By: Megan Finsel
The beep of the heart rate monitors were as reassuring as her heartbeat in his ear, which he pressed to her chest. He focused on that.
“I wish I could fly.” Her voice was barely a whisper. He pulled away and looked up at her pale face.
“Mhm, I wish I could just fly away from here.”
His eyes gravitated down her arm to her hand, the IV taped to her skin and her fingers entwined in his. He hugged her closer. “You would want to leave me?”
The oxygen tank sighed. “No,” she said, “I would take you with me, of course.”
“Of course,” He pulled the blanket up and tucked it tighter around her body. Never had he seen her so thin before. He kissed her brow. She sank into his embrace; her head cradled between his shoulder and chest as she pressed her face to his neck.
“When someone dies…” Her voice was so soft that it didn’t even startle him.
“Do you think they get a pair of wings in Heaven?”
His throat was clogged with tears and he almost couldn’t answer. “I think so.” He felt her cheek on his collarbone; it was moist.
“Maybe if I die, I’ll be able to fly.”
Don’t say that, he wanted to scream, don’t you dare say that! Every fiber of his being wanted to get up and do something to save her. Instead, he held her tighter, as if he could protect her from the disease raging within her body, slowly stealing her life.
“If we could fly,” she continued, “anywhere in the world, where would we go?”
“I would take you far, far away from here.” He said. Back home to our apartment, back in our own bed, with your kitten between us. He closed his eyes to shut out the medical equipment, to hide from the truth of where there circumstances were taking them. Maybe if he couldn’t see it, it wasn’t happening. A tear slipped down his cheek.
She tipped her head back and looked up at him. “Hey.”
He met her large, brown eyes. “Yeah?”
She reached up and wiped away the tear, her hand chilly on his unshaven cheek. “Don’t worry. I’m not flying off yet.”
He tried to smile but his lips were trembling, so he just pulled her closer to him. She felt small and fragile in his arms.
There was a long moment where she didn’t answer him, and her head was heavy upon his arm. For a moment he couldn’t wake her. Then, her eyelids fluttered open and she looked at him. “Yeah?”
“I love you.” he said.
She gave him her little smile. “I love you, too.”
They tried to get some sleep and he dozed off to the sound of her heart beating.
He woke with a start and couldn’t understand why, until he realized that he lay alone in the bed. Her IV, monitor wires and oxygen tubes lay useless on the mattress beside him.
That was when he saw a little, brown songbird standing on the bed railing. It looked at him with soulful eyes, and he felt his heart constrict.
“I see you got your wings after all.”
She blinked at him, aren’t you coming?
With that she took off across the room and out the window he had not realized was open.
Bio: I’m a Special Education major with a love for books. Writing is my passion; it is how I connect with the world and share my thoughts and emotions. To get to know me more you need to read my stories because I put a piece of my heart into each one. My goal is to inspire at least one person through my work; then I know I’ve done my job.