Real Heart

by Jill Chan

I have a friend who is like anyone else. He is hardworking, kind, patient. He can be mean sometimes but never intentionally. He doesn't have anyone special because he thinks no one has real heart anymore.


That is his theory: No one has real heart anymore. He doesn't mean romantic heart. He doesn't mean passion.


I think he means a heart which makes a person believe in something utterly. A heart which is alive despite everything in the world that wants to deaden it.


When I was a kid, I was fascinated by the night sky. I'd stare at it endlessly through the window, wondering where it was going looking so stately, so majestic, so worthy of belief. I mean I could believe in the night sky before I could believe in what my brother said to me the afternoon before. I could love the night sky before I knew I had a heart.


Is this what my friend is saying? Between youth and adulthood, between what he said and what he took back, you lost heart. Your real heart.


I say to him, It's probably just a loss of trust. Your real heart's still there, hiding in capable time.


He hasn't resolved the issue. Whenever he meets a girl, he dismisses her after a few conversations, saying that she doesn't have real heart.


I sigh and say nothing, thinking that he's looking in the wrong place. You don't look for a heart but for a place to recognise it.