My heart has been hurting, softly. It is a quiet, gentle hurt, sure, but a hurt that is felt with every beat. Put your finger on the inside of my wrist, and you will hear the pain whisper as it rushes through my veins with every contraction, every soft swish of valves opening, closing.
If my doctor asked me to rate the pain on a scale of one to ten, I would say a high two, and, well, I know that's not very high, Dr. Gill, but did I mention that it's there all day and sometimes seems to crawl, like the lingering finger of a lover's ghost, slowly down my spine, and I find it hard to breathe?
This would all be said in one rushed sentence, using one long breath, while looking down at my hands. Determined to ignore Dr. Gill's polite nods and caring eyes, I would ask him to please not tell my mom. Because it's embarrassing, isn't it? One does not simply go to the doctor and pay a $20 co-pay to complain of heartache.
But if not to the doctor, where else can I go? Who can I tell, and who can help me?
The fact is, it's there. This pain. This disquiet, tucked away, so gently, a secret in the cage of my ribs. And it worries me, just a little.