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Art of Hearing Heartbeats

By Jan-Philipp Sendker

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And through all that crackling, through the creaking, whispering and cooing, the dripping, trickling and cheeping, came that unmistakeable soft knocking. Slow, calm, and even. Somehow the source of all sounds, tones and voices in the world. It was at once strong and delicate. Tin Win turned toward it and hesitated. Dare he approach it? … ‘Is someone there?’he whispered.
‘Yes. Right at your feet. You’re about to trip over me.’
It was a girl’s voice. One he did not recognize. He tried in vain to call up her image.
‘Who are you? What’s your name?’
‘Mi Mi.’
‘Do you hear that thumping noise?’
‘No.’
‘It must be here somewhere.’ Tin Win knelt down. Now it was nearly next to his ear. ‘I hear it more and more distinctly. A soft pulsing. You really don’t hear it?’’
‘No.’
‘Close your eyes.’
Mi Mi closed her eyes… Tin Win leaned over and felt her breath on his face.. ‘I think it’s coming from you.’ He crept closer to her and held his head just in front of her chest.
There it was. Her heartbeat.
His own heart began to race. He felt almost as if he was eavesdropping, as if he had no right to the information to which he was now privy. He felt fear rising in him, until she laid her hand on his cheek. Its warmth flowed through his body, and he wished she would never take it away. He sat up straight. ‘Its your heart. It’s your heartbeat I’m hearing.’
‘From such a great distance?’ She laughed again, but she was not mocking him. He heard it in her voice. It was a laugh he could trust.

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