Running was my life. It invoked a feeling like no other and was the most familiar feeling of comfort that I could first remember. It was my de-stressor, my go-to on bad days and good. At best, it’s my apple a day. My black Lab, Dana, and I could run for hours any brisk fall morning or evening in the nearby park designed for more experienced hikers. That was our life nestled here living in the Virginian mountains. This particular day, Dana was getting ahead of me too far. She was equally just as curious. Maybe a “C” name would have fit her better.
Trying to keep up, for some odd reason, I began to struggle and fell into a daze. It could be compared to being knocked out or passing out as everything around you fades into the darkness like the end of a movie when it cuts to black. I can still remember hearing everything around me. The singing Cardinals, Dana barking loudly in the distance, the sunlight timidly peeking over the hill that we were approaching and shortly after... I could only remember the blue and red flashing lights and blaring siren of the ambulance. I had had a heart attack and it became the unfair death wish that no one would ever ask for.
Frantically, I searched for weeks on online forums, consulted with doctors, received second opinions and tried to find out as much information as I could about people like me. Healthy people that died of heart failure. How was this even possible? My weird college buddy must have caught wind of my ill-fated destiny and shot me an odd email seemingly from the Dark Web or what some like to think of it as... “the online black market”.
It didn’t have a description or any words in the body of the email at all. It simply contained another web link that looked, unlike any other web address I had ever seen before. The subject line simply read, “The answer.” What appeared next on my computer screen was something that I would have never expected in a million years. It could only be described as being similar to a Craigslist ad that listed a human heart and the pricing and certain details and specifications that I’d never be at liberty to say to another living soul.
I was tense in the middle of the night with only my computer screen to illuminate my glasses as Dana slept peacefully beside me on the floor. She didn’t know that I was going to die. And, I didn’t have the heart to tell her. Literally. I sat back in my black ergonomic chair and sighed heavily as tears began to sting my eyes. Why was I crying? Was this what the world was coming to? If the person is already dead, is this considered to still be immoral? I didn’t know. I could live asking myself that every day or die never knowing. I couldn’t do it.
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