Editor’s Choice: Love Short Story
The doctor said some things about the walls of my heart being too weak and the stress in my life and other medical jargon that was way beyond what I could ever understand. From what I could make into simpler terms, I had a broken heart.
There was too much white and the noise in the corridors was disturbing. My room was absolutely silent, broken only by the machines. I could barely move, tubes and cords pinning me to my bed. The ache in my heart was deathlike, from both the surgery as well the desertion.
Lying cold and alone in a hospital bed, I realized the one most important thing in life- happiness was overrated. Some people found it in the simplicities of life while others found it in others. I on the other hand had given up on finding the elusive enigma.
My bedside was empty, no flowers or anything of sentimental value- adding only to the throbbing pain. I looked around, finding a will to go on.
And there it was.
Standing at my door was a very charming person. His forehead was covered with bandage and his brown hair fell softly on it. He knocked at my door with his one good hand- the other was fractured.
All this was unreal- his angel like appearance at my doorstep and the perfect timing. This was all I needed.
But there was just one problem- I did not know who he was.
“Hello there,” he said with the most warm smile.
“Hi,” I managed to say. “Are you lost?”
“No, not really.”
“Then why are you here?”
“I don’t know,” he chuckled.
“Are you sure you’re not from the psych ward?”
“Haha, no,” He entered the room, bringing with him a completely new atmosphere- one that was not sickly. “Do you mind if I?”
“Oh, no. Not at all.”
There was an awkward silence in between. My heart was beating too hard, to an extent that he could probably hear it.
“Uh, I do not know you. Are you Sid’s relative?” I asked.
“No,” He quickly replied. “Is he your husband?”
The meter measuring my pulse started to ring and the pain returned.
“I am so sorry,” He apologized.
“It’s okay. He was just nobody.”
I felt a tear well up and a sob in my throat which I managed to swallow.
“So, why are you here?” I asked him.
“Oh, I was just, uh, in an accident. Bad driving, that’s all.”
“You know, I really appreciate you talking to me.” I said. “I just don’t understand who sent you.”
“I…” His reply was cut off by the ward attendant.
“Hey, visiting hours are over! Please leave,” the attendant said and waited till he left.
“I… Never mind,” he said and left.
In the darkness of my room that night, I felt a ray of hope. That somehow, I could finally pick up the pieces and do something in my life. I felt extremely silly to not ask his name. I wondered if he would come back again tomorrow. And the wish was sincere.
But he didn’t.
I spent the whole day waiting and asking if anyone was awaiting me. None. But he returned in four days, much to my relief.
I was in thoughts when I heard his voice from the threshold.
“Good morning,” He said, with his contagious smile.
“Good morning,” I replied, in an attempt to mask my excitement.
“I’m sorry I could not come the next few days.”
“It’s okay. I was not expecting you,” I bit my lip, regretting my reply.
“Uh, is your wife here?”
“No, she died three years ago.”
“I’m sorry for asking.”
“So why are you here today? Another accident, I suppose.”
“Ah, no. It’s my son. He is very sick.”
We spent a few hours talking about his work and my soon-to-be homelessness. The warmth of his words was just what I needed for survival.
“I guess, I’ll see you tomorrow?” He asked me as he prepared to leave.
“Sure,” I replied.
“Good night,” He said and rested his hand atop mine. I flinched and he drew back. He hastily left.
His name was Jimmy, which I finally came to know. He was a freelance photographer and so he travelled a lot. He usually told me stories about the places he had been to and his experiences there. He also told me how he met his wife one wintry night in a foreign country during one of his trips. I was happy to know that he loved his wife very much, even after her death. It made him shine so much more in my eyes.
The next day, my doctor told me that I was making steady progress. It was some good news and I was told that I would soon be able to leave the hospital.
My therapies started a week later and I was soon able to move around. One day, while my walking session, I saw Jimmy in the corridor. I was going to call out to him but he seemed to be talking to someone. He was standing outside a patient’s room, terribly upset. The doctor said something and I saw him break down right there. Before he could notice me, I returned to my room.
I was hesitant to ask about it the next time we met.
“You know, I can leave in a few weeks,” I said.
“That is good,” He replied. I could see the sadness in his face still.
“Uh, you look disturbed. Everything okay?”
I waited for a moment and then looked at him.
“I saw you outside with the doctor. You are not okay,” I said and waited for him to speak.
“It’s my son,” His voice became heavy. “He has leukaemia.”
I saw the light leave his face and everything around him just falling apart. I saw tears fill his eyes and then the same suffocating him.
“He is all I have, you know?” He said, past his tears.
I could not say a word.
“He is just so young. And now his body is slowly dying. His organs will stop working and his breathing will stop. I’ll lose him.”
My heart broke. Just like that. My strengthening heart lost all balance and came crashing down.
That day, he talked and I just listened. He loved his son more than anything. And it was not fair to him.
The next morning, a decree came to me stating that my husband was taking over everything I had. He declared me insane. And left me penniless. I had anger bubbling in me which I could not contain and stripped myself of my cords and walked down the corridors of the hospital. I was soon restrained to my bed, accusing me of escaping.
“I am not insane!” I yelled and screamed and they just looked at me. “I am not.”
I was in my solitary room when Jimmy arrived. I had my back to him and I did not want to converse with anyone.
“So, you think I am crazy too?” I asked.
“No, you seem to be the only sane one here.”
“Hey,” he said and turned me around. “I’m not lying.”
“It seems you don’t really want to talk. Fine, I’ll leave.”
“Yes, leave,” I said and turned around again to hide the tears that were about to flow.
Just before leaving, he said, “You know, I just happened to meet you by accident. And I am so happy I did. I just want you to know that.”
That night, I took a very difficult decision. It came down easy but convincing the doctors was the difficult part.
Jimmy came around the next day and I had left him a letter.
I know we’ve been the most unusual of friends and it is crazy how. You might be wondering where I am right now. Well, I am doing something good with my life. Remember how useless I told you I’ve been all my life? I think I am going to change that now.
I asked my doctor if he could do me a few tests. And somehow, in the very hope, it seems to be matching your son’s. I know you’d say that it was insane of me to do so but it is for the best. You said to me that your son is dying and also that he needs new organs. Talking of doing something with my life, I am giving up myself to a bigger cause.
And I know this will help you and your little boy.
I don’t know if you will hate me or love me for doing this. I somehow don’t care. All I care about is your son and your affections for him. It is wrong for him to die while I live a worthless life. This means so much to me.
You came into my life and helped me find what I had been looking for.
With lots of love