Finish the story: the fountain and the heart

Here’s how the story goes. Once upon a time, there was a girl who liked a boy. He liked her too, at least a bit. They travelled to a magical land far, far away, where the boy showed the girl a fountain. But in order to drink from the fountain, a piece of the drinker’s heart had to be given in payment. Now the girl’s heart had been kept safely hidden under lock and key, for it was her most precious possession and she had been warned about taking it out for others to see. But she wanted so much to taste of the drink from the fountain, for when the boy drank his face lit up and he invited her to drink too. The girl held out for a while, for she had been so warned not to let out her heart, but in the end her desire won out. In fact, it was almost as though her heart itself had fought its way out. She slowly unfastened the lock holding her heart, then broke off just a corner from it to hand over to the boy.

And the drink from the fountain was good, so good, far better than she had imagined. Perhaps it was too good. Day after day, the girl kept slowly giving her heart away, not only because she had become intoxicated by the drink from the fountain but also as it was the first time she had ever known her heart like this, for it had been hidden for so long and she marvelled afresh at its beauty, down to the minutest inch of it. So she kept drinking, and with each drop she ripped at her heart, bit by bit.

But one day, she saw the fragments that were left of her heart and was very afraid, for she had not realised how much she had given away. And when she looked around, she found that they were no longer in the magical land and there was no fountain anymore. So she ran and hid, locking away what remained of her heart in a place even deeper and further than it had been before, and for good measure, stayed there locked away with it.

For a while, the boy was confused and sought her to return to the fountain. And it gnawed at her, for she wanted so much for him to come and fight for her. But she was both too proud and too fearful to ask him to find her. How could she, when she had nothing left to offer in return even if he were to come. How could she, when it was her own foolishness that had landed her in this state. How could she, when the boy had never asked for any of this, when his only crime was making her smile. But most of all, deep down, she feared that he simply wouldn’t, that once he saw the pitiful broken remains he would see what a calamity it was he had narrowly avoided and run in the opposite direction as far away as he possibly could…

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Finish the story for me? I wish I knew how to get to happily ever after.

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