Runaway Hearts

by B B

Heart racing, feet aching, drenched in perspiration, Jasmine ran.. She ran like she had never ran before. She felt the air rushing by, her vision focussed on the path ahead, she felt every muscle surge with adrenalin as she pushed herself forward, but most of all, she felt the beat of her new heartno Ipod for her, this was all the music she would ever listen to for the rest of her life.

There was once a girl who had no desire other than to runjust run. Something so simple and ordinary, you would think. To Jasmine, this seemed an illusive out- of- reach, dream. She had a heart condition as a result of a viral infection which had damaged the muscle of her heart to the point where it no longer contracted with any strength. She was essentially suffering from cardiac failure. She lay in the high care ward of the hospital attached to tubes, monitors, and drips, her only music was the sound of the constant beeps, and blips of the monitors. She had been there for a couple of months now, but it seemed longer. The wall across from her bed, was lined with well wishes on colourful pictures, and cards, near a table scattered with balloons, and flowers from her family and friends. She knew they all wished her well, but now staring at that wall made her sad, it only served as a constant reminder of her situation.

She turned to her side to face the window. She was glad she got a room that overlooked a nearby park across the street. This view had become a daily escape for Jasmine, she often watched the many people that came there. Today her attention was on a young couple, walking their dog, a Labradorshe thought. They were laughing about something, and then kissed, something mustve caught the dogs eye in the distance, and it suddenly darted off, yanking the mans arm, as he released the leash. They had to practically sprint to chase after the rogue dog. Jasmine laughed at this, but soon felt sad, and a little envious. How wonderful, they had it, she thought.

Her thoughts were cut off by the appearance of her mom, who gave her daughter a teary smile. Jasmine did not think a day went by without her mom crying, she never cried in front of her, but Jasmine could tell. It made her heart sore to see her mom this way. Her mom gave a big hug and kiss, and started chatting about this and that. Jasmine listened intently, she always looked forward to her moms visits. Her dad had passed away years ago. She never really knew her father, except from pictures, and the stories her mom would tell her. He had succumbed to heart disease, much like what Jasmine had now.

After her mom left, Jasmines thoughts drifted, she wasnt quite asleep, nor awake, partly due to the meds, she thought. She turned to face her park, it always looked so beautiful when dusk was setting in. The trees were illuminated by the glow of the setting sun. Jasmine imagined she was sitting there under the safe haven of a tree, watching the sunset, feeling the breeze and the warm afterglow of the sun. She closed her eyes sleepily, for a moment, and when she opened them, there was a boy standing by her bedsideshe wasnt sure how or when he came into her room, but sure as day there he was it was as if he had materialised before her very eyes. He was so beautiful, she thought, not in a feminine sense, just looked so perfect, and he seemed to glow. He held out his hand to her. Jasmine, was a little hesitant at first, but something in his eyes, and the way he smiled put her mind at ease. She gave him her hand, and in an instant the hospital room transformed into a meadow. Jasmine was still wearing her hospital robe, but she was no longer attached to her tubes, and the rustling trees and singing birds had replaced the sound of beeping monitors and machines. The boy was still holding her hand, she looked at him then, he seemed so familiarwhere had she seen himshe wondered.

He smiled thenthe kind of smile that could melt your heart, as though he could hear her thoughts. Jasmine blushed, and released his hand. They strolled through the field, Jasmine noticed that she was not struggling to breathe, she had so many questions, who was he? Where were they? Is she dead? Is this heavenas though he literally could hear her thoughts, he started to speak. He told he was here to let know that everything would be alright, that this was a glimpse of what could be, and no, she was not deadshe was alive, alive with possibility, opportunity to live her dreams.

Jasmine listened as he spoke, she was sure he had said his name, but she could not recall it, except the more she looked at him, the more she felt that she knew him. If this was a dream she did not want it to end. Beside the obvious reason, being her handsome companion, she had never felt so free, so much energy, so much joy. It was as if new life had been breathed into her. Her senses were heightened. But all good things must come to an end, and the boy cast her a knowing look, he held both her hands this time to his chesthe was so warm. She could feel his breath on her face, they looked at each other for while. He told her to always cherish each and every moment, to live it like it was her last to remember to run, just run. He kissed her then, so softly, and in the hazy moment the apparition dissolved, when she opened her eyes, all she saw before her was the park, it was dark out, and the street lights were now on. She could hear the monitors beeping, and could feel the emptiness of her room. She was back, but the feeling still lingeredshe clasped her hands to her chest, and squeezed her eyes shutto perhaps summon the moment again, but nothing happened, not that she expected itso she slept, and dreamed of her field, running with the boy with no name.

The next morning, her mom arrived, but she looked different. Something was different, her mom was smilingno teary eyes. The doctor was close behind, and he appeared to be smiling too. He informed Jasmine, that they had acquired a matching donor heart, and that her wait was over. Jasmine felt an immense sense of relief envelope her, but also a feeling of loss, as someone had to die for this opportunity to be created. Tears welled up in her eyes, and suddenly she heard a whisperJasmine..Remember me! How could she forget the boy who had visited her in her dreams, somehow the events were linked.

Jasmine had her operation, and went through the long road to recovery. She gained strength everyday. Her life was better, happier somehow, but she never forgot the boy. She always looked in crowded places, hoping that she would perhaps see him again, but obviously she never did, though she always felt as though he was with her. One day she asked her mom if she knew where her heart came from. Her mom, told her, usually donors remain anonymous, and you never are privy to the information. But Jasmine had to know, she needed to know. She approached her doctor, and after much convincing and pleading, he told that a boy had been admitted the very night before Jasmine got her heart. He was an orphan, and somehow had decided that he wanted to donate his organs if he ever died. She saw his picture, and immediately recognised his face. This was the boy who had visited her. She couldnt believe it, as she drove home the realisation dawned on her, she had been so lost in her thoughts, she somehow driven off course, and was not sure where she had ended up. As she drove through unfamiliar roads, she stumbled upon a meadow, it looked so familiar. She stopped the car, and got outthere was no one around for miles. The setting sun, made the field look so inviting, it was mesmerising, as the breeze picked up, she couldve sworn she heard a voiceRemember me! Her heart quickened, as she recalled the boy. The sun shorn in her eyes, and for a moment she saw someone standing in the field, gesturing her to comeit was him, but howlogic was the last thing she cared to ponder upon, all she could do was walk toward him, this beautiful apparition, imagination or not, she was happy to see him.

She walked slowly at first, but as she moved closer her walk turned into a jog, and then a runhe was still so far, but she could see him smile

Heart racing, feet aching now, Jasmine ran She ran like she had never ran before. She felt the air rushing passed, her vision focussed on the path before her, she felt every muscle surge with adrenalin as she pushed herself forward, but most of all, she felt his spirit merge with her own, she felt the beat of her new hearthis heartthis was all the music she would ever need for the rest of her life.

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