In a fictitious world, people walk the streets where people carry their hearts on their sleeves, instead of inside their bodies. People travel with their heart in hand, exposed to the world. Hearts beat in the open, for everyone to see. The hearts are exposed; they are vulnerable.

As people travel the sidewalks, they curiously gather around a young woman. A young woman with pure blonde hair at the age of about 18 is the center of the crowd. She had the most admired heart in the entire town. Her heart beat fluidly, pumped smoothly, and impeccably crimson, never skipping a beat.

It was unscathed and untouched by any human being. It was flawless, and the people admired it, envied it, because they wanted something as flawless as what she had. The blonde woman presented her heart to the world, proud of its perfection.

An older gentleman slowly approached the crowd. He wears a jaded t-shirt, worn jeans, and ripped sneakers. His heart is also exposed to the world, but no one gathers to see it. His heart was an unfinished quilt; pieces of the whole were missing, and those pieces that remained were awkwardly sewn into the places that didn’t quite fit. It was discolored and jaded. However, his heart, his torn heart, beat stronger than any other and surged with life.

The old man found his way to the center of the crowd, beside the blonde woman.

“Throughout my life, I gave pieces of my heart to people who deserved it and to some people who didn’t. Some willingly take a piece of my heart, never giving a part of themselves to me. They abused what I gave them, and left holes behind, along with pain and heartache. However, others made it worth it. They gave pieces of themselves to me. These pieces don’t fit perfectly, but they make my heart whole.

My heart hurt, my heart lost, but more than ever, my heart loved. It loved deeply enough to find something worth giving my heart out and taking this risk. Although it is imperfect, this heart shows that I have loved and lost. This heart is the one to be admired.”

The definition of love is to be vulnerable. It means to open up yourself to someone, to let someone take down your walls, and to be entirely you. The key to love is not that you feel entirely safe giving yourself wholeheartedly to someone, but doing it anyway, despite the risk and the fear of rejection.

Some people in your life will come and go, without any vestige of their presence. You are unscathed. Some will come and take a part of you. They will take a piece of you, not knowing how much power they have or how large of a promise they are making to you when they take this.

So they leave. They leave you, leaving behind nothing but the hole in your heart that was meant for their heart to reside. They may have no idea of how much pain they have caused, or they may be aware, but they left you.

However, there are some, or a select few in your lifetime, that will make this pain worth it. You will give them a piece of yourself, and they will cherish it. They will see the value and the risk in giving this piece of yourself, and they will keep it safe. In return, they will reciprocate, placing their delicate heart in your hands.

It will take several heartbreaks to reach a person like this. It will take pain, sorrow, rejection, and loss to find someone who you are willing to risk your whole heart for, and someone who you feel safe giving yourself to. This person who you are willing to fight for, who you are willing to risk yourself for, will be make all those heartbreaks worth it.