I didn’t mean to, but I found them.
I wasn’t looking for them, didn’t even know they were there. I was just putting some of your clothes away, piling socks on top of t-shirts on top of pants in the closet, and there it was, the box. Just there behind all your hanging button-ups, a cardboard edge peeking out from beneath the hem of a sleeve as if the shirt were pointing to it.
Normally I would never have looked inside, would never have thought to. It’s tucked away but not hidden, intended to be benign enough in appearance that the eye just passes right over it, never giving it a second thought. But I swear I can hear something coming from inside it, a faint noise like the quiet, rhythmic beating of a drum.
When I reach down to drag it from the shadows, I feel it. That boom of a bass, echoing against my palms, the kind that crawls across your skin, the kind you can feel shaking your ribs. I open it—I have to—and there they are. Every single one you’d ever been given, these hearts all side-by-side, all stored away like childhood photos or clothes that no longer fit.
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