The Boy Who Wore His Heart on His Sleeve — by Susannah Breslin

She had been waiting forever, it seemed, for a boy like this one, who wore his heart on his sleeve. Now, here he was, sitting across from her in this dimly lit restaurant, his arm on the table. The exposed, bloody organ was attached to his sleeve with what appeared to be a safety pin. Across the table, he was looking at her expectantly, his head cocked slightly to the left, like a dog listening for a sound only he could hear, the right side of his mouth pulling up slightly, as if he was unsure what she was thinking. Judging by the tangle of threads unraveling around the gaping hole in his blue sweater where his heart should have been, he had carved himself open to retrieve it. On his sleeve, the heart was shaking and shuddering, straining against the pin’s grasp. They had found each other on an online dating site three days previous and met for the first time 17 minutes ago. Now, here he was, looking eager and hopeful, and it was up to her to figure out what was she supposed to do next. She looked at the boy uncertainly and tried to hurry up and decide what she was going to do about this boy and his still-beating heart before the angry waitress returned and demanded to take their order. Is it too late? she said. The boy’s face dropped. Late? he said. Too late to put it back? She nodded her head at the heart. Oh, the boy said, looking down at it. Slowly, the blood was seeping into his napkin. Soon, it would spill off the table and pool on the floor, making a mess. I don’t know, he said. The boy had no idea if he could singlehandedly un-pin his heart, stuff it back into his chest, and darn up the sweater in such a way that no one would ever know that he had stood in his kitchen in the fading light and removed his heart from his chest with a serrated steak knife, all for a woman whom he had yet to meet, a glowing collection of pixels that was her smiling out at him from the computer screen. It was too late to pull his arm off the table and put it in his lap. She would know what he was doing, and he would bleed all over his trousers. From somewhere behind him, he could hear the hard clanging of pots in the kitchen, the frantic barking of the chef, the buzz of other couples in love cooing at one another in the candlelight. Shit, he said, under his breath but loud enough that the girl would hear it. All of a sudden, he decided he had had enough. He reached over with his left hand and unfastened the safety pin holding his heart to his sleeve. Here, he said, taking his heart in his right hand. Standing up slightly, he leaned across the table and deposited the heart on the plate in front of the girl sitting across from him. The girl poked at the heart with her fork. Interesting, she said, sounding like a forensic pathologist. He had no idea what she meant by that, but he knew at that moment that if she would continue saying things like this while stabbing at his heart with the tiny tines of the silver fork in her hand, he could be with her and stay happy forever. In that moment, it seemed anything was possible.

(sb)

Proposed by Dandyakuza on Saturday 08 May 2010 at 08:18 PM

&mdash Comments &mdash

Amazing, I want more....

By diane pernet · 08.05.2010 · 08:52 PM

Some authors can take literal allusions to the furthest reaches of absurdity and dark wit, and really make them mean something.
Breslin is not one of them. This is just lame writing.

By Madhura · 10.05.2010 · 08:27 PM

literary critics, I want less...

By daniel wakahisa · 11.05.2010 · 05:44 PM

shit that sooo happened to me one time... only in the end HE swallowed it back down with a nice argentinian red wine...nonetheless it was ugly....
xoxo

By suicide_blond · 12.05.2010 · 08:03 PM

Love

By Snowcap · 15.07.2010 · 06:28 AM

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