him, not on Valentine’s Day and not even months after that, when there were only the two of them, and the bag, and the card, alone abroad in a place they say it’s the most romantic city… It just never was a proper time, and then it wasn’t anything at all.

Should I then throw it away, or leave it where it belongs, in the old purse that I’m going to give to orphanage, to enlighten someone else’s imagination?… Would I be left with half a heart?


It’s Always Tomorrow


I was chatting with someone yesterday – just a regular conversation on Facebook – and at some point we ended up taking about a random topic, which was how often we practice sports. I asked him, half joking, half not, when he intended to start going to the gym, like some other friends do. His answer was half a joke, half not: ‘Tomorrow’, he said. And then something happened, something that reminded me why I like talking to people, and especially to people I don’t usually talk (and by talking I also mean chatting).

You find a lot about a person by simply chatting with them. But, perhaps most importantly, you may also find something about you. Something they point out, something that you discover through the conversation, some ideas that you may not find in any other place, or from anyone else. You may find inspiration. Inspiration for deeper thoughts, for deeper discussions, or for a new blog post. So chatting is interesting and useful in the same time, at least for me; and it’s nice to find inspiration in places you didn’t expect to, and from people you barely know – and that’s the fun part when you’re a blogger, right?

I responded without really thinking about it, half laughing, half serious: ‘It’s always tomorrow’. And then I started talking about something else, until he made a remark a few chat lines below, that made me stop. It was the kind of remark I was referring above, the kind of remark that makes you realise you have a starting point for something deeper, the kind of remark that basically makes you think. Cause he said ‘”It’s always tomorrow”… nice ‘.

And I stopped for a few seconds, speechless. I always appreciate when someone is quoting me, it makes my words feel valued, and that’s a nice feeling, to know that someone actually remembers what you’ve said. And even if there have only been a couple seconds between you saying that remark and the other person repeating it, it still matters – perhaps even more. The way he said it, with quotation marks and everything, plus the ‘nice’ adjective, made me realise that indeed it was a nice quote, even if the truth behind it is not that nice – it’s actually a little sad, I think. But I know it’s true, and I wonder what I meant by it… And there was only one way to find out – by writing this post.

We tend to plan everything. Our schedule, our meetings, our lives. We tend to prioritise tasks, to decide which ones are important and which ones can only mean procrastination. But we’re also quite good at running, and I don’t mean exercising (unfortunately), but running from certain tasks, postponing them until later, until tomorrow, until… never. Cause ‘tomorrow’ is just “a mystical land where 99 percent of all human productivity, motivation and achievement is stored.” (a nice quote I found online).

Will tomorrow be as expected, with all the plans you made the day before?… Are you going to be happy with the fact that you’ve already decided how tomorrow should look like? Are you going to be happy with the fact that you’ve spent ‘today’ thinking about ‘tomorrow’, instead of living the moment? Does tomorrow ever come, actually?

Cause If tomorrow never comes… Will she know how much I loved her? Rather than just assuming she’ll know, you’d better make sure she will. You’d better live in the present and do what you’ve postponed for tomorrow, today. Cause why not? You can’t postpone things forever, so why not getting started on them right now? I admit I need to learn how to live ‘now’, to stop making so many plans for tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow, and so on… Cause the truth is that you’re missing the present, if your mind is set in the future. And moreover, if tomorrow does come, you’ll have to do those tasks anyway – be them sports, homework, or just a simple thing such as telling someone you love them. And the more you postpone them, the less desire you’ll feel for actually doing them. Remarks such as ‘I’m not in the mood now, so I’ll leave it until tomorrow’ can be so tricky sometimes. Cause believe me, the next day you’ll most probably be even less in the mood for it. The only ‘good’ thing about postponing is that at some point, there’s a deadline when you really must do it, and then it’s done, and congrats, you’ve finally finished the plans you had for X days ago. But what if the deadline doesn’t really exist, and you keep postponing the task until, well, forever? What if you end up being fat because you’re too lazy to exercise, and now you don’t have time anymore? What if you miss the chance of telling what you feel, because you were too afraid, and you lied to yourself by trying to believe that ‘tomorrow’ was a better day? What if tomorrow never comes, and you miss all the chances you had today?…

It’s always tomorrow, but never today… says and old song I found by googling my own quote (cause why not googling your own words?). So stop living in the future, or else you may have regrets at some point, ‘tomorrow’, for not doing all the things when they were meant to, and for being too coward and/or lazy to confronting the present. Cause it’s always ‘tomorrow’, but is tomorrow ‘always’? We usually blame time for not being able to do things today, so we postpone them until tomorrow. But tomorrow is just another day, that will even change its name to ‘today’… Tomorrow is not an infinite period of time, tomorrow is not ‘always’ – unless you postpone it infinitely, which is, honestly, the worse thing you could do. Don’t leave until tomorrow what you could do today, at least not without a really good reason; pretend tomorrow doesn’t come – are you happy with the present, have you done everything that has to be done, today?…

Tomorrow may not be ‘always’, but now is. Now is the answer to the question “When…?” Cause if it’s not now, then it may be never. And you’ll regret not living in the present. If we’d all try to follow the last verse of the song, We’ll forget our tomorrow, and live for today, we’d be much happier. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but at some point in the future, we’ll be glad we didn’t waste our time planning instead of actually doing the thing. But it’s hard, isn’t it?…

Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, tomorrow
You’re always a day away!