Come What May
The plastic cup fell to the floor as my hand limped to the side of the bed. Sanitized water spilled across the white tiles, first just under the bedside table, then seeping through the couch. I groaned in frustration.
He stood up, putting down the magazine he had been pretending to read. He tore off a couple of pages out and laid them across the spill. In only a second, he was beside me, picking up the dropped cup and gently putting it back on the table, beside the brown and green and yellow bottles.
He made to return to his seat, but just as he slightly turned, I saw a crescent of hesitation across his back. He swallowed an awkward laugh as he turned fully towards me. He put one hand above my head, the other resting at the bars at the side of the stretcher.
His eyes had dark circles around them, his shirt mustard stains. He smelled like someone refusing to leave a hospital room for days. As his hand caressed my bald head, the one image I focused on was how well his eyes refused to waver, as if tears were forbidden to flow.
I tasted something salty as one of mine fell. I forced my hand to inch its way up the bed bars to meet his; before it was even close, he picked it up, moved it to his lips, and kissed it. Deep inside, I burned. It was warm cozy feeling that soon became the flames of pain. My eyes clenched and a guttural noise escaped my lips.
I let go of his hand as I attempted to clench the agony away, as if by shouting it, it were to release itself out of my mouth, evaporating as wisps dancing in the air. But it wasn’t the pain that was coming out. Something else was travelling down my throat, filling my mouth. I clenched my cheeks, willing it to go back down.
But, as I opened my mouth, he had the bucket ready under me. He cradled my head up, rubbing my back. Everything inside me was going out, mixtures of blood and vomit, and he never wavered. One knee on the bed, he was helping it all go away.
After it all came out, I was left out of breath. He patted me on the shoulders and slowly made me recline. As he took the bucket and prepared to dump it out the washroom for the twentieth time, I grabbed his wrist.
His face was turned away from me.
“I’m sorry,” I feebly whispered.
He gently took the hand that was grabbing his wrist. “What for?”
“That I’m making you start to look like shit.”
He laughed and turned towards me. His face went all serious and he leaned down to whisper something to my ear. He paused, then quickly kissed me. And, once again, I tasted something salty as one teardrop fell from his eye to my cheek.
He turned to dump out the vomit at the washroom. I stared at the lightbulb, his last whisper echoing all over the room.
Thank you for making me realize how much I love you.
This is the 100 Songs Project, a 100-day writing challenge based on AFI’s 100 Years…100 Songs. Every day, I write a short poem, prose piece, or play based on, reacting to, rejecting, accepting, or doing something related to one of the songs in the top 100 list.
Please consider liking Deelaytful on Facebook. We’re doing a promotion in preparation for the 200th post in a couple of weeks. If we get 500 likes before the 200th post, I will be uploading a video of myself singing a medley of Disney Princesses songs on YouTube.
- (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life (deelaytful.com)
- Buttons and Bows (deelaytful.com)
- Do, Re, Mi (deelaytful.com)