Once upon a time, was a man with a heart so broken that he was unable to believe in the “epic love.” He would not allow anyone to see the whole of his heart for fear that if they saw the cracks, the scratches and the bruises, perhaps they would flee.
Nobody wants to deal with the scarred, after all.
And so his relationships were shallow. They rarely advanced beyond the physical and he would not connect on a matters-of-the-heart level with anyone. Ever.
Until he met her.
She, the Angel who knew more of matters of the heart than anyone else he had ever met. He proceeded with caution. Everything within told him it was too dangerous to go too far beyond a ‘hello,’ or a ‘hi there,’ from time to time. But, unusually, he was guided by his battered heart and his head took a back seat.
The Angel was already spoken for, however. This was a health boundary, he felt. This made it safe to befriend the Angel.
One weekend, as he prepared for a trip, the Angel got in touch. Unusually, she was saddened. He of heart so broken recognised the symptoms immediately. Her heart was aching. He wanted to stay with her and hold her more than he had ever wanted to comfort anyone before but could not. His other commitments made that impossible.
“I have to go,” he told her, “But I will be back.”
He checked in on her as many times as he could over the weekend. Her heart was still aching. He knew that. But he had a funny feeling that it ached less when they were together. And funnily enough, his own battered heart ached less when he was with her too.
The man of battered heart and the Angel began a relationship that was, by any standard, beautiful. They connected on every level and explored emotions within one another that neither had even realised they possessed.
It was almost perfect.
But the broken hearted man was holding back. He was only showing her the good parts of his heart. True, though it was, that the longer he spent around the Angel, the more his heart healed and he then had more of the good parts to share and show. But he kept dark secrets about just how badly bruised the broken bits were and for fear that she would see the cracks and run from him, he told her not of the bruises he hid.
Many months into their beautiful journey, the battered hearted man lost a friend. A special and close friend. And the loss tore open wounds on his heart that he thought had healed a long time before. Anger raged violently within his heart and suddenly, all of the scars and wounds he did not want the Angel to see were visible. He did not want her to see – and so he raged and pushed her away and removed himself emotionally from her.
The Angel was hurt. She tried to find a way back into him but the harder she tried, the more the broken hearted man pushed her away. His heart was still too raw to let her in again.
He lost the Angel. He lost her friendship too. But as he came to terms with that, the lessons he learned through the pain of her loss helped to heal his heart a little. And a little more.
The battered hearted man and the Angel no longer spoke. But he thought of her and hoped that she was happy, wherever she was and whoever she was with.
The broken hearted man met a beautiful woman some time after the loss. He fell in love and married her... He takes the lessons from his previous loss and knows now not to hide wounds of the heart. His wife sees the scars. He does not push people away anymore.
He still thinks of the Angel. He still gratefully looks back upon the lessons their time together taught him and he no longer angrily denies any feelings he once had for her.
The battered hearted man is no longer a battered hearted man. He carries scars, yes. But he does not hide them. He’s happy, a family man whose real satisfaction in life comes from the simple things. He’s dealt with his regrets and wishes now only one thing: That the Angel too finds her happily ever after.
Because if anyone deserves it, she does.