a/n: This will be a series of short stories (if that's what they're called), inspired by the things I see in life. And no, they're not related to one another.

This one is inspired by an entry I found on givesmehope. :)


#1: When one day isn't enough;

"Like a rainbow, fading in the twinkling of an eye… Gone too soon."

--- Gone Too Soon, Michael Jackson.


A young volunteer at a local hospital was allowed to leave for home after her shift ended.

She took her time wandering around the hospital, passing by one ward after another and greeting each patient she meets on the way. She stopped by at one of the vending machines to get a soda, and was just about to enter the lift when her eyes landed on an old couple in one of the hospital wards. The man was sitting in a chair, and he was holding his wife's hand on the bed, gripping it like he was never going to let go, while his other hand was holding an open book.

Out of curiosity, the young volunteer edged closer to the room. Her heart ached at the sight of the wife, who looked pale and powerless, yet her lips were tilted upwards, and she eventually broke out into a quiet sort of laughter when her husband said something. It took the young volunteer only a heartbeat to realize that the old man was reading a story to his wife, his voice full of animation and emotions that reminded her of her late father. She smiled and leaned against the back of the door, thinking that it probably wouldn't hurt to stay for just a little while more.

--

When Martin finally read the last words from the page and puts the book back on the table, Emma stroked his hands softly with her thumb, "That was great, love. You are the best story teller I've ever seen."

He chuckled and pressed an affectionate kiss to her forehead, "Honey, I'm the only story teller you've ever met."

"And I'd have it no other way."

"I know."

They shared a long stare, his blue eyes melting her brown orbs, and for a few minutes they allowed silence to embrace them.

He was the first one to speak, "You're going to be just fine, Emmy. The doctor said so."

She rolled her eyes even though he told her not to do that; rolling it would only make her dizzy.

Very true.

"Bullshit, Marty." She mumbled, calling his bluff.

He smiled, his wrinkles telling the world his age and worries. He hasn't been sleeping well for the past few days; he's been busy making sure that she stays here, both physically and mentally. But all these late night watches were starting to take a toll on him, she could tell. She held his hand tightly, or at least as tight as she could manage. Her eyes were fixed on the love of her life, her man, her friend, her sweet, sweet lullaby.

"I'm leaving soon, Martin." She whispered, her eyes filling up with tears once more. She hated saying this to him, hated hurting him this way, hated the idea of having to leave.

He shook his head, "I'm not letting you."

"The doctor said I don't have much longer to live."

"We'll prove him wrong." His voice was defiant, strong. As was his heart.

"Don't be foolish." Don't make my heart ache more than it does now.

"We're the ones who decide what happens for ourselves."

"You don't have a choice, Martin. Please. I'm sorry. I don't get another chance to live." She argued, her voice quivering with each syllable. Her hands were shaking, so were his. "Sweetheart, sometimes people just… run out of chances."

"Don't say that."

"It's the truth."

"Then let's run away from the truth for a while." He wiped away his tears, and then pressed a thumb on the side of her eyes to stop hers. He cut her off when she was about to fight back, "Shhh. You're gonna be alright, baby. You're gonna be just fine."

It felt more like he was trying to convince himself.

"Mm." She played along, too tired to argue any further. Then, she sighed, "I'm sorry for leaving so soon, baby... I'm so sorry." Her voice broke.

"Shhh..." He reached forward to hug her and they stayed like that for a while, rocking to a slow, comfortable rhythm. They cried for a while in each other's arms. Martin used to be embarrassed of crying in front of her but for the last few years they cried together almost every day that crying seemed something so natural.

It's nothing to be embarrassed about, she told him once when she saw him brushing away his tears with his back facing her. You shouldn't be embarrassed with your emotions.

"Promise you won't waste your last years missing me when I'm gone, Marty?"

Martin managed to smile through his tears. His wife has always been like that. Selfless. Too selfless. Sometimes to the point of stupidity but of course he would rather die than to tell her that.

"Sure. Promise you won't blame me when I break it?"

"Martin." She warned, but he could detect a hint of a smile. He released her from his hold and kissed her softly, remembering all the contours of her face, every freckle, every line.

"You're so beautiful." He murmured, "They shouldn't take away something so gorgeous from me. It's not fair."

"No one will take me away from you, Martin." She reached up to cup his face for a moment before she lost her strength and had to lie still again. When she regained that big of strength she patted his chest, "I'm always here, Martin. Just know that whenever you need me, or you miss me, I'll be right here. I'll be listening. Now and always. I love you, Martin. So, so much."

He kissed her lips, too overwhelmed with emotions to speak. He didn't have to, anyway. They both knew what he was going to say.

"I love you. I love you with every breath I take. Now and forever."

--

A young volunteer who has been listening to their conversation for the past two hours behind the door, felt her heart shattering to the floor for the old couple who deserved more than just one more day.


a/n: Uh, surprise? :)

I'm sorry for disappearing for so long. Writers block. Ehe. But thanks for reviewing all my other stories and PM-ing me and all that, darlings! You people are wonderful. :)

There are more short pieces coming up but do tell me watcha thought of this one, okay?

Much love,

found . eventually

p/s: Happy Valentines, y'all!

p.p/s: I think I was nominated on SKoW for the Best One-Shot. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for nominating. It made my day!