Hold My Heart Tightly But Please Don’t Hurt It

“Hold my heart tightly but please don’t hurt it.” (Putri Bintang)

“Hold my heart tightly,” she says looking at him, “but, please, don’t hurt it.”

“I like the line,” he smiles back at her; he really likes the line, “Hollywood. Which movie do you take it from? If you may help me; my memory is failing me nowadays….”

“I don’t quote others to say, from the bottom of my heart, something so dear like that. It’s just against my policy,” she winks and grins then pause for a moment and give him a glance, “I trust you my heart.” She truly means it.

He doesn’t hear her words completely; his mind is wandering trying to remember the line that he believes he’s heard, at least once, somewhere.

Or perhaps he just feels insecure with his own love. And she feels and senses and sees it. “You don’t believe me, do you?” she asks him; she looks disappointed, if not betrayed.

“Don’t get me wrong, Sayang (Sweetheart).” He quickly realises what damages he’ll have done to her if he still insists that the line is a quotation. ‘Sayang’, it’s the first time he says the magic word to her. It just came out spontaneously out of his mouth in his attempt to appease her. Even he himself is surprised. He loves her but why is it so hard just to say what he feels? And in that very moment of time, he doesn’t want to lose her. “I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to doubt you.”

“Can you say it again?”

“I’m sorry. I’m really sorry. I didn’t mean to doubt you”

“No, not that one!”

“Which one?” he frowns at her in confusion.

“The word after ‘don’t get me wrong’.”

He winks at her. He knows what she means. “Ah, you naughty girl. You cheeky monkey!”

“Please just say it!”

“Ok.” He looks very embarrassed. “Sweetheart.”

“No, I want you to say it in Indonesian not in English.”

“I’m really sorry, Sayang. Sayang. Satisfied now?”

Then he tells her a story that once he’s read. It’s has been long time and he doesn’t remember where he’s read it; but when she said the line, the story that has been vaguely buried in his memory suddenly comes out.

So he begins to tell, repeat, the story to her as best as he can:

“Once upon a time.” he begins. She laughs: “Are you going to tell me a bedtime story?

“Fairy tale. I enjoy fairy tales. My father, when I was a little girl, used to tell bedtime stories.” She says.

“Once upon a time in a maritime kingdom far, far away, separated by seven vast, mighty oceans, lived a Princess….” he continues…

“Beautiful Princess?” She interrupts him, “I like beautiful princesses.”

“Very beautiful. The Princess had a beautiful bird also, a seagull, that she loved so much. Every morning the bird would leave the palace and flew to the sea and came back to her in the afternoon. She would let it fly from her hands and it would return, in the afternoon, landed on the same hands it flew from in the morning. For years it had been her, their, ritual and for years also the bird always returned to her. It never even once failed and disappointed her.

“However, as time went by she became increasingly possessive and very afraid of losing the bird, afraid that someday it would not return to her anymore despite the fact that the bird never, even one single day, run away from her.

“So one morning she took the bird on her hands but, this time, she didn’t let the bird fly but instead she grabbed its wings and held them tightly, so tightly that the wings broken inside her hands.

“The bird could no longer fly because she’d broken it wings and she was happy that the bird now for the whole day kept by her side.

“However, three days later, the bird died of broken wings and of course from broken heart.”

He took a deep breath, putting the story to an end.

“Nice story,” she says, “Shall I say that I enjoy it?”

Then she tells him her own version of the story. But she doesn’t tell him whether she read it somewhere or whether it was one of her father bedtime stories. Or whether she just makes up the story.

“Once upon a time.” She begins. He laughs: “Are you going to tell me another bedtime story?

“Fairy tale. I enjoy fairy tales. My mother, when I was a little boy, used to tell bedtime stories.” He says.

“Sorry to dissapoint you; this time it’s not a fairy tale.

“Once upon a time in a land somewhere lived a man and woman; they had just brought their relationship to the next level but trouble was, the man began to look very possessive of her.”

“He of her?” He interrupts her, “Not in the way around?”

She ignores him.

“Because the man was getting obsessive of her, she became uncomfortable with his affections although, she had to acknowledge it, she also adored this man.

“One day, they were at the beach, as they mostly spent their times together; both of them love beaches: watching seabirds, sunset and listening to the sound of waves breaking the shore. It’s so romantic, he said, even more so when you’re right here beside my side. She didn’t disagree more with him.

“’Please hold these sands,’ she said to him when they were sitting on the sands waiting for the sunset, ‘I want you to hold them so as not even one single grain falls out of your grip’

“So he did as he was requested; in order to prevent the sand grains from falling, he tightened his grip but the tighter he did, the more grains fell out of his hands, until no more grains left.

“So the woman showed him the correct way of keeping the sands safe in their hands: she took the sands again and let them there, held them gently, and in so doing not even one single grain fell out of her hand.

“’The key is,’ the woman said, ‘to hold the sands gently because, as you’ve seen, the tighter you hold them the more grains slipped out of your hands.’

“The man immediately understood what she meant.”

She took a deep breath, putting the story to an end.

“Nice story,” he says, “Shall I say that I enjoy it?”

“Thank you for letting me know that.” He says to her after she tells him that one of her male friends is going to pick up her tomorrow to visit their mutual friend who is being admitted to a hospital. “As long as you don’t fall in love with him.” He was, of course, joking although he says it seriously.

“You don’t have to worry about that,” she answers him, “because you’ve stolen my heart.” She was, of course, not joking although she says it humorously.

He objects with her statement: “I didn’t steal your heart! You know that. I asked, begged, you to let me occupy the space of your heart.

He looks with longing to this woman of his love and continues, “And I want to thank you because you didn’t only let me occupy a space within your heart but also gave the entire heart to me. Thank you, I really appreciate that.” Then he holds her hands. She holds his hands back.

“Hold my heart tightly,” she says looking at him, “but, please, don’t hurt it.”

“I like the line,” he smiles back at her; he really likes the line, “Hollywood. Which movie do you take it from? If you may help me; my memory is failing me nowadays….”

(Jakarta, October 04, 2007)

Julitra Anaada:

Born and grew up in Talaud Islands, the northernmost, and one of the remotest, parts of Indonesia.

He earns living in Jakarta, the capital.

All posts are his own work, unless stated otherwise. For non-fictional piece, the opinions are strictly personal views.

He can be reached at julitra dot anaada at gmail.com.


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