A disarming thing happens when you listen to your own beating heart: You realize it functions on grace. It is no reliable or uniform thing — there are gaps and skips, it fumbles like a timid drummer at a halftime show, whole black seconds pass with no blood churning — and yet somehow its irregular, nervous nature keeps your thoughts in alignment, sets your arms and legs to task. The others never told me how feckless the human heart is — armed with such knowledge, I would have forgone the transplant entirely, having never surrendered my immortal essence for the sake of a single, fading child. And yet my choice shines darkest for this unholy doubt: If their very organs stutter and tremble at Life’s threshold, of what unobtainable peace have we robbed them?



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