Welcome, and I hope you have a pleasant stay

Let me put it this way:

Our hearts are like homes. Homes for (a) people we care about, and (b) people we claim to not give a damn about but secretly lease a room to them anyway. Some people’s hearts are generous, spacious mansions with rooms for tens and hundreds of people to reside comfortably in, but you don’t see people staying in them for very long. Some have hearts that are cosy, humble little cottages with just enough space for a carefully selected group; the few beds are warm and soft, the faces familiar, and the garden well-primped.

And then there are hearts that are sparse, unsightly huts made out of rotten wood, waiting to collapse and crumble on the next person looking to live there permanently — you will find no happy framed photos that make you feel all fuzzy inside and smile stupidly; you will find no friendly welcome mat at the front door; you will find no cup of hot chocolate waiting to warm your hands up at the dinner table. Not much of a home, eh? But we’ll call it that for the sake of it. Visitors are few and far between, and sometimes even the owner of the heart/hut is nowhere to be found inside.

Well, my heart is something of the last sort, though likely to be a little less empty and a little more well-furnished.

From time to time, someone makes his way into what little space he can find in the only other room in my hut. He finds it modest, unassuming, and hmmmmm probably has enough potential to morph into an inviting home, methinks. But shortly after I will be dusting off the bed, peeling his ghastly wallpaper off the walls, removing the god-awful carpet that I had once admittedly loved the feel of, and throwing out the furniture he moved in from his previous room. Like clockwork, time and again, I have had to clear out the room for the next visitor — and the next, and the next, and the next…

And yours? Your heart, my dear, is quite the opposite.

You have never had the trouble of stripping a room bare. You have never been through the experience of gutting out a large part of your heart to remove every trace of the previous dastardly inhabitant. You have never had to burn a picture or cleared out the closet three times just so you could be sure that nothing’s left from the last visitor. No — that heart/home of yours has always kept an empty room ready, clean and pristine and welcoming, for the first girl to occupy it.

And so far, I have found that room to be a fantastic one, and I have enjoyed my stay.

Oftentimes I feel bad that, in contrast, you have gotten such a dingy and miserable little room, almost devoid of good feelings. It seems like a lousy trade, doesn’t it? I got the big fluffy pillows — all new, mind you — and sunlight peeking through pretty curtains; whereas you got the bare, stained mattress and windows that are all boarded up with decomposing wood and rusty nails.

And that is why many a time I feel incredibly grateful that you have not once complained about it. Never said an angry word whenever you found that small piece of dusty memorabilia I had apparently forgotten to throw out of the drawer, or that rickety dresser I have kept locked up in the room with god-knows-what left behind by the last tenant. Never grumbled about how nothing was new in my hut and how I was a terrible cleaner of my own home (all those little bits and pieces I have failed to purge the room of). Never called me out when I faltered and tried to convince you to decorate your room like how the previous person did.

So with all of my heart, thank you for your patience and tolerance, and for the large, wonderful room you have let me into.

And welcome — I hope you have a pleasant stay despite everything.

Happy (almost) 5th Month, J. :)

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