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