I've come to the realization that I've been left in an unenviable position in life.
Holder of hearts. The Keeper.
The very first one I was given was Loch's. Held aloft like a challenge, easily gained via the wiles of a twelve-year-old girl from the other side of the neighborhood, a conquest for your average heartbreaking seventeen-year-old boy. I will argue I no longer have his heart, I passed it back and it's now shared between his girls and they will make it swell with pride.
We survived each other. Maybe? Let's hope.
The next heart was the heaviest. Cole's. Given to me at fifteen and I still carry it today. It is the longest burden, but the clearest cut designation. He may have had a roving eye and roving hands and violence in his spirit but when you stripped all that away, he only ever loved me. He loved me so much he would have rather I died then leave him.
The third heart I was given was Jacob's. The lightest, most hopeful, brightest shining heart of true immature love found in the scope of coveting someone. Blissfully ignorant and sure that he could mold our hearts together and all would be okay. Even when his darkness appeared he still was so damned hopeful. He left his heart with me and I keep it tied to a string so that it doesn't float away.
I have a fourth heart now, one just beginning to bloom with the blush of new love. The weird, unfamiliar ache of a new crush, where everything they do is amazing, every word, no matter how benign before is suddenly a symphony of logic or a sonnet of romantic intent. Ben passed his heart to me. I have dropped his a few times but it is quickly recovered and put into a continuous loop with the others.
Circus girl has a new feature show. I am the juggler.