Clench

He lay there in the dark expectantly, hopeful that sleep would engulf him at any second, but the longer he lay there the more his mind began to whirr until the sounds of traffic passing below his open window faded into white noise.  He also noticed a strange sensation in his chest.  A sort of quivering.  A constriction of the sinews holding his heart in place.  Curious, he started to examine both the roaring in his head and the tightness below his breastbone.  He pulled out shining silver pins, and grasped hold of each, securing it to its piece of card, waiting to be labelled and catalogued and filed away.  He almost couldn’t believe what he was feeling.  He started to see how he had given himself away.  In a sort of abdication he had placed his heart in the hand of another.  At first they had cradled it gently, but then they had grown careless, letting it hang loosely, and now finally they had let it fall to the ground, bruised and aching.  He thought about how he should react; whether with surprise, or scorn, or self-pity.  But in the meanwhile he would silently nurse the wound and outwardly pretend that nothing had even happened.  Noone needed to know.  Not even them.  It meant nothing, after all.  They meant nothing.

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