Boxed Heart

Her lips twitched violently, threatening to break into a smirk. She stared longingly at the bearded stranger with googly-eyes and sighed deeply in yearning.

"You're as mad as a mule chewin' on ants!" Her friend quipped from the table.

"Quiet you!" She hissed and went back to fondly gazing at the new love of her life.

"Everyone's 'titled to stupidity, but some just plain abuse it." Her friend clicked with a disapproving tongue.

The girl scoffed and continued staring adoringly at the wondrous stranger who sat two tables away nibbling on a sandwich.

"Well, I guess he is kinda cute." Her friend offered after reflection.

"Cute doesn't even begin to describe him." The girl said dreamily, inwardly sinking in delirium.

Her friend laughed and rolled her eyes, knowing full well that this was all her fault.

"Well, what ya waitin' on? Let's go smooth talk this sucker." Her friend jumped in enthusiasm and knocked over the single cup of tea which quickly spilled everywhere.

"AHH! GGR!" They girl groaned incoherently, looking at the dark tea stain smearing her delicate floral dress.

"I hear you clucking, but can't see your nest!" Her friend mocked.

The girl narrowed her eyes menacingly. "I know what that means."

"You goober. Look alive, he's coming over!"

"Need a napkin, ma'am?" The stranger asked in a soft accent. He was far too southern to let a damsel in distress go unnoticed.

"Um, thank you." She blushed and mindlessly dabbed at her dress, unable to take her eyes off the tall bearded feller.

He tipped his hat and courteously asked, "Who's your little friend?"

"Oh she-"

"I'm your dream come true!" Her friend interjected smoothly.

The man chuckled slightly, his eyes covertly darting towards the nearest exit. "Is that right?" He chewed on the thought a minute too long.

"Uh-huh. Come gimme some sugar!" Her friend made a muffled lip-smacking noise, like an airborne fish gagging for water.

"Um. Maybe later..." The man forced a nervous laugh and stepped backwards uneasily.

Just then, the wet teabag caught on his heel causing his left foot to give way in slow motion. Despite frantic attempts to steady himself with waving and flapping arms, he tumbled heavily to the ground. A look of disdain scarred his otherwise striking features.

"Do you see what you've done!" The girl whispered angrily, leaning over her friend and breathing down on her in fury.

"Least it puts a new spin on the banana peel gag. Ever seen a guy slip on a tea bag before? Come on! It was epic!"

The girl got up, her face etched with embarrassment, pity and fighting concealed laughter. She helped the gentleman up who walked off in a huff leaving the two friends in a fit of hysterics.

"Me wants a piece of THAT pie!" Her friend wolfed in delight.

"What pie?" The girl asked, not really paying attention.

"Have your eyes turned to stone gal? Can't you see that cutie sat right there!" She motioned in the direction.

"Oh, him?" The girl glanced at the nerdy bookworm with glasses.

"Uh yeah! He's got sass written all over him."

"Erm, I'm not sure that's the right word...?" The girl said unconvinced.

"Shut up and take me over to him right this second!" The friend commanded with vigour.

They both walked over to the guy and stood next to him for a few minutes. He continued to read his book, either he hadn't noticed them or was ignoring their presence on purpose.

The girl subtly cleared her throat and bravely asked, "Is this seat taken?"

He shook his head, not looking up and then used his book as a shield to cover his entire face.

The girl glared at her friend with a disgruntled frown, a single angry eyebrow suggesting this was a bad idea.

"Yo, Sci-Fi geek! Girl from planet Earth in the flesh over here!" Her friend barked at the aloof man.

The girl wilted in embarrassment, the colour in her face draining almost entirely.

"Oh. Um. S-sorry." He stammered and slowly lowered the book.

"Who's that?" He asked looking at the girl's companion.

"Oi! That's no way to address the almighty majestic-"

"Ignore her," The girl quickly said and added, "So, that any good?"

"What? The book? Yeah, it's pretty awesome actually." He said coyly shifting his glasses.

"Do you think, maybe, I could borrow it sometime?" The girl asked with a cute giggle.

"S-sure." He said in surprise and lessened the tight grip on his book slightly. He appeared to relax a little and finally smiled at the girl.

"Hot dang!" Her friend whistled mockingly.

"Quiet!" The girl hissed. Although she loved her friend dearly, she couldn't half kill the mood.

"I… my…. uh… there's somewhere I…uhhh…" The boy shot up and ran off.

"No!" The girl wailed after him, but it was too late.

"Looky here, he's only gone and left his book." The friend noted in recompense.

