It's been a while since I wrote something. Actually, it's just been a while since I wrote something and finished it. Second semester was even crazier than the first, but I think I've got college figured out now, at least I hope I do.
This was originally supposed to be a happy one shot, but I wrote the first line after it slammed into my head and it kind of morphed into a tragic love story that is based, once again, on a song. I blame my sister for introducing me to the band, or I never would have heard this song. And once again, thanks to my beta, prehistoric-girl, for helping with the small details/mistakes.
It's like a moment out of time; one where you can see what's happening to you, but you're not in your own body. It seems so surreal, never a possible scenario out of the many that crossed your mind. Every situation, every circumstance that you imagined, that you wanted, was suddenly tossed to the wind as you listened to the words on the other end of the line.
Just a few hours ago your world was perfect. You were wearing comfortable clothes and waiting on him to come home. You cooked a simple dinner, spaghetti and meatballs because you know he secretly loves your homemade sauce, but as the hands on the clock slowly ticked past the 8 o'clock hour, your dinner lost its heat and worry eased its way into the back of your head. You absent-mindedly play with the small ring on your left hand as you call friends and ignore that nagging feeling when they tell you he is not with them and they were under the impression he was supposed to be home with you.
You're reluctantly putting the food into containers when the telephone rings and you rush to the phone so quickly you fear you might crash into the counter in the process. You say his name as you answer the phone, hoping that it is him on the other end and there's some explanation that would ease your mind. Instead, you hear a voice on the line that is unfamiliar and strangely robotic, asking you to confirm your identity. You mutter a "yes" and the worry slaps you in the face as you are told that you need to come down to the hospital, something has happened to your fiancé. Without thought, you grab the car keys and drive to the hospital, barely remembering to slip into a pair of boots. The night is cool, but there's a jacket in your backseat and you slip it on haphazardly as you get out of the car and practically run through the doors.
Everything seems strange as a nurse leads you to his room, explaining along the way what happened. You only manage to hear the words "car accident" and "critical condition" as you walk through what seems like a maze, your own thoughts too powerful for the young woman's voice to penetrate.
Suddenly, she stops and your heart speeds up as she looks at you with what looks to be sorrow. She seems to know something that you don't, or maybe she has already told you and you just didn't hear her through your panic. She leaves it up to you on whether or not you want to enter the room, and you have to concentrate all your strength on turning the door knob and pushing it because your body seems to be frozen with fear.
The sight before you tests your strength as you fight to keep a straight face. The man who you know to be strong and fearless is lying in a stark white bed, hooked up to numerous machines and looking so out of place that you think this has to be a dream, a horrible dream that you'll wake up from soon, because if you don't, you might not survive the outcome of this visit.
The nurse leaves you as you slowly make your way to his bedside. The steady beeping in the room should comfort you, tell you that he's alive, but something within you tells you that the beep is too slow. His hand is the first thing you grab and he turns his head to flash you his trademark smile, but it doesn't reach his eyes and you can tell that a part of him, however small, has already given up.
When a doctor comes in and asks that you join him outside, you follow him with fear in your gut. You listen and bite your tongue to keep from crying as the doctor tells you that your fiancé's injuries are too severe, that he won't make it through the night. Something about a head injury combined with numerous fatal internal injuries, the doctor mumbles that he shouldn't even be alive right now. Tears threaten to fall from the dam you created the moment you stepped into his hospital room as you realize that you will never have a wedding with your beloved, that the children you both fantasized about in the dark of night are now only figments of your imaginations. You feel yourself nod as the doctor places his hand on your shoulder. He is an older doctor, one who has probably seen this situation play out too many times for his liking, and knows all too well the fragile state of your mind at this moment.
You gather your strength and ask the doctor to help you with something, something that might make this night be a little better. He smiles sadly and while he goes in search of the chaplain, you venture next door. Earlier you had noticed an elderly couple in the room, obviously happily married for many years, but at the moment it had not been deemed important. Now, you manage to explain the situation and ask to borrow their wedding rings without breaking down into a fit of tears, something you think is remarkable considering the pressure in your throat and head from fighting to keep them in. They agree and ask to be witnesses, a fact that comforts you for some unknown reason.
You try not to notice that the older couple follows you to his room while holding hands, something you can only do for a few more hours at most. The chaplain walks into the room as you explain to your fiancé that you want to get married right here, right now, because you just can't wait any longer to be his in every way. He smiles and the chaplain begins the ceremony with the doctor, the elderly couple, and his nurse as the sole witnesses. You don't care that you are getting married in every-day clothes or that he is attached to machines or that you are getting married while surrounded by strangers. All you can think of right now is that you are finally going to be his, and he will be yours, and you have never felt happier. You state this in your vows, along with a promise of forever, and your smile has never been bigger as you slip the ring onto his finger.
It's after the ring is resting on his finger that your heart begins to feel heavy. You notice that the beeping has gotten even slower than when you first walked in, and his breathing is labored, shallow, his face nearly as pale as the sheets he lays on. You glance over at the nurse and see that she is trying but failing to hide her tears as it dawns on the young woman what is happening. The doctor looks sympathetic and gives a small smile with a nod toward your almost-husband, signaling that you need to finish this, and fast. Swallowing what feels like a rock, you turn back to him and squeeze his hand even tighter, needing to feel him close to you. The chaplain's voice is low as he asks your beloved to say his vows, and it's with some God-like power that you don't fall to the floor as his voice fills the air, slow and raspy, but determined, as he promises you an eternity of love from wherever he may be. He slowly slips the ring onto your finger and you feel a tear slide down your cheek as you lean down and kiss his lips ever so gently.
It's with a breaking heart that you realize his lips are cooler than usual and you want nothing more than to have the ability to breathe life into him, to have the ability to give him your breath and have him live. You pull away slightly and a sob breaks through your mouth as you realize that you can't feel his breath anymore and there is a steady monotone beep filling the air. A small smile graces his face however, and even though it breaks your heart, you're glad his last moment alive was as your husband.
I highly recommend listening to the song "Forever and Always" by Parachute if you liked the story, it's really a beautiful song. Until next time!