All I Ever Wanted
The place smelled of death. Slow rotting, antiseptic death. It was there, underneath the smells of bleach, sanitizer, and the squeaky rubber aroma of the nurses' orthopedic shoes. It permeated the place, underlying the offered lonely peace of the hospital bed. A peace belayed by the beeps of machinery and the sounds of respirators pumping oxygen into so many people who still clung to this precious life. Their time trickling away as they watched re-runs of Dr. Phil in the fading moments of a life well wasted.
In the time that we had left I had tried to cut those distractions away, the only sensation I wanted was the feel of her hand in mind, as we brushed each others fingers softly. She looked at me, tears in her eyes and I tried to smile through the lump in my throat. We didn't need words or sounds, just that soft touch, just the feel of her hand in mine. The knowlege of a life shared, of a dream come true. Of a dream that was soon to end.
She opened her mouth to speak but I softly shook my head no. Words couldn't come to me, not in that moment, not in this place. I closed my eyes and squeezed her hand tighter. I didnt want my last vision of her to be in this place. I wanted to remember her the way I do in my dreams. I wanted to remember that first day I saw her in school, holding her books and laughing at something someone had said. Her shy nod yes the first time I asked her out. The taste of her lips when we first kissed. The day she agreed to marry me. I wanted to remember her from everyday in our life. From every morning she woke, till every night when she slept. I wanted everyday... but not today.
I licked my lips and reached for my own words. How could I sum up everything this woman had meant to me? How could I put into words the meaning her life has had in mine? What do you tell the meaning of life?
I lifted her hand to my cheek slowly, nuzzling it every so gently. Weakness and time had wrought it's toll and life faded with each passing second. I tired to impart with touch what I couldn't with words. To put a lifetime of memories and love into each caress. I couldn't find my voice, but I hoped she heard my message.
We stayed like that a long time. I knew the end was close, creeping upon us. I could feel it coming, I knew our time was almost over. I tried to feel her hand, to let her know I was still here, but my limbs felt numb. I opened my mouth to speak but my voice had already failed me. The only thing that escaped my lips was one last breath, slow and drawn out, the last moments of my life leaving my body.
I wanted to stay with her. It was all I had ever wanted.
End of Line.