Good Bye!

21 Jul

Good Bye

As Helen lay motionless in her hospital bed, Walter sat by her side with her slender lifeless hand in his. This scene has repeated itself for the better part of the last year. Helen had a slip in the shower and has been in a coma ever since. Walter holds out hope that she will wake up but deep down he knows the chances are slim. Walter hadn´t told Helen he loved her before the accident for such a long time that he cannot even recall the last time. This regret grinds in his heart.

Sitting in a silent hospital room with the woman he has shared the vast majority of his life has been somewhat of a medidative experience. Memories have come up that he hasn´t thought about since the event occurred. The actual occurances may be slightly curved by the glass of time but to him they happened exactly as he remembered them.

He remembers before shipping off to Europe, the nights they spent trying to be in each other’s company for each moment possible. They would go to the dankest bars as they were the only establishments open into the late hours. Neither drank a drop of alcohol. They just sat in a corner, hands stacked on top of one another regaling each other with stories of the few years they had been on the planet. Now that they have lived many more years and have many more stories to tell, he would give anything to be able to sit in the corner of a dark smokey bar and relive them with Helen.

Like clockwork the nurse comes in to change Helen´s bed clothes. Walter can´t help but feel the pity emanating from her. They have their usual small talk. Then Walter, very uncharacteristically, goes into the story of their wedding day. Although the nurse had a lot of work to do, she was enthralled by Walter´s recollection of this grand, beautiful day. Twenty minutes later, Walter realizes that he was holding her up, apologizes and sends her on her way. The nurse assured him he need not apologize and tried to hide the fact that tears were falling down her cheeks.

The next day, the same thing happened. The nurse came in for her usual checkups and tidying, small talk was exchanged and Walter regaled her with the story of when he returned from the war and how he and Helen celebrated being in each other´s company after such a long, arduous time apart. Once again, the nurse unsuccessfully tried to mask her tears and went ahead with her rounds.

This repeated itself for the good part of a month. The nurse would come in to do her job and it got to the point she would expect a story. She even kept extra tissues in her waist pockets. Walter started to look forward to the nurse´s visits.

One day, Walter checked his watch. It was around a half hour until the scheduled nurse visit. As he sat in his medidative state, reliving years gone by, Helen´s head turned towards him. Walter almost fell out of his chair. This was the first movement of Helen, by Helen since the accident. The slightest smile came to her face. Her cloudy eyes cleared for a moment and they pierced those of Walter. She stared mouthing something inaudibly. Walter put his ear to her mouth to hear what she was saying. There was no sound.

Walter knew this was his last chance. He looked into her clear, blue eyes and said “Helen, you are my everything. You gave me three great sons. You made a beautiful home for us. Without you, I don´t know how I could have had a happier life” he saw her eyes clouding again, he continued though the words were breaking up in his throat “Helen, I love you. I always loved you. I will always love you. I´m so sorry I didn´t tell you more often. I´m so…..” The machine Helen was hooked up to let out a piercing beep.

Walter could barely make her out through the tears; the nurse who he told his stories to ran in. “Walter, please go into the hall” she said, sternly but with care and love in her voice.

“But….” Walter resisted.

“Please” she answered. Walter acquiesced.

As he stood in the hall, his legs were so weak he could not stand. Not even after the biggest atrocities he saw in Europe did he cry with such force. Between sobs, he cried to the heavens how much he loved Helen in hopes that her spirit would hear him.

The nurse came into the hall and gave Walter the bad news. Helen was gone. All Walter could think was that he was soon to follow. He felt some relief in knowing that Helen left him knowing how much he loved her.

12 Responses to “Good Bye!”

  1. Priceless Joy July 21, 2015 at 9:25 pm #

    What a sad but heart felt story! Wonderful Ryan!

    • Ryan July 21, 2015 at 9:26 pm #

      Thank you very much. I have no idea where that came from! I kind of liked it though. It made me feel something while writing it so I hope that comes through!

      • Priceless Joy July 21, 2015 at 9:30 pm #

        It was very sweet! It reminded me of my aunt and uncle. Except my aunt didn’t go into a coma, she got Dementia and had to go into a nursing home. Those two were always so much in love with each other. Always holding hands. Cute couple.

      • Ryan July 21, 2015 at 9:34 pm #

        Unfortunately “cute couples” are getting harder to find as the years churn on.

      • Priceless Joy July 21, 2015 at 9:34 pm #

        That is so very true!

  2. Susanne July 21, 2015 at 9:32 pm #

    Thank goodness he had the chance to tell Helen before she died. Now, Ryan, what’s up with the nurse?

    • Ryan July 21, 2015 at 9:35 pm #

      You felt that too???? But really, she was just to hear the stories that Walter wanted to tell Helen but couldn´t. Thanks for reading it!

  3. Bruce Goodman July 22, 2015 at 5:37 pm #

    That was beautiful, thanks.

    • Ryan July 22, 2015 at 6:25 pm #

      No man, thank you. In a broader, cosmic way, it’s a happy ending.

  4. subhmohanty August 26, 2015 at 1:50 pm #

    Hearttouching..almost had tears..superb writing

    • Ryan August 28, 2015 at 1:58 pm #

      Thanks my friend. You always are so kind to me.

      • subhmohanty August 28, 2015 at 2:30 pm #

        Thanks but my appreciation is with a strong reason , your stories really move me 🙂

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