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The Perfect Guide to Mend a Broken Heart

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Meghan Young had the perfect plan to mend her broken heart once and for all and it all started with three simple rules. Rule 1 - Buy your heart the time to heal. Yes, buy. Emotional health can be bought just like everything else. Rule 2 - Choose logic over feeling. Feelings lead to dents in your armour and that could mean another scar to heal. Rule 3 - Think like a guy. Guys never get their hearts broken. Three years in and she had a wrought iron fence around her heart. No one could even hope to get through. But did that actually mean she'd won?

Romance / Humor
Alias Tummas
Age Rating:

Chapter 1 - Don't share personal information with

Meghan Young solemnly swore on the bus ride home after what was categorically the worst night of her life, that she would never endure pain like that which was wracking her chest ever again. Not for a guy or a girl or even a fucking puppy.

It felt like her heart was in a death grip and the pressure was not only tightening down but pulling everything in with it. Like an implosion. A lethal vacuum.

"It's not worth it," Meghan told herself as she stared at her reflection. How was it that she still looked the same? How was it that her body was whole when she felt so broken?

She'd heard of heartbreak many times but never believed that the pain was tangible, physical. She couldn't breathe. She couldn't understand how she was still alive. Surely, she'd been suffocating for hours. How much longer could she last?

Meghan tried to piece together how she got home yesterday. How she made it to her room firing away a quick 'goodnight' to her mother, who was still awake at one in the morning. She couldn't understand how she survived the night. Till this moment, the burning in her chest did not relent, but the rest of her was going numb by the time the sun started to rise. She figured she had started to die in certain places. She had read about this. The brain would block out areas of the body to protect itself from going mad. But she still hated herself. She had allowed all this to happen. She kept trusting when she knew she shouldn't.

Well, not anymore. It was a new day and she was a new woman. She vowed to recover and move on and protect her heart until her dying breath.

Holding her head high and jutting out her chin firmly, she smiled cynically as she saw that her eyes were finally dry. "Good," she thought savagely. She would not shed another tear for Chris Laurence again, no matter how hard it would be to get over him.

It took her almost one whole year to realise he had outstayed his welcome in her heart. He had finally crossed the line. Something inside her snapped and she decided there and then that she would not give a damn about any feelings but hers. Come to think of it, even hers were a nuisance. If she could completely annihilate them, that would be great.

Meghan stretched her arms and moved her head from side to side, trying to ease out the kink in her neck while her laptop booted. As she sat down, a notification popped up on her screen. One new user had viewed her profile.

A cold shiver ran down her spine. She repeated the promise she made to herself just hours before. The first opportunity that came knocking, no matter what it was or where it came from, she would hop onto it like a lifeline on her deathbed. It didn't matter, after all, who he was, what he looked like, what he did.

Rule 1: Buy your heart the time to heal.

She needed a distraction. Something to occupy her brain while the cracks in her heart grew closer together. While the veins and arteries connected again and the blood could once again circulate to the rest of her organs. Anything would do really. Anything to keep her mind off him and his selfish, hurtful ways. She knew she needed a forceful reminder that there was more to the world than Chris Laurence. She needed to push her horizons to a life that didn't start and end with him.

He didn't need to be perfect. Just good enough to be worth her time. She inhaled gravely and clicked on the small pop-up with a trembling hand.

Male. Eighteen years old. Lived in San Gwann but originally from Sliema. Hmm... posh. Or maybe not. He didn't seem posh or snobbish from his description. He seemed funny, actually. There was nothing about what he did or what school he went to. Nothing about what he liked or didn't like. It was all just blabber, really, like someone rambling because they're nervous. Meghan thought it was adorable.

She clicked on his profile photo to get a better look at the guy. He only had the one and the quality wasn't very good.

He wasn't bad-looking, but Meghan couldn't help thinking that he looked nothing like Chris and nothing like the guys who usually caught her eye.

