The creature came in the darkness of the night, as it always had, as I knew it would, following a flood of tears and unanswered prayers to a god I didn’t believe in. There was nothing I could do to stop it, it had already seduced me. I was at my most vulnerable and it knew it. In my last remaining moment of despair, I took you and hid you in the deepest crevice of my heart. It was the one you made when you told me you just wanted to be left alone.
Come morning, my heart had been polished clean. I remembered low, coarse whispers in my ear saying “good as new,” but omitting the reduction in size that always comes with the cleansing process. I searched for you, but there was nothing left. I ran my hand across my heart’s smooth surface, looking for the tiniest imperfection. I thought I hadn’t buried you deep enough. I thought the creature was too thorough in its ritual. My desperate attempt to keep you was just wishful thinking.
But then I heard your voice. It was unintelligible. I gasped and kept running my fingers across my heart. Faster, more desperate. “Please,” I muttered to myself. And then I found you. I could make out the words now.
The last remaining bit I had of you was your voice saying “I love you.”