Last Chance

Fiction By Stephan // 11/16/2009

“Stop!”
Anne ran down the hospital hallway to the bed that was being wheeled out of a small corridor room towards the Surgery Room.
A nurse looked to the other doctors around the bed. She paused, holding the syringe which would anesthetise the patient. Anne's pace screeched to a stop as she reached them, knowing she looked quite distressed and out of breath.
“Please stop,” Anne’s dark eyes were flashing as they turned to her. She looked down at the still body beneath the sheets and her eyes moved to the blindfold on his eyes.
She pleaded to the doctors, “Let me speak to him before he goes in.”
They hesitated, for it was strictly against protocol to speak to the patient so soon before surgery.
“W-wait…I know that voice…” the quiet patient whispered.
“He spoke!” the nurse exclaimed. “I thought he couldn’t due to the damage!”
The main surgeon quickly removed the blindfold and the two hazel eyes flecked with green slowly opened. The up-till-now silent patient turned towards Anne.
“Please…let us speak…” he said slowly and earnestly.
The surgeon was moved he nodded to his peers and they left the small room by the corridor.
Anne felt her breathing was heavy.
She pushed her long brown hair from her face. “I…I had to see you before you went in.” she said.
Michael turned to her, the veins on his neck fluttering.
He was in agony.
“W-What happened to you?” Anne asked cautiously.
Michael sighed through his nose, his sharp features tensed in remembrance.
“I was driving…somewhere…and a car… it hit me. I think he was…drunk. Out of control.”
His brow furrowed. “But why are you here?”
“I…” Anne struggled for the words. “I know about it all, Michael. My Uncle George whom I never met, who has paid for my college tuition, who has funded my insurances…who has
done everything for me…he doesn’t exist.”
Michael turned away, his lips tightened.
A tear rolled down her cheek. “Why didn’t you tell me it was you?”
The words stuttered from his lips, “I-I didn’t want to tell you. I didn’t…didn’t want you to know.”
She knew her voice was barely audible due to her panging emotions. “Why not?”  She reached over and gently turned his face to her. His eyes stared, full of pain...but then eased in
her hands.
His features softened…he was a different person.
“I never thought you’d feel for me. You were…so special…I could never approach you…and tell you how I felt…”
“So it took a car crash to bring us together?” her voice was constricted as she tried to stop the lump in her throat.
“Together?” he noted her words very well. “I never thought you cared about me.”
“For so long I did, Michael, but you were so stoic and distant…I didn’t know how to say it…but I sensed that I felt for you.”
“You and your ‘gift’ for vibes, hmm?” he asked.
She smiled and nodded, wiping her eyes. “Oh, you should have told me.”
The nurse entered, and turned towards Anne.
“Miss, you’re going to have to leave soon. He has been injected with some medications that will dilute over time. We cannot permit that.”
Anne turned to her, her tanned face flushed to a more rosy hue and her hair falling over some of her brow. The nurse ignored how distraught she looked, and was about to repeat what
she said, when a hand moved up to silence her.
It was Michael’s.
“Leave her alone. Give…us…a moment.”
The nurse’s eyes showed her surprise that he moved. “H-how did you move your arm?”
“Leave…us…alone.” His face turned to her; and the two pairs of silently pleading eyes made her back down.
“Very well, sir, but for your own good I suggest you hurry up.”
Turning around on her heel, she left.
Anne turned back to Michael, her gaze softened.
“Why? Please let me know.”
He sighed and looked around the room.
“Because of how you helped me…you saved me…”
“I saved you?” she asked.
“Yes,” he said distantly. “You kept asking me how I was doing, encouraging me when you saw me depressed, keeping an incessant smile which I would gaze at through out all of lunch
period…”
“This must have been in our last two years in high school…” she recounted the years. “And you never told me?”
“No…I grew a strong addiction to cigarettes, pills, caffeine...it was torture...my office job was too trying on me. I became...almost…suicidal…But then there was your smile. It kept me
going. I kept a picture of you in my wallet.”
Anne’s hand went to her mouth. “Oh, Michael. If only I had known…”
Michael nodded, in a reluctant mixture of emotions. “Until one day,” he said. “I decided to tell you. I drove to where you worked, and heard you were out at lunch. I drove to that
restaurant, and saw you there with another man…one of your associates…”
Anne was silent for a moment. “Michael, Kenneth was only a friend…”
“I hurt me to see you with him, but then I realised I had never told you how I felt. But, I saw you happy. I wanted you to stay that way. So I contacted him.”
“You contacted Ken?” she asked.
“Yes.” Michael responded. “And we became friends due to similar interests. He finally came around to telling me in confidence that you were underpaid in work and was having
financial problems of many sorts. So I cut my expenses in half, invented an uncle for you, and began to give you half of my income.”
“But that was so much!” Anne said in shock. “How could you give me so much?”
“I remember being told that love just gives without wanting reimbursement. And it doesn’t stop.”
“And you were content to remain behind the alias of an Uncle George and never reveal yourself or your feelings for me?” she said.
Michael's silence was a sad, heartfelt 'yes'. Anne began to cry, and covered her face with her hands.
“Please stop,” he said softly, his face mellowing. He reached up and removed her hands. “I was