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A Broken Heart
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First he gave me his heart. We were so young really barely 16. I first saw him in my drawing class. I used to doodle his form when I was supposed to be working on other things. It was so boring learning how to draw apples and self-portraits. But I found my way when I began sketching quickly…the silohette of his body, or his face in profile. All my drawings began to take off. I guess that is what they mean when they say to not look when you draw. I looked at him. Jay Portnoy was his name. I didn’t think he noticed me at all he was sort of my secret charm and obsession. But one day in the lunch line he appeared behind me and began to speak. Not those lousy hamburgers again he complained. I loved the hamburgers but I reached for something different that day. Then he began plopping down next to me in art class. I had to curtail my secret observation of him but the drawing magic continued. That school year flew by and Jay became my a friend and them a close confident. He had the same disdain for the other students that I did and we had the same sense of dark humor. We often grabbed lunch on paper plates and sat beneath the trees and then took out our sketch pads and began to draw. We sketched anything we saw and anything even if it flew out of the frame. The first kiss was sweet and tenative but we gradually became more comfortable with one another and were inseparable.
I remember when he first said I love you and I said it back.
How can you give your heart at 16 but we both just knew that we were the other side of a very valuable gold coin. And then the war came. And before I knew it he was drafted and sent over to Vietnam. I had to look up where that was on a map because I had never heard of it before. When they began to read the names on the evening news I would sit with my sketch book and draw what I remembered he looked like and listen in dread. But his name was never called. He eventually came back to me at least what was left of him. Oh his body was intact but he wasn’t really the same. He often had a long look like he was seeing something from far away. I imagined he was seeing things that were actually happening in country as he would call Vietnam. I was so happy to have him back but we never sketched together again. He never sketched again. I guess something magical went out of the world for him and he could never see it the way we did before he left.

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