A Heart's Tears

She sat by the window, her arms around her knees, watching as the world flew by, not even noticing her there. The musty blanket, the steaming cup of coffee, nothing could warm the ice frozen in her soul, occupying the space where her heart was supposed to be. She peered out the window, observing the people on the street down below. Couples, young and old alike, holding hands, laughing, loving, living.

But not her. Not this year.

One by one, her friends slowly came to spending their Valentine's Days on the arm of the boyfriend-of-the-month, instead of sitting with chocolate bars and chick flicks as a group. One by one, her friends left to spend their time with various boys and their friends, and she was left. Alone. February was a month where she felt her heart slowly bleeding itself to a painful death while pretending to be cordial while listening to stories of past Valentine's Days and plans for the coming ones. On the nights she would cry herself to sleep, she'd stare at the ceiling, praying for someone to love, and he to love her in return.

But not her. Not this year.

Her first kiss, if it could be called that, was far from romantic. In fact, it was a horrible, manipulative, truth-or-dare gone wrong. She didn't even feel that at eight years old, and with her best guy friend, it had counted. Yes, at eight years old, she was merely an uninformed child.

She had suffered through the pain of being the only one of her friends to truly be "Sweet Sixteen and Never Been Kissed." Always the tomboy, she was ridiculed by guy pals when admitting to a crush. Being a tomboy, she was the victim of many a nasty prank by other girls for being so "weird." She preferred hanging out with guys; they were less unpredictable and certainly less mean. But was this a choice that would haunt her for the rest of her life? It was bad enough being the homeschooled girl that didn't know many boys, certainly not enough to date one. Should she have compromised her happiness then for her happiness now?

She had suffered the pain of unrequited love with a boy three years older than her. He looked like an ancient mythological god, with golden curly hair, piercing blue eyes and a smile so contagious that even Donald Trump or Bill Belichick would start grinning. She never told him her true feelings. Many other girls chased him and were far prettier than her, the way she saw it. Her shyness got the best of her, and the farthest she ever got in her relationship with him was a casual friendship. Nothing more. One night, while looking at him from the choir on Christmas Eve, she looked down and whispered "I'm gonna let him go." Finally, after three months, she was finally no longer seeing his face in her dreams, tormenting her constantly.

At seventeen years old, she had never dated a boy. Never kissed one, either. "Old Maid" jokes were exchanged and laughed off. She wouldn't let anybody in to see the hurt she held within, the contempt and rage that was building up for years inside. She hadn't cried since she was twelve years old. She never wore her emotions on her sleeve. She wouldn't let anybody know she was hurting. Instead, she'd cry and relieve the tense emotions while in private. Not even her parents knew. She didn't want sympathy. Sympathy was for the weak. She didn't want to appear weak. She always appeared strong and capable in front of others.

They never knew the tension hidden behind her flimsy smile. And they would never find out.

So there she sat, the contempt in her heart continuing to build, like an infected wound continuing to fester. She scowled in jealousy and hatred at the happy goo-goo eyed lovers crossing the streets beneath her. She shifted her weight uncomfortably, pretending to shake off the holiday as a silly little day invented by a silly little card company for silly little people. But in her heart, she knew that she desired to be one of those "silly little people" now more than anything.

As she pulled the warm, woolen blanket closer to her neck, she noticed a single crystal tear sliding down her cheek, staining a pathway as it meandered down and down. Sighing, she wiped the tear away. It was just another routine Valentine's Day, where her heart screamed in agony as she put on a stony smile and stomped out the emotions, ignoring her heart's tears.

And people had the nerve to question why she never observed the holiday, nor did she ever wish someone a "Happy Valentine's Day." She would someday, when she had a reason to observe that little day in February… someday.

But not her. Not this year.