THE LITTLE RED HEART
It was nothing more than a trinket, ( it was ) really a trifle. She had found it not even in the Easter egg, but , as a gift, into a bag of biscuits. It was a small red heart, attached with a short chain to a safety pin. The little red heart wasn’t at all made of precious material, it wasn’t even made of coral. It looked to be made rather of plastic, of hard plastic. It had a very smooth very shiny surface m which enhanced its red, which was rather a geranium , than a vermillion red. She, Alice, who was nine years old, immediately fell in love as soon as she saw the little red heart. She put it only sometimes punted to her clothes, usually she kept it stored in a small box , that stayed on her desk. Just ( only) looking at it, that little red heart made her feel good ( well, fine).
If then she ( Alice) held it in her hand, it had even the power not only to drive away all sadness, but even physical pain. Not a day went by that she, Alice, was without looking, without holding and clutching too, the little red heart in her hand. And now, just now that her mother was absent_____she had to have gone and taken care of her sick grandmother _____and she, Alice, was lefr alone at home ( in the house) with Anne, just now her little red heart was gone. Alice had been looking everywhere for it, she had been trying to figure out where it might have gone to end ( ending), and when, where she might have lost it. Nothing to do, her little red heart had disappeared. Just now, that her Mom wasn’t there and she was left alone with Anne, who was the young daughter of her mother’s husband. Anne treated Alice roughly, indeed even mistreated her. Alice constantly felt herself in danger with her. And yet her sorrow, a real affliction, for not being able to have her little red heart under her eyes, for not being able to hold it, to squeeze it in her hands, was stronger than Alice’s fear of Anne, with whom she felt that her life was really in danger. Now that there was not her Mom and, look what a coincidence, the little red heart, for her very precious, had disappeared too, as if by an evil spell, yes, a kind of bad miracle. Alice, alone at home with her half-sister knew that she had to be careful not only to obey Anne promptly, without the slightest hesitation, without objection, otherwise she knew that for her they were beaten for sure ( they would be beaten for sure). Now that Alice was alone with her, Anne gave her, very strong slaps that made her face, her head too ache for a long time. Anne also kicked her while she was sweeping, if she thought Alice wasn’t sweeping like she should have.
She, Alice had never considered that little red heart a lucky charm. It had always been a small object that she liked so much to see, touch, hold in her hands, something she liked being there with her, yes, a little like a friend. It was the bright, shining red of that little thing, whose heart shape seemed cut out with scissors, that enchanted her, that even captivated her, as well as its very smooth surface. Although until now she had never thought of it as a lucky charm, now that her mother’s absence lasted longer than expected, and Anne was getting meaner to her every day….eh, Alice began to think that, if it wasn’t really a good luck charm, that little red heart had to have, at least, some protective power over her. That’s why Anne became day by day more overbearing and despotic , and that’s also why her mother did not return home: all this happened because the little red heart was no longer there, she had lost it. She had to find it, it was indispensable for her. Alice came to believe that her mother would not return if she did not find the little red heart. And if her mother had not returned, who knows what would happen ( would have happened) to her, alone with Anne.
Alice kept on looking everywhere for her little red heart. She was not resigned to having lost it forever. But nothing to do, the little heart, with its dazzling, sparkling red, did not reappear.
She also began to dream of it. Oh, in her dreams it appeared more bright, more shining than ever, and more great too, it seemed really a beating heart. Every time it was for her a dive to the heart of joy when suddenly she saw the little red heart appear there, on the table, on a chair, not far from her, or into a drawer she had opened. Yet every time, before she reached it, a moment before she could take it, the little red heart disappeared. Those dreams were beautiful and terrible. When Alice saw the dazzling red heart she thought that oh, she had found it finally. It was there. Just two steps were enough to reach it, it was enough to stretch out a hand to take it. And then, a moment later, it was gone. When she was sure she had found it, the little red heart was gone again. Her hand, which was about to take it, was floundering in the air. Alice said then____she said it in the dream, but also when she was awake____that the little heart, that had appeared so near to her, at hand, it had to be far from her instead, perhaps at the distance of many light years ( from her). It happened that the little red heart , with its bright and shiny red, appeared to her even she was awake. It flashed just for a moment while Alice was sitting at the table, or while she was sweeping, or dusting. It happened usually when Anne was scolding or beating her. Finally her mother returned home, but the little red heard had not reappeared. Alkice’s relief at her mother’s return did not last long. She, her mom, who had always defended Alice from Anne’s bullying and beatings, now instead took the side of her half-sister. Alice, desperate, was convinced that this was happening because the little red heart was gone, she had lost it.