Once upon a time, there was a young girl who wore a red sweater. Her father had given her this red sweater as a gift, and she wore it so much that when she asked her friends what her superhero name would be, it was agreed that she would be Red Sweater Girl. (With the power to wear a red sweater!)
This young girl had a beau, a darling curly-headed boy that had loved her long before she knew, loved her quietly and instantly and with a longing in his heart (while she carried on obliviously). In the end (or the beginning, perhaps), he won her over with a song played with dexterous fingers and her favorite flowers and the way that when he looked at her he had stars in his eyes and when she kissed him it was as if she’d stolen his breath.
It was something more than that, too. It didn’t matter whether he would ever know if her eyes were green, or if they were blue (for he was colorblind, you see): he knew the soul behind those eyes and he loved her as if she were a light in the darkness, the brightest star in the night sky, and sunshine itself. Because to him, she was.
She hadn’t the benefit of all that time pining, but when she did fall for him, she fell hard. To her, he was music. If she was light, he was the gentle shadow that threw her light into relief; let her twinkle brighter. He never missed an opportunity to let her know how much she was loved. He was patient (and stubborn, which are different words for the same thing) and strange and affectionate and talented and passionate.
His fingers fit the spaces between hers and her head fit the crook of his neck perfectly, perfectly like the pieces of her heart he’d carried with him that she didn’t know were missing until he showed them to her. She could lift him out of melancholy with a laugh prompted by her absurdity and he was a soothing balm to her distracted, oversensitive soul.
In many (sometimes painful) ways, they could not be more unalike; but deep in their secret souls they were very much the same. Instead of singing the same melody, their hearts sang in harmony with each other; something more beautiful together than either song alone.
One day, he presented her with a heart. It was small and wooden and painted orange and fit in the palm of her hand. Delighted, she asked what had prompted this unexpected gift.
“I got it because it reminded me of your sweater,” he said, gesturing to the aforementioned red sweater she was currently wearing. “A red heart to match your red sweater.”
She peered at the bright orange heart and then back down at her red sweater. She smiled and bit her lip to keep from laughing (affectionately!). She kissed him and thanked him, and when he asked she explained her giggling.
For a time, she kept that orange heart on hand to remind her of her silly, thoughtful, colorblind beau. But once she and her beau broke each other’s hearts, she could not bear to keep it so close by.
So she tucked it away in some secret place and tried very, very hard to forget about it and everything it represented to her. For a time, that worked. For a time, she did her best to forget. And she almost succeeded.
But some things aren’t meant to be forgotten. Some things stay tucked away in secret corners of secret drawers in secret rooms in your secret heart to turn up again when they’re needed. When you’re ready for them again.
And, of course, it did. She tried but never quite let go of it completely – she hid it but she never actually got rid of really – she forgot but she hadn’t the heart to let it disappear totally; and eight years later it found its way back into her hand. Just as her curly-headed, colorblind Maestro found his way back into her dreams, and subsequently, her life.
The important things, they have a way of turning back up. Of sticking around. Of being there when you need them, even if you don’t know it yet.
They were different when they found each other again, but some things just don’t change. Her bright heart was heavier, but he brushed away her tears with his thumbs and reminded her of who she really was; his heart was less open, but she gently picked the locks of the doors she found. He’d been looking for her (round every turn, in every face, in every word) and she’d never given up hope.
And he still remembered her favorite flowers.