by Fran LaPlaca
He had no one to blame but himself. If there were two defining qualities to him, they would be a tendency to the melodramatic, and the ability to control his own body.
For example – his toe. Once, years back, running around barefoot, he’d banged it on a rock. Just a small bang, but remember the melodramatic part. According to him, the toe hurt for days, and he proved it by limping everywhere. “Damn this toe,” he muttered on the third day. And he did. Damn it, I mean. The toe turned black, withered and fell off, right in front of us.
So it was his own fault. He knew what he could do. The ability to control his own body, as I said, and a tendency to melodrama.
And, of course, a girl. A girl who was, we all agreed later, heartbreakingly beautiful, as tactless as that may sound.
One look was all it took. He put a hand to his chest, sighed deeply one last time, and said reverently what we all were thinking.
“Be still, my beating heart.”