"I am listening to my head, not my heart," he says. "I am not listening to my heart."

He walks away slowly. A grain of sand slipping down an hour glass, steady, grain by grain.

I do not protest out loud. I have untied all bindings.

The heart not listened to sits at the divide. At the place where he told me. He leaves slowly because it is not me that he leaves, it is his heart. It lies where he left it, torn from his chest. It holds him, arteries like rubber bands, stretched. It is crying. He walks away from his heart slowly.

How far will a heart stretch? Will it break, with the arteries snapping or tearing? Will the heart slow and become still, like the rocks around it? Will the heart tear and bleed out, fast or slow, blood soaking the ground and heart slowing, fighting to beat, failing, turning to stone like the rocks around it? Will it stretch and stretch until the beats no longer nourish the tissues of the man who walks away, in slow motion, against a terrible force. The effort is more and more visible on his face, the strain is etching crags like the faces of the rocks around him.

I stand by his heart after he tells me that he's stopped listening. I want to call down the path after him, "Are you sure? Is this really what you are choosing? Your heart is crying! Can't you hear it?" Tears of blood. I stay by his heart silent, weeping, silent so he can hear his heart.

But he does not listen to his own heart. He is walking a dark path.

I can not take his heart with me. He will not be able to find it again if I do. And it is not mine.

At last my heart speaks of my own path. I kiss his heart goodbye. My heart breaks and breaks, but I patch it with velvet and embroidery stitches. I take up my path, diverging from his. I am listening to the patchwork of my heart. I am on my path, my mended heart intact in my chest.

He thinks I am holding him back. He doesn't look back, or he would see that I am not there. I am on my path. It is the heart he isn't listening to that holds him back.

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