Kikyo had a black hole were her heart used to be. It appeared as a pinhole the day Testuo broke into her heart, ever the thief in his and walked away without a word. Sometimes Kikyo missed it, when she wasn’t of mind, but her heart was never one to do her any favors to begin with. The black hole was born this way, sitting amid the splinters Tetsuo had left behind and quietly growing hungry. It was like a second mouth, always starving, always whispering, Feed me, I’m wasting away in this bony cage. At night Kikyo pressed her pillow over her head and told it Be quiet, be quiet or I’ll sew your mouth shut.
Kikyo didn’t want to feed it, but soon the black hole thrummed, beneath her sternum and between her lungs. It licked its greedy lips, shivered until she shivered, and ate and ate. First it ate her sadness, then her loneliness and then her memories of Tetsuo’s face, plucked clean until she remembered nothing but his name and his address. For a time Kikyo was happy in her ignorance, but the black hole couldn’t be satisfied.
It ate everything Kikyo ever loved in one long swallow. It ate her house, her yard and her mailbox, and then it licked its sticky fingers and asked for more. The black hole fattened itself by drinking her breath, her dreams at night and the taste of sunlight on her skin whenever Kikyo opened her coat. Kikyo had always buttoned her coat high at the collar to keep the black hole under control, but sometimes she was tired. That made Kikyo hasty, frustrated and uncaring, so sometimes she opened her coat, for no other reason than to fill herself up.
The black hole ate cars and trees, buildings and people, uprooted from the spot and sucked tumbling towards its slobbering mouth. It pulled these things in one by one, keeping them somewhere deep inside of Kikyo, then crushed them, and crushed and crushed. She let it eat until it had its fill, and sewed the black hole shut with needle and thread. Kikyo swallowed like the hole swallowed, thick and sticky in her throat, and didn’t feel bad. One day she might give these things back, but for now Kikyo kept her coat buttoned up and her empty heart full.