He had dark brown hair, deep brown eyes and a mysterious smile that made him look reserved. Yet, he seemed cool in an 'I'm not even trying' kind of way. That was good. Boys who tried too hard at the beginning often let her down later. Meghan browsed through his Friends List and it looked as though she didn't know him from Adam. She was certain she'd never seen him at Junior College before either.

She sighed and chewed on her lower lip as she considered her next move, but she felt her newfound, brutal persona chastise her for her hesitation. She had no reason whatsoever to back out. So, she did it, quickly and abruptly as though afraid she might be caught. She clicked on Add Friend and closed the tab.

Meghan exhaled, unable to ignore the sudden pounding of her heart. She hadn't really done anything that she hadn't done before. She added many 'friends' on social media, every time hoping it would be someone different, someone, interesting enough to get him off her mind, but she always held very little hope for that. More likely, she hoped it could be someone she could use to make Chris jealous enough to make him want her. Really want her. Not just for five minutes.

It always worked. One mention of a boy's name and Chris would be at her side, holding her hand, cornering her into kissing him as he whispered sweet nothings across her skin. And she'd always kiss him back, forgetting about everything that happened, drowning herself further into the vicious cycle that was Chris Laurence. And as soon as he saw it, as soon as he felt it, Chris would hurt her again.

Meghan felt the familiar sting behind her eyes and she squeezed them shut. "No. Don't cry. This is different. You have to be different," she told herself. But her resolve was already weakening.

Rule 2: Choose logic over feeling.

She breathed in and out, in and out until the moisture in her eyes subsided and the sob in her throat was small enough to swallow. Then she heard it, the familiar ping coming from her laptop. She looked up. The throbbing of her heart was loud in her ears again.

Joe Sanders accepted your friend request.

Joe Sanders.

What a perfectly ordinary name. So ordinary that she hadn't even noticed it earlier.

She clicked on the notification and his profile flashed on her screen once again. He wasn't bad looking at all but the poor guy could never compare. She couldn't put her finger on it, but Meghan's guess was that he looked too average. Too, homely, if that was even a thing. Like a really sweet cousin.

Her eyes zeroed in on the tiny, blue envelope on the top left corner of the screen. The next step was to talk to him.

A flurry of nervous energy tickled her stomach but Meghan exhaled, knowing she needed to stay calm, cool and collected.

Rule 3: Think like a guy.

Guys never called back quickly. They always waited till the next day, at least. Sometimes longer.

She hated that. It always made her anxious. It made her question herself and her worth and that she was always at a disadvantage. Then her phone would ring and she would rush to answer like a bloody idiot. Like she was lucky that the boy in question would grace her with a brief text.

Thinking about it made Meghan feel sick. She had to wait. On the first day of her new life, the last thing she wanted was to feel desperate. But before she had the time to overthink her next move, another ping announced a message from Mr. Joe Sanders himself.

J: Hey...

Meghan felt her brain cease as she gaped at the screen. That was fast. And bold. Not a lot of boys made the first move online, where they were sober and had the luxury of time on their side. Not unless they knew her or at least knew one of her friends. And ordinary Joe Sanders played his first card in record time!

She grimaced at his profile and couldn't help wonder what was wrong with him. It seemed too easy and it made her suspicious. On the day she vowed to move on from Chris Laurence, the most extraordinary and captivating of boys, Joe Sanders stumbled upon her profile, accepted her request and messaged her. Something had to be wrong... right?

"It doesn't matter. He's just a distraction," Meghan told herself. So, she decided she would reply after fifteen minutes. She had to be cool. She didn't want to scare him off. But maybe the fifteen-minute rule did not apply to guys. It certainly did not apply to Mr. Joe Sanders, Meghan realised as another message appeared under the first one.

J: So, you add me as a friend but you don't leave a message? What kind of a friend are you? :D

Meghan's eyebrows furrowed together as she glared at the text. Was he joking? Was he flirting? It sounded more like an insult!

Who cares? The savage little voice said in her head. Get in there!


She typed fast and without thinking and pressed send before she could change her mind.

M: A very good one, actually! Besides, you're the one who stalked my profile and didn't bother adding me.

