I’d never been so fraught with terror in my life.
At that moment, when your body jerked, when your eyes rolled in your head, when your breath jolted and your skin paled to a deathly cast – that moment when you’d left me briefly – I knew nothing else mattered. Only you.
We had spent that entire day silent. I had been upset, moping about our past: touches without affection, shallow exchanges of feeling, the canyon of distance between two minds and hearts.
I had been making you relive my misery with me.
And all I should have been doing…all I should ever do…is let us revel in our present, let us walk towards our futures.
I had followed the ambulance as quickly as I could, but hadn’t arrived in enough time to see the EMTs cart you into the building.
Now, I wait on a bed of nails hoping that you don’t seize again.
This hospital waiting room is pieced together like cardboard. The single generator fills the whole room with its obnoxious ‘humm’. But it doesn’t mask the sobs of one Chicano family as they shuffle past me out the double doors. It doesn’t deflate my anxiety, which is pressing out on these cardboard walls like a ready-to-burst balloon.
‘Heal him quickly. Please.’ My eyes close as my chest relieves some pressure with a sigh. Clarity:
Fuck reliving the pain of our shared past; all that matters – all that will ever matter – is our shared present and, whether spent together or apart, our futures.
‘Hello, ma’am? You can come back now.’
My tentative steps echo in the empty corridors of my hopes. I trail past inquisitive eyes of nurses towards a small sterile room in the back.
And then the door opens and my sights land on the figure sitting up in bed, smiling to see me. All I do, all I ever want to do, is smile back.