It had always been a good heart: reliable, never missing a beat. Ever since the boy was small it faithfully pumped blood; first through the delicate vessels in the lungs, dissolving oxygen, then back via the heart through the aorta out to all the cells in the body, to the arms, legs, organs, brain. This was a job that was never much appreciated, but the heart was happy just the same, simply enjoying the sensation of the boy climbing trees or riding his bike.
Years passed, the boy grew to a teenager, and the heart experienced new and unaccustomed feelings. It pounded with fear when the boy’s friends pressed him into stealing a CD from the local store. It experienced its first love, where two hearts were pressed so close they could hear each other beating: You me. Need you. Love you. Not long after came the first heartbreak, and it beat with pain and desperation: Don’t leave. Come back. Miss you!
The boy was now a young man, and after moving from home he bought a motorcycle. Those rides made the heart beat with an exalting sense of freedom, going faster, faster. Suddenly an unexpected jerk made it clench with terror as it realized the impending collision. It froze in fear, and then there was nothing.
The heart woke up with a shock, confused and exhausted. The surgeons were sewing it into an unfamiliar body, and it was connected to a machine that regularly pumped blod, without any participation of the heart. For the first time the heart didn’t feel anything at all: no joy, no sorrow, only blood pulsing through it. The machine was unhooked, and the heart recieved an electric shock to make it start beating on its own. It felt queasy and tired after its ordeal, and the blood was thicker than it was used to and full of drugs.
After a time it sensed the door opening, and small feet treading uncertainly across the room to the bed. ”Grandma? Grandma? Are you okay? How is your heart doing? The doctor said the operation went fine, but we had to see for ourselves. We were so worried for you!” The words came all of a rush, and the heart felt the old woman’s emotions flowing as she tenderly embraced her grandchildren. All at once it relaxed: everything would be alright. It might be in a different body, but one familiar feeling could never change: the feeling of love. To a heart, that’s the only thing that really matters.