Wait. What was she doing? So much for not seeming desperate. Maybe Joe didn't want to add her. Maybe he didn't like what he saw. Sure, she took care of her profile quite a bit, but it was targeted for Chris Laurence.

Her profile photo showed a smiling picture of her in her denim dungaree, her long, brown curls cascading down her shoulders, thick fringe framing her face. Mariam and Nadine had taken the photo on a Saturday night before they left for the clubs where they met Chris, Greg and Niall just like they did every other Saturday.

Only that night turned out to be very different as Chris decided to tell Meghan that he was attracted to her. They spent the rest of the night making out right outside the club. Meghan was ecstatic. If only she knew how short-lived her happiness would be.


The sound dragged Meghan out of her dark thoughts and she diverted her attention to the screen again.

J: Hmm... You have a point. So, if I ask you for your number can I revoke my stalker status?

Meghan's jaw dropped. So much for plain, old Joe being shy and average. But she was right about one thing. He was funny.

"Well, two can play that game, Mr. Sanders!" Meghan smiled as she tapped away with her lower lip between her teeth.

M: My mama tells me not to give out personal information to strangers.

The jitters caused by her unusual display of boldness had barely subsided when another message appeared on her screen.

J: Ha! Your mama's clever. And you're funny :) I'll tell you what... I'll give you my number and you can add me yourself.

Meghan's smile grew wider as she shook her head slightly. This time, her fingers hit the keys instantly.

M: Aren't I a stranger too?

...One minute... Two minutes... Ten minutes.


Wow... Mr. Punchlines was all about records. Fastest to pursue her. Fastest to ghost her. Meghan sighed as she felt herself coming down from the high of their slight banter. "Typical," she muttered trying not to let the disappointment get to her.

After about another minute, she stood up and walked over to her school bag. She needed to study anyways. That was a good distraction too. Probably a more useful one than resorting to another stupid boy anyway. At least she would get something out of studying.

She dug out her biology notes and spread them on the desk in front of her. She tried to focus all her attention on the process of Photomorphogenesis but the ache in her chest was becoming unbearable again.


Her head lifted to the screen and she actually laughed out loud. She had to admit this boy had some nerve.

J: Sorry, my brother needed to use the computer. My number is 00356 55610860.

J: And to answer your question... Yes.

Biology notes forgotten, Meghan considered adding him on Whatsapp. Of course, that meant he would have her number too. But really, what difference did it make? It was what she wanted, right? To make new friends. Meet new people. She had to put herself out there. She needed to project her new image so that it would serve as a barrier of protection while she mended her heart.

She thought about the dangers of connecting with people online but it's not like she would tell him where she lived or anything too personal. On the contrary, the whole point was to guard herself not expose herself more.

She grabbed her phone and synced it to her laptop, making a decision. She added his number to her contacts. The jitters in her stomach returned and almost made her sick but even so, the burden that had been weighing her down for the past year or so seemed to have eased a little.

She caught herself in the mirror again and smiled to herself. She fixed the messy bun on top of her head and rubbed at her mascara stains. She was doing it. She was kicking off her plan. She knew this was nothing and that she had a long way to go, but somehow she was confident that Joe Sanders was a good way to start.

And so she fired off a simple message.

M: Hey, Stalker...

She waited for a few seconds, wondering whether he would answer back or whether he was just all talk. She didn't have to wait long. Her phone buzzed and his reply appeared on the screen.

Joe Stalker: Hey, Stranger :D

Meggie: Actually, I'm not a stranger anymore. I have verified your number and now you have mine too...

Joe Stalker: Am I still a stalker?

Meggie: Of course!

Joe Stalker: Yet you still gave me your number ;)

Meggie: Looks like it... :/

Joe Stalker: Wow! So, your mum warned you against giving your number to strangers but giving your number to stalkers is ok? That's fucked up, Stranger...

Meghan let out a small giggle and her hand rose to her mouth in surprise. It had been a while since someone drew a giggle out of her. But the smile was still on her face as she answered back.

Meggie: Better the devil you know!
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