Crispin sat awkwardly in Joe’s armchair out on the stoep. The sun was just rising, the steam from his coffee mingling with the morning mist. He stared straight ahead, unable to look at his missing arm and leg. He held the mug in his only hand and blew on it.
The hole in his chest had been filled. God knows how they organised that one. When he asked Gina about it, she just shook her head and said nothing. Instead of a beating heart, he had a pump mechanism. He had no heart beat. He had no pulse. It was like being dead, he thought to himself. He would never say this out loud.
How do you come to terms with being… heartless? He snorted. It was as if the day he lost it, he became more sensitive. He found himself breaking down slowly but surely, finding more and more excuses not to leave his room. He would break out in a cold sweat and the emotion would well out of his chest, and slip out his mouth. Incoherent and raw, it would leave him a shaking mess.
Sometimes he would feel an itch. He’d reach down and… air. The calf he was going to scratch was gone. A few times he had woken up in the middle of the night, got up and… Fell. Like a fucking retard, he thought.
They had told him the rehabilitation would be hard, that nothing could be done until he healed, until he was in a more stable condition. Gina watched him like a hawk.
He had thought about ending it all a few times. Their house was next to a quarry. When Joe described the grounds and the pit just beyond the hill, Crispin had to pretend to seem disinterested. He would sometimes lie around and think about the drop. His feet swaying on the very edge, the sharp rocks jutting from the sides and the wonderful deep dark pit below. This was probably what they were waiting for. And he didn’t want to give it to them. This was his.Crispin turned suddenly, coffee slopping down his front, as he heard the door swing open and slam shut. Joe was standing just outside the door, staring at the line of trees sitting against the mountain.