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Can't Complain

by Sara Genge

Terrance's heart never knew what hit it. One second it was pumping steadily at 70 beats per minute, traveling at 80mph on the interstate. The next, it was panicking, 180 beats per minute and rising. The heart knew it shouldn't go this fast, but it was a sucker for the nerves that tickled it with adrenalin. All its life, the nerves had told it what to do and all its life the heart had obeyed them, even when it knew better. For a second, as the car swerved off the road, the heart
considered keeping its own beat. But the moment passed and then… nothing.

Stopping was such a strange feeling. Terrance's heart had never stopped before. Then came the cold and the drugs that made it forget and the nip of shears separating it from the rest of Terrance. The heart knew it should mourn for its lost body, but quite frankly, it was just too glad to be alive to care, and the guilt of abandoning Terrance would travel with it for the rest of its life.

Terrance's heart beats in a hole in your chest. You may keep it warm, you may feed it with your vessels and your blood, but the heart knows this isn't home.

Oh well.

It fends off the attack of your immune system, aided by all those drugs you take in the morning. You catch cold and can't drink, but hey, you're alive. You can't complain.

Terrance's heart is alive as well. It has a hole for a home and no busy-body nerves to tell it what
to do. Nerves can't be transplanted so Terrance's heart beats on its own, 70 per minute, rain or shine, exercise or rest. It feels like it's working in a vacuum. It can't communicate with the rest of your body. But it keeps its own rhythm and it's alive.

It can't complain.

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