When Samuel passed away Nicky found a hole in his chest. Where his heart should’ve been, with his sternum, bits of lung and rib-endings? Nothing, except a Samuel-shaped hole.
It was not unexpected. Samuel had been ill for some time, and bedridden for the last two weeks.
Nicky had been asleep in a chair next to Samuel’s cardiac monitor. He woke up as soon as the thing flatlined, but he didn’t pay attention to its flat tone – he couldn’t, because he was doubling over, in agony, and pressing at the front of his shirt.
He found that he was pressing his shirt into a concave vacancy. There were bloody stains in the cloth wherever his fingers touched.
For a few minutes it was touch and go for Nicky, until the doctors managed to bring in a heart-lung machine. He was lucky that he was at the hospital when it happened. If he’d been at home he would have died.
“So thank you, Sam, you old asshole,” Nicky thought.