Author : Morrow Brady
I grew a heart on my intestine to prove my wife wrong.
”You’re wasting money Eric. You’ll only get cancer” Kara frowned, as I tossed the stem cell unit into the shopping trolley. I knew the risks of growing your own organs, but my mid-life aches and pains suggested now was the time.
At home, I started configuring biometrics and soon had a virtual beating heart. I set it to bake and minutes later removed the cooked stem seed from its bio-silica womb. After I swallowed it, the stem cells began stimulating new heart muscle growth on my intestine. In a fortnight, a beating bulge would appear.
I showed Kara the veiled network of blue veins under my stretched skin. She screwed up her face in disgust.
“Why a heart Eric?” She asked.
“It’s a spare. I might need it one day” I answered.
Months later, Box Medical harvested my fully grown heart and froze it.
“Are you done?” Kara blurted.
“No. I want to do the rest. Just in case.” I mumbled.
Five years later, I literally had a spare me on ice, ready to go.
Over time, my body began to fail and the backup transplantations began. By seventy, I owned the body of a twenty year old.
“You look ridiculous.” Kara said.
“It’s like I’m married to my grandson”
It was unnatural. Kara the ageing and me the ageless were growing apart. At seventy five, my new eyes saw precision once again. With the cataract years of fading colours and blurred vision past, I saw beauty all around. I also saw Kara’s wrinkles, liver spots and greying complexion. Old eyes, were beer goggles for the aged.
At 86, Box Medical transplanted my brain. I awoke dazed in the discharge suite. A lifetime of memories ordering themselves. Kara carefully helped me from the surgical pod. Her sunken eyes watching my rebirth. My naked, muscular physique, towering over her haunched figure, yet so reliant upon it for support. Kara lovingly held my arm tight with impossible strength. A wife’s helping hand for her feeble husband. As I emerged from my post-operative stupor, I slowly took over as the helping hand and guided Kara home. She knew I was back, as she let a brief smile touch her face. I saw then how frightened she was of being left behind. I pulled her tight. A hug sometimes is not enough.
“You’re home.” Kara’s voice crackled.
“I’m sorry darling. I wanted to live longer but I was only thinking of myself. I need you with me for more than one lifetime.” I trembled and held her frail body in my arms.
“It’s ok. Just make sure you take care of me” Her words stumbled short from saying until the end. It wasn’t right for her to talk of death, when her husband for sixty years, was so far from it.
Daffodils shot gold into green landscape as trees captured spring shadows once again. My children and I carried Kara to her grave. Hidden eyes burned into me for cheating death. For cheating Kara. But I was the one who had watched Kara’s mind fade. Watched her body dry up like an autumn leaf. In the end, her life was too long.
As we lowered her into darkness, the earth pile alongside the grave reminded me where it always ends. One day, earth would be piled on her grave when they buried me alongside. I then smiled as the thought, that in the end, when we are both buried deep below, everything would return to how it should have been.