inspired from the song by One Republic
Fluorescent lights hit her face like the spotlight once did. She looked up at him with a labored breath and a smile. He reciprocated with a weak grin. The last three months had hit him like thirty years, as shown by the grey hair and stress lines around his eyes. She was colored with patience and undeserved hope.
The hospital gown that she was swaddled in scratched her thin skin and she moved in irritation now. He reached out for her hand and gently cradled it in his. The other hand stroked her wasted cheek, and pulled playfully on the colorful scarf that cloaked her now hairless head. She grinned and looked down. If she had had the strength she would have been blushing. He remembered her blushes and tears began to form behind the worry lines. She reached up with her frail hand and brushed away a fading droplet.
He had been through all the emotions: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Denial, and now Acceptance. His love was going to leave this world, ripped apart by the cruel fate of her own body, trapped in a cold hospital, her beautiful feet unable to feel the freedom of movement and music, her elegant hands shriveled and achy.
Words meant nothing to them now, as they sat in blissful silence. He had tried time and again to tell her how much she meant to him, how much he loved her, but every time a sentence formed in his mind, it never quite measured up to the authentic love he wanted to express. One day, he had told himself; one day I’ll know what to say.
She had known the word she needed to say since she herself had accepted what her body was doing to her. She knew what she needed to tell him, and had tried time and again, but he was unwilling to accept her word. One day, she had told herself; one day I’ll tell him.
So they sat in silence, knowing that today would have to be the day. This moment would have to be the moment. She opened her mouth first.
“I need to tell you something,” She began
He held up his hand, “I need to say something first.” She grinned and allowed him to proceed.
“My whole life has been a failure. I have left you down over and over. I don’t believe there is one thing in my life I am proud of… but you and me, we’re alright. You and me and what I am really proud of. So I don’t want to say our goodbyes, it’s better that way. We won’t break, we won’t die. This is only a moment of change. All we are is everything that’s right.” He let the tears run uninhibited down his cheeks and bent down to kiss her gently on the hand he still held onto.
She pressed her lips together, willing to give him this one thing, having taken everything else from him. She breathed with him holding her, until her breathing took more energy than she had. With one final effort she lifted her hand to his cheek once more, and whispered one word to her love.