Romantic Monday – Side by Side

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She laid her forehead on his cool hand on the hospital bed. A monitor emitted a steady beep as multi-colored lines flowed across the screen in undulating waves. A multitude of tangled lines and tubes delivered or removed fluids – she didn’t even know what most of them were or did. She didn’t really want to know.  The hours since the phone call notifying her of his accident were a blur of tests and procedures, with doctors and nurses swarming detailing the verdict:  head, chest and lung injuries, various broken bones.  In the last hours his condition had stabilized and it was quiet at last.

She stood and leaned over him, her mouth next to his ear. “It’s Valentine’s Day” she whispered.

His finger, the one with the oxygen monitor, twitched once – barely noticeable.

“I’m going to stay tonight. I’ll sleep right here in the chair”.

His finger twitched twice.  The agreed upon sign for “no”.

“We’ve never been apart on Valentine’s Day. I’m staying. The chair will be fine.”

Again, his finger twitched twice.

“You want me to go?”

Two twitches.

“The chair, then?”

Again he signaled no.

She stared at his barely recognizable form – his bandaged head, the breathing tube protruding from his mouth. His body – the one she had loved for so many years – was covered with bruises, abrasions and bandages.  She remembered their first Valentine’s Day together so many years ago. It was the first time she had slept beside him on his narrow bed in his rented room. The monitor beeped.

Two twitches.

She slipped her shoes off and readjusted the tubes and wires. She slid onto the small bed beside him, perching perilously on the edge. She took his hand in hers.

“I love you,” she said. “Is this better?”

One twitch.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

This is yet another offering in “Romantic Monday” over at Edward Hotspur’s place.  Check it out.

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25 Comments

Filed under General Mumblings, Uncategorized

25 responses to “Romantic Monday – Side by Side

  1. Oh, this made me tear up, Katy. Your words were so vivid and lovely.

    • I am glad you liked it…I think that romance isn’t about glossy cards, and flowers, and chocolate (okay, I lied there – it is about the chocolate) but rather about the tender expressions in everyday life or, or more poignant yet, in times of crisis. When you are a nurse, you see people grinding through the worst imaginable circumstances.

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  3. My cynicysm got to me and after the story stopped, she stole the sheets off his bruised and broken body.

  4. Great! Thanks for making me sob into my morning coffee! I don’t know if yours is a true story, but years ago when I was working as floor secretary in the local hospital this happened. Wasn’t Valentines Day but no matter. Actually it happens a lot more than people realize…

    • Oh, Kathy – didn’t mean to make anyone cry. I don’t know why but that scene popped into my head last night. I’ve seen many loved ones lie down on the hospital bed with a patient. You’re right, it does happen more than most people realize – but it so calming to patients…

  5. Fabulous. I love that something as ‘small’ as those simple twitches can represent something so big.

    • When I worked in Neuro Intensive Care Unit, some patients – especially those with breathing tubes had to develop signals such as blinking or tapping a finger to communicate Made it hard, sometimes, to figure out what a patient wanted or needed, but most people could get a point across if the nurse worked at it. Many times that little movement brought so much hope to family members.

  6. Awww. What a sweet start to my week – thanks, Katy!

  7. Beautiful and poignant and sad. The human spirit, to live and love, is indeed a powerful force. Well said!

  8. You’ve done it again, Katy. Just beautiful.

  9. How do you make the unromantic so completely romantic? You are a gifted writer, Katie! 🙂

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  12. This is a really beautiful story and it shows how true love surpasses the physical realm.

    The thing that bothers me most about the ‘holiday’ that is Valentines day is how it’s hyped up so much to where if you are not hooked up on that day, then somehow it means you’re not loved. In that way, they’re saying, it’s not good enough to be adored and loved 364 days of the year, it’s got to be manifested on that one day.

    And, really all those are just false assumptions. Real love exists day in and day out, year round. Just like the people in this story and doesn’t depend on candied sentiments or special Valentines day dinners or whatever.

    Real love is proof in and of itself. You don’t need a special day to celebrate love; when it’s real, just any day will do. c:

    Beverly

  13. This made me cry. :3 Love it. Thanks. ^___^

  14. Short and absolutely touches the heart! x

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