The girl picked up the book and flipped open a page before she hastily flipped it closed and cringed.

"Eww! Star Wars!"

"Friendships only lasts when each friend reckons they have superiority over the other." Her friend said in a calm voice.

"I'm doing this." The girl replied. Her hazel brown eyes focused with a look of convection and she beamed with stupid giddiness.

"Oh no, Missy. You ain't moving a muscle!" Her friend yelled shakily, the calmness evaporating like smoke in a tornado.

The girl stood up.

"Don't you move that foot!" Her friend demanded with a hint of pleading to her tone.

The girl started walking.

"O snap! You can't make me! No! HELP ME! ANYBODY!" The friend whimpered desperately, huffing and struggling with all her might.

"Relax, it'll be... fine. I have a good feeling about this." The girl smiled reassuringly at her friend, masking her own tinge of doubts.

They stopped at a table where a light haired man, wearing a brown business suit and tie, was busily talking obnoxiously on a phone.

"Hi!" The girl beamed at him.

He half-smiled at her and motioned for her to take a seat before continuing the heated conversation on the phone.

"This is a bad idea." Her friend whispered, trying not to attract the attention of the businessman.

"No, it's… fine." The girl smiled widely trying to contain her nerves and realised her face was hurting so stopped.

"Sorry about that." The light haired man said and planted a kiss on the girl's cheek.

'This is it!' The girl thought. Her friend grumbled quietly.

The girl blushed and grinned with joy, her facial muscles ached and bones clicked out of place, but she kept grinning.

"I…I have something for you." The girl said timidly to the man, her discombobulated disposition was showing despite her best efforts to act normal.

'Fraggle Meister! Try saying that with your mouth full o corn!' Her friend joked nervously.

'Don't worry.' The girl said, trying to reassure them both.

'So there's no ring box, or flowers and he hasn't fainted. Still, it looks promising.' The girl thought deliriously.

'I'm not sure about this. We shouldn't risk it. See how things go for a while and then maybe we could…?' Her friend trailed off in anxiety, losing her sassy dialect and wit.

'I know you're scared, but sometimes we have to put ourselves out there, otherwise, how'll we ever know?'

The girl pushed the box across the table. The man looked at it and glugged down his third drink.

"I know what you're going to say tonight. I've had a feeling for a few weeks now... Anyway. Go on, open it." The girl said eagerly.

The man studied the box and grimaced slightly. "Why, what's in it?"

"Open it and see." The girl teased, pushing it towards him.

The man untied the neatly wrapped dark red ribbons and lifted the box in his hand, twisting it in examination.

'Woo there! Steady on!' Her friend complained.

'Relax!' The girl told her friend gently although her anxiety was growing.

The man slowly lifted the lid and peered inside. His face twisted in contortion and he dropped the box with a squirm. The box fell heavily onto the floor, its contents spilling all over the wooden floor.

"Urgh! I don't want this. Just look at it. Its the wrong colour! The wrong shape! Its just... wrong." The man said with disgust and exited the room swiftly.

On the floor the red beating heart was racing faster than it ever had before. Having never been opened it felt afraid and scared. The vessels quivered in fright and it called out in confusion. "What's going on? Where am I? Help me!" It kept beating heavily, shaking in fright as blood leaked over the floor, staining the floorboards in redness.

The girl sat frozen in shock, her face painted in misery with wide tearful eyes. Her friend lay bleeding on the floor, shivering and shaking. Eventually the girl knelt down and picked up her heart and delicately put it back into the box.

"I'm sorry." She whispered sadly.

Many moons had passed.

The sun was setting lazily in the sky. It had been a glorious day and now it was almost over.

"Quack, quack." The girl called to the ducks in the pond.

The box sat silently beside her on the park bench. It hadn't spoken much since its last outing, but that was okay.

"I hear you clucking, but can't see your nest." A voice sounded behind her.

"Huh?" The girl turned and saw an ordinary looking guy sit down next to her.

"Quack?" He joked.

"Are you saying I'm crazy?" The girl huffed.

"Takes one to know one." He laughed.

The box chuckled and then went quiet.

"Who's that?" He said peering over.

"Nothing." The girl said shielding the box from his sight with her arms.

"Nice box." He said leaning back on the bench.

"Thanks." The girl said and continued to throw stale bread to the ducks.

"So you like jokes do you, box?" He said with inquisitive eyebrows.

"Well. What do you call a girl without a box?" He asked with a smile.

The girl shrugged and the box shuffled slightly in curiosity.

"Mine." He answered and winked.

The girl laughed, blushing slightly. Her friend howled in delight and said, "O Snap!"