An Ache, Instead of a Heart

It was 5:47 in the afternoon. Not an ominous time, not even an interesting one. It was just an afternoon, almost evening sort of time. How could her heart turn from a solid presence in her chest to a throbbing mass, almost a tumor, in just a few short minutes?

It had started because of curiosity. Maybe that wasn’t right, though. Maybe it had started because she’d listened to their music the night before, and it made her think of them again. Her end-all-be-all of music. The men she fell in love with desperately at sixteen and tried feverishly to convince everyone else of their immense power and force. She’d gotten over that, though. She’d found her ken online, through forums and fan-sites – the usual place teenage girls congregate to fantasize, and avid fans come together to worship and respect. She was both – a teenage girl and an avid, serious, dedicated fan.

That was then. This was now. She’d continued adoring them, continued falling in love with the music over and over again. But eventually, her love of the men faded and became respect, admiration, adoration of a different kind. She didn’t want to kiss them anymore – now she wanted to have a conversation with them, be a friend. She’d gotten less and less involved in the online scene. She couldn’t help it that there were other things taking up her time – real friendships, real lovers, real life. So now, three years later, she still considered them the best, her favorites, the all-encompassing musicians for her, and she still listened to them.

In fact, she’d listened to them the night before. Maybe that was why, at 5:47, she’d found herself wondering about a silly detail – a cosmetic feature of one of the men that had disappeared – and through her curiosity, she stumbled back into the websites. She gaped, open-mouthed, at the changes made in her absence. She rejoiced that steps were being made, that there were new people around, that her beloved musicians were still respected.

But it turned her heart into an ache. A dull, stuttering, spluttering ache. It felt like something was pouring out of her heart, dripping on to the floor… Drip-drip-dropping, some essential liquid the heart needed. It felt like a lifetime since she’d fallen in love with stars in a vast sky, and now, rediscovering her fellow worshipers, she felt so lost.


12 thoughts on “An Ache, Instead of a Heart

  1. Erin M says:


    I can totally relate to obsessions with musicians. Totally.

    I’ve learned things along the way and become slightly more ambivalent in some cases, slightly more informed, but sometimes when I remember my love of whomever, all I have to do is listen to a song or watch a music video/interview and I’m completely lost all over again. =]

    But oh, how obsessions can lead to heartache, too. O_o

    Very honest piece. It seemed very real to me; I can relate it to my own experiences, though love is such a personal thing . . .

    [PS, sorry if this comment sucks (repeated words, no point, et cetera); my brain shut off some time ago. It’s past my bedtime, ha ha.]

    • The comment does not suck at all!

      Yes… Obsessions, especially when they deal with something so remote and far away (the musicians) on the one hand, but something so close and personal on the other (the music) can be heartbreakers.

  2. Beautiful writing. Really great storytelling. I love how you pull us in with the 5:47. “Not an ominous time, not even an interesting one.” Excellent.

  3. unabridgedgirl says:

    ” dripping on to the floor… Drip-drip-dropping, some essential liquid the heart needed. ”

    Loved, loved, loved this line!

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