Chapter 1

“The little floral dress hung sheepishly from her drooped shoulders. The thin, blue, handmade sweater hid her heartbreak. Hope dripped down to the ground that her worn-in boots stood upon; like a young puppy whimpering to be let in from the rain, she waited.

Being 16 was hard enough the first time around. She pulled off her boots, trading them for faux-fur slippers. The cat curled up tightly upon her lap and she sighed in the sweetness of feeling love returned. It was a man’s unrequited love that had her sitting in the dimly lit house listening to her favorite soothing song on repeat. She drank British beer and despite the comfort of her surroundings she wished she was anywhere but there. Looking around she observed all her pretty things adorning her home. She was intentional with material possessions, with how she spent her time, with her relationships. However, there was no way to control another’s heart. She was “old-fashioned”; she liked lipstick and hairstyles from the 40′s, she insisted that men do the pursuing, that men be men.

It was difficult enough trying to maintain a stable grip on her own newly restored heart. She was used to being active – to fighting for a marriage, to giving it her all for her own heart’s survival, to conquering the agony of betrayal. Yet now it was time for her to learn passivity – to be fought for, to be pursued, to be loved not for what she earned or gained or accomplished, but instead because she was worth it. This was new territory, difficult territory that required patience unfamiliar to her society. But it was going to be worth it, and so she hung on.

She tucked her hair behind her ears and laid her head back against the worn in sofa. The grey sky mirrored her mood as she tightly clung to the last drop of hope.

Lovely days were ahead…”

I honor the woman I hardly know behind these words. I’ve watched her life from a distance since I was little with admiration and hope as she set out on new adventures and conquered trying situations, believing in the same restoration that I cling to.

These words capture an image of my life; an image of my heart.

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