He wasn’t so much scared as he was perplexed the day his heart fell out.
It landed in his hands. He knew he was lucky to have caught it. Sat, holding his heart in his hands, still beating and pumping, all it’s viscous cords and strings still attached.
For a long time, he just looked at it. Marveled at it’s odd meaty simplicity; admired it’s warmth, the strength of its musculature. He tried to fit it back into his chest, but it seemed too big somehow, and his chest was already beginning to close up.
“How odd,” he thought, “How very, very odd. I wasn’t so sure I even had one.”
He walked around all day holding his heart in his hands. Slept curled protectively around it.
The next day, he decided to go to the doctor.
“It is unusual, I’ll say that. I’ve only seen a handful of these cases in my time,” said the white-haired doctor as he poked and prodded at the pulsing organ still cradled gently in the man’s hands.
“What you’ve got is a prolapsed heart. Happens, sure, but I can’t say it’s common. Nothing to do about it really. You’ll just have to carry it with you.”
The man was thunderstruck at this, “What do you mean nothing you can do, can’t you open me up, sew it back in?”
The doctor laughed, “Oh certainly not, no. It’s been out too long now. Maybe if we had gotten to it right away, sure, but not now. No, you’ll just have to carry it around. Nothing else for it.”
The man paid his bill, took his heart in his hands, and left.
He carried his heart cradled in his hands for a long time, terrified to set it down anywhere lest it get dirty. He started to feel more confident as time went on, driving, working, going about his business as usual with a prolapsed heart. He tried to hide it from view most of the time, but every now and again it popped out. He was self conscious of his heart. He didn’t know if it was big enough, or if it looked right. He hadn’t seen anyone else carrying theirs.
One day he met a woman. She smiled at him and she complimented him on his heart. He liked this very much. They went for coffee one afternoon and he fumbled, holding his heart and wallet and coffee. “Let me hold that,” she said, and gestured to his heart which he had nearly dropped.
He looked down; He had been carrying it alone now for some time. He looked up. She smiled and he believed her eyes.
“That would be great,” he said, “but be careful, it’s my heart after all. I do only have the one.”
When she took it, he felt the weight of it lift from him, hadn’t realized how heavy it had become. Later, when she gave it back to him, he could barely take its weight.