By Zi Ning Lau
The most beautiful hearts try. They give to others. They love despite their inhibitions. They can convey reassurance through locked eyes and provide comfort through the softest touches. They are unaware of the magic within them. The magic that extends past their fingertips and into all the rooms they enter. The magic that makes them enchanting and magnetic. The magic that quells fears and quiets doubts. These hearts envelop others in blankets of warmth despite the defense mechanisms that encourage them to put up cold exteriors. They disassemble themselves just to nitpick at their worst parts. They are convinced that everyday successes are worthy of champagne toasts and standing ovations. They say “please” and “thank you.” They hug their friends a little too tight, melting into each embrace. They pull people close even if the world has hardwired them to push others away. They are a safe place to land, allowing others to come home to them. Even with the weariness in their bones and the ache that pulls at their chest, they love loudly. Even when the baggage weighing down their shoulders threatens to make their legs give out, they bear the burden of others with herculean strength. Even when they feel as if they have nothing left to offer, they give anyway. The most beautiful hearts try, try, and try.
The most beautiful hearts burst at the seams with hope. They make wishes when the clock reads 11:11, they swear on sacred pinky promises, and carry good luck charms. They search for dandelions and four-leaf clovers in open fields, use crossed fingers as precautionary measures, and knock on wood to dispel curses. They believe in second chances and redemption. Their eyes sparkle with wonder at every stranger they meet, eager to discover the complexities hidden within each new person. They possess a natural inclination to care about the little things. They remember favorite colors and lucky numbers, they notice pet peeves and small ticks, they memorize birthdays and coffee orders. These hearts search for every reason to love. They look for reasons to understand and empathize. They look past bad reputations and misguided judgments. They seek sincerity, refusing to settle for the facades and disguises people hide behind. They look for kindness, honesty, and light. The most beautiful hearts are hellbent on believing that the world has more to offer.
The most beautiful hearts have loved and have lost. They might still be home to shrapnel and fragments of the knives that had once cut them. They might be marked by the tattooed goodbyes of those who couldn’t love them right. Perhaps, they clutch desperately onto the pages of time-worn fairytales, unable to let go of their naive hopes for prince charmings and happily ever afters. Maybe, they can never seem to reconcile with the tragedies of their past, their mistakes becoming never-ending film reels that play in their heads. Their skin knows the familiar icy touch of bathroom floor tiles, their fists know the texture of bedroom walls, and their lungs know the stinging of the cold night air. They have spent early mornings talking to the man on the moon, conversing with the stars, hopelessly searching for solace in imaginary responses. Despite being shattered into infinitesimally small pieces, these hearts reconstruct themselves, forming breathtakingly intricate mosaics. Despite all of the wreckages and phantoms that follow behind them, they push forward. With every splintering crack, these hearts grow in size. With every letdown and unfulfilled promise, they learn the love necessary to mend wounds ruthlessly opened by those who didn’t know how to stay. With time, space once occupied by vast expanses of heartache and hurt become holding grounds where newfound love anchors itself. The most beautiful hearts are the most broken, for the most broken hearts hold the most room for love.
The most beautiful hearts are the ones that are messy, reckless, and scarred. The most beautiful hearts give grace and have mercy. The most beautiful hearts are flawed and a little tired. The most beautiful hearts run love through their veins. The most beautiful hearts deserve more than this world could ever offer.
The most beautiful hearts are the ones just like yours.
Zi Ning (Zi) Lau is currently a sophomore attending Singapore American School. If she’s not writing, she can be found running around on a basketball court, playing the guitar in the band room, or composing songs in her bedroom. She loves hugs, fuzzy socks, blue dinosaurs, dad jokes, and mashed potatoes.