Here is the second half of my story Heartless. If you missed the first half, you can read it -here-
Heartless. Part Two by Mikayla H.
That day Jackie actually did pretty well at improving her act. In fact, for two weeks she amazed her dad with how much she minded him. But, soon the memory of the heart mistress was not so fresh on her mind and she began to think of it as a weird dream. Soon, she fell back into all her old habits, and some new ones to. Each one distressing her dad, and each time she did something wrong, a tiny piece of the heart fell off. Seven months later there was only a tiny sliver left, and it had turned to a faded red. Jackie Groff’s heart was slowly blowing away to nothing, and she had chosen to ignore that fact. Instead, she went on her way, doing what she thought was making her happy, but deep down in was only inflicting her pain, making her heart grow smaller every time.
At one point, Jackie was afraid that perhaps the Heart Mistress would come back and warn her again, but she soon forgot that fear. Nothing seemed to matter to her except herself.
“Jackie, you grow worse every day, what am I supposed to do with you?” Her father asked one day.
“Oh dad,” She sneered “don’t you try and touch my life. I’ll handle it anyway I like and with that she stormed out of the house to meet Brice.
“Hey, you ready to pull this job off?” Brice asked as they met.
“If it means me getting out of that stuffy old house and away from my dad, yeah, I am perfectly ready to do this.” Jackie responded.
And so the two of them went off to perform a deed that, if Jackie had been in possession of more of her heart, probably would never have thought have doing. But these two teenagers were in the same boat, both having little left of their hearts and having no wish to get what they had lost back.
“You cover the girl at the main desk, I’ll go a get the chip.” Jackie said, as they entered the housing office.
Brice did his part and started distracting the girl at the front desk, and Jackie snuck into the back room where all the chips were stored. The specific one she was looking for was the chip with a permission pass for under aged kids to live alone. Although Jackie was only five months away from her birthday, she felt as if she could not live another moment with her dad. But her dad had refused to give his consent to her living alone so, she felt, she was forced to steal permission. It took Jackie longer then she had thought to find the chip, but when she did, she slid it into her pocket and was about to walk out again when the door opened and in walked a lady.
“What are you doing here?” The lady cried “You’re not staff!”
Jackie panicked, knowing that if she was caught with the chip, she would be thrown in jail. That wasn’t the way she wanted to get away from her father. And so, grabbing the nearest object, which happened to be a metal rod, she hit the lady over the head with it. She crumpled to the ground and Jackie ran out where Brice was. Casually, he ended his conversation with the desk clerk and the two of them walked away, thinking they had pulled the perfect crime.
But things didn’t go as perfectly as they had planned. While Jackie went to find the perfect house to use the chip on; a story spread over the town though the internet and passed from person to person. It was about two kids who had robbed the housing office, and the next morning, as Jackie had just woken from a fitful sleep, a police officer knocked at the door.
“I’d like to see Jackie Groff.” He asked.
Mr. Groff at once put the pieces together of the story’s he had heard about the robbery, and Jackie. A piece of his heart broke, but not in the way Jackie’s had been breaking. Hers was slowly going away from choosing not to use it, but his heart was breaking from sadness. A kind of sadness no child can understand for it is the deep, piercing pain only a parent can feel towards one of their children who has gone astray.
“I’ll bring her right down.” He said, letting the officer in and slowly went upstairs. There was no easy way to hand his child over to the police. In a way, he wanted to protect her, keep her from that punishment, and hope that she really had not done it. But he knew that if she had really broken the law, she had to feel the consequences. He prayed that perhaps this would teach Jackie the lesson she needed about obeying authority.
“Jackie, open up.” He said, knocking on her door.
“I’m busy.” She called back, as she lay on her bed, still not having made the effort to get up.
“There’s someone here to see you.” He said.
With that there was a great rustling as Jackie leapt out of bed and dressed, for of course she assumed it was Brice. He was the only one who came to see her on a regular basis.
Not even speaking to her dad as she pushed past him to get out her door, Jackie ran down the stairs. She was wondering why Brice would have come to her house. He knew her dad hated him, so Brice stayed away. But all those thoughts vanished as she opened the living room door and, to her amazement, saw no sign of Brice, but instead there sat a policeman!
“I have come to see you, Miss Groff, about the recent disappearance of a chip from the housing offices. You wouldn’t happen to know anything about that, would you?” The policeman asked.
“I might.” Jackie submitted, slumping down on the couch.
“Might you also happen to know about a lady who, in that same office, was hit over the head and even now lies close to death?”
“What?” Jackie cried, jumping up. She thought she had merely knocked out the lady, not injured her.
“I’ll take that as a yes,” the officer sighed “I’m going to have to take you down to the station. Come with me please.”
Jackie let herself be pulled into his car, for she was almost in a daze after hearing that the lady could be close to death. She had never taken another human life in her seventeen years, and the thought shocked her. But as they drove to the station; something inside of Jackie hardened. A wall came up to protect her. She didn’t think about life she could have taken again, only the fact that this would hurt her. She would not be free to go and see Brice. She would be even more confined then she had been at her own home! Oh, the dread such a thought brought to Jackie was immense.
Getting out at the station, Jackie was asked dozens of questions; what was her full name, why had she stolen the chip, if anyone had helped her, how old she was, where she lived. They went on and on, being repeated, written, and recorded. Jackie answered them all with indifference. At the end she was put in a cell to wait for her court day.
The cell was essentially a metal box. The door she was let in by had a square foot hole with bars in it. There was a cot, and Jackie sat down on this, exhausted by the morning’s events. She lay, staring at the ceiling, wondering if this perhaps would be her home for the rest of her life. If that lady died, she would have murder charges and they could give her life in jail for that. Jackie wondered what it would be like to live here always with nothing to do. It hurt her that her freedom was being squelched. She pounded her fists on the bed, wishing she could do the same to one of the policemen.
“You are all gone.”
Jackie jumped up from the bed, she knew that voice. Low and behold, there, by the other wall, stood the Heart Mistress. The red on her dress as flaming red as ever.
Jackie laughed, “What? Are you here to try to make good again?”
“There is no longer any use trying,” the Heart Mistress said; her voice flat “you no longer have a heart.”
“Yeah, right.” Jackie laughed sourly.
“My point is proved by this incident. You have killed a woman, you are void of all good. You no longer have a heart.”
“What!” Jackie cried, but the Heart Mistress disappeared.
A few minutes later, a policeman came to tell Jackie that the woman she had hit just died, but Jackie barely heard. She nodded her head and fell onto the bed. She didn’t know how long she lay there, starring, thinking over it all.
Her mind screamed the word. She wanted to think about something else; but her mind screamed it over and over until it had worked itself into a rhythm; almost like a chanting song.
Mean and viscous can’t you tell? I wish the pain would leave as well, now that I’m heartless. Heartless!
There’s nothing left inside my soul, no love or joy, only coal, now that I’m heartless.
They’re will never be any love for me, not for all eternity, now that I’m heartless. Heartless!
No one else could know this pain, I don’t know if I’ll still be sain, now that I’m heartless.
Why did she have to leave all the bad? Take away the good and leave the sad. I’ll never know what it is to love; I’ll feel that of such things I’m above now that I’m heartless. Heartless!
I don’t know what I’m capable of, surely never again will I love, now that I’m heartless.
I’m mean and cruel can’t you tell? I wish all this pain would leave as well, now that I’m heartless. Heartless!
Jackie didn’t sleep that night; she sat awake, staring at the ceiling, her mind running with the chat over and over again. Heartless! Her eyes had dark circles under them when they came to get her for a meeting with the judge.
She was sentenced to three months in jail and then a supervised house for five years with an officer. The three months passed almost as in a dream. Jackie spent most of time just staring, wondering why she was not given another chance. The loss of her heart seemed to have come on way to fast, without any chance to get out of the horrible consequences. Now she was set in this way, never to be able to feel anything good again. Jackie sobbed, pain ripping at her, piercing every part of her. Nothing mattered anymore, life was now pointless. She was never going to be happy again.
After three months, she was transferred into an apartment that was supervised by a middle aged woman named Mrs. Franks. Jackie scowled when she first walked in; it was a tiny place, only a small bedroom, kitchen and a small living room. She flung down her backpack that her dad had brought by with her stuff in it.
“This is it?” Jackie asked, looking around, expecting to see a door leading to the next part or some such thing.
“This is it.” Mrs. Franks said, crossing her arms.
Jackie gave the room another cynical glance.
“You know, I’ve had a lot of kids like you come here for supervision, but I think you are by far the most ruthless one of the lot. How could you be so heartless?”
The word shook Jackie to the core, making her wonder if Mrs. Franks knew about her loss of heart. But one look at her told Jackie that it had only been a casual use of the word. “Once you get used to it, being heartless is quite easy.” She responded, feeling anger and sadness.
Mrs. Frank sighed and walked out the door.
Jackie’s suit connected to Mrs. Franks so that Jackie couldn’t go anywhere without her knowing. Jackie didn’t know where to start. She had been living whatever way she wanted for the past seventeen years and she didn’t know what else to do. All her connections had been cut off, Brice was still in jail for few months and she had never tried to do much away from the gang.
She unzipped her backpack to see what her dad had packed. Not that it mattered that much anyway, she didn’t have much of anything that she really prized in her life. She pulled out several basic items, but when she got to the bottom of the bag, she found an envelope with her name written on front in her dad’s handwriting. Taking it, she ripped it open, reading the neat writing inside.
Dear Jackie, it read
I am sorry to be separated from you, but they told me you could not come back under my supervision. I am also sorry you would not allow me to visit you in jail, but I hope you will be happy in your new home. Please remember that I love you and am always praying for you.
Jackie scowled, how could her dad love her? The heart mistress had already told her that she was heartless, unlovable. It wouldn’t matter even if she had been lovable, she couldn’t love in return. Jackie threw the letter back in the bag, and got back onto her settling in. Hoping to be able to go out and do something when she was done.
Somehow though, Jackie never felt like leaving the apartment. She would go to the door to Mrs. Frank’s home and feel the urge to go out, then a voice would come inside of her, screaming that she could not do it. Who knew who she would hurt this time? She couldn’t go out and risk hurting another life. So Jackie stay, secluded, angry, and bitter. She spent most of her evenings pacing around the suite, and soon wore a path in her carpet.
One day, while Jackie was pacing, there came a knock on the door. She went over and jerked the door open; mad at whoever it was for disturbing her thinking. But all the anger melted away to surprise as she saw that it was her dad standing there.
“Dad! What are you doing here?”
“I came to see you, I was worried about you.” He said, his tone warmer than anything she had heard in months.
“Well, come on in.” She said gruffly, and plopped down on the couch.
He sat down on the couch next to her, and there simply stared at her with a look of compassion in her eyes that Jackie had never known before.
“What is it? Why are you staring at me?” Jackie cried.
“Because I love you, Jackie. Is something the matter?”
“Are you kidding? I killed someone and am stuck in this dinky little room and you’re asking me if somethings the matter? I’d say so! I’m heartless!”
“Heartless?” Mr. Groff echoed, surprised.
“Yes, I am. The heart mistress told me.” Jackie scowled at her hands, somehow ashamed to admit it to her dad.
“I see.” He said thoughtfully “How are things going around here?”
“Fine, I don’t leave much.” Jackie wasn’t quite sure why she told this to her dad.
“I guess I’m afraid that I’ll hurt someone.”
There was a long silence, then her dad finally spoke up. “Jackie, you are not heartless.”
Jackie jerked up her head to look at her dad, “But dad, the Heart Mistress told me. I’m heartless. Just look at what I’ve done, you’ll see it’s true.”
“Jackie, if you were truly heartless, you wouldn’t be worried about hurting people.” Her dad said “You may be hard towards the love that is being offered you, but you have a heart that has some love left in it and wants to be loved.”
“No one would want to love me.” Jackie whispered.
“That’s not true, Jackie. I love you, and more importantly, Christ loves you. You were given a second chance at life by the judge by allowing you to get out of jail early. Christ gave you a second chance by offering to free you from sin and give you eternal life. He already loves you and wants you to love him in return.”
“Why?” Jackie queried.
“Because he created you, and you are special to him. There is nothing more precious to Christ then his creations. No matter what you have done, he loves you.”
“I couldn’t love him, I’m heartless.”
“No Jackie, God controls you heart, not the Heart Mistress. It belongs to him, and nothing can get rid of it. He holds you heart in his hands and he wants to keep it safe for you. All you have to do is ask him.”
“Would you ask for me?” Jackie whispered.
And so Mr. Groff prayed with his daughter and at the bottom of her backpack, unknown to Jackie, was a bright red heart, full to the brim. Jackie gave a simple amen at the end of the prayer, and that day her heart was alive again.
As soon as Jackie got out of the apartment, she moved back in with her dad. From the day her dad had said that simple prayer, Jackie was a changed girl. She made mistakes, but her dad helped her through the trials and for the first time since we first met Jackie, she was truly happy.
Filled to the brim with love from Christ, it overflowed onto every part of her being, and making it come to life.
Jackie’s heart sung with love, for she was no longer heartless.
Loved and loving in return, my life has taken quite a turn, now that I’m loving.
I never knew such joy such thrill I feel I never can be still, now that I’m loving. Loving!
Mean and cruel is in the past I have a joy that will always last, now that I’m loving.
I now where perfect love began; a cross, a grave and just one man. I now know him, yes its true, he’s done more from me than anyone I knew. He’s filled me up with joy and peace, I know his love will never cease. I used to be so mean and cruel, but now I never want to break a rule, now that I’m loving.
Loved and loving in return, my life has taken quite a turn, now that I’m loving.
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