As Britney watched Anthony worry about her, she couldn’t believe this was happening. He looked so small as he returned to his seat. She had watched the encounter with the nurse from where she had been sitting, yet somehow she had heard the entire conversation as if she had been standing beside him the whole time. This had to be a dream. This was not humanly possible. She put her hand on his arm. She wanted him to know that she was there. Perhaps the touch of him could wake her from this dream.
“Anthony I am here, I am here with you.” She whispered in his ear. Anthony shivered, and she wondered if he had heard her. His face was wrapped with fear. How could she make him understand? And most importantly how could she wake up from this nightmare? She got up from beside him and floated over to the nurse at the admitting desk. She thought, that poor woman, what a job to have to deal with all of these grief-stricken people all day. She had to be a pretty tough lady. She floated behind the desk next to where the nurse was sitting and looked at the computer screen in front of her. It was a blank screen. Britney couldn’t see anything on it. Britney saw pictures of children and a wedding photo beside the screen. What a great life, to have all of that love surrounding you. This would be how the nurse handled all the stress and sadness keeping her memories of her happy family close to her, because with the kind of love in those pictures you could surely get through anything.
Britney floated back into the main emergency room leaving Anthony to sit in the chair and the nurse to her duties. She floated back through the curtain that held the room, where was on a gurney and all of those noisy machines were working hard. The doctors and nurses were still working on her. It was as if time had almost stood still while she had been away. It did not appear they were making progress as the machines had not slowed and the doctors and nurses appeared almost panicked. The thought of watching this for much longer was not appearing. She decided to take advantage of her dream and see how far her floating ability would take her. She wanted that chance to be a fly on a wall, she had to try.
“Where is she? Where is Britney?”
“Sir, please, I need you to calm down. Please spell her last name for me again.”
“Are you kidding me? I have already spelled it for you three times. It is Henson H-E-N-S-O-N. And my name is Anthony Jones J-O-N-E-S. I have the paperwork right here that give you permission to speak with me. She just came in from a car accident.”
“Yes I see here. Sir, she is currently with the doctors and I do not have an update for you. I will let them know that you are here and they will come and get you when they are ready for you.”
“I want to see her. I want to know that she is ok. I want to know what is going on.”
“I will ask someone to come out and speak with you just as soon as I can. Right now they are helping her. Please have a seat.”
Anthony walked away from the counter. He didn’t understand why no one would tell him what was going on. His was the last number dialed in her cell phone and was saved as her ‘in case of emergency’ number and they had called him to check about next of kin. The thoughts had instantly started running through his head. Why did they need next of kin? What exactly had happened to her? She had been fine this morning. She was not exactly speaking to him, but that wasn’t anything unusual. They had been fighting a lot lately, and they had been talking about needing space. But he didn’t mean it. At least he didn’t think he did. Not knowing if she was ok and not knowing if he was going to see her again had him more scared than he had ever been in his whole life. After he got the call about the accident he had grabbed their medical paperwork, neither of them had family close and they had appointed each other for medical decisions long ago.
He sat in a chair in the waiting room. He was surrounded by kids coughing and adults who looked drugged. He hated the hospital. He had not been in a hospital in years and had wanted to keep it that way. A sudden twinge of guilt crept over him as he thought that he had almost not answered the call on his cell phone when he saw the number. He thought it was her. He thought she was calling to continue their fight from earlier that morning and he just couldn’t fight anymore. He just wanted to be done. He wanted them to be able to love as they had loved in the beginning; back when she had needed him, and most importantly had wanted him. Now he didn’t know where he fit into her life. She had her friends, her work, and her dreams for the future that didn’t seem to include him when she talked about them. So where did he fit and did he even fit at all? He looked at the double doors behind the counter where he just stood and worried about what was happening and if he would see her face again. Maybe one more fight wouldn’t be so bad.
Who was he kidding? If she was ok, he wouldn’t ever fight with her again. He would just let her have the future she wanted and try to support her in any way he could. She was the love of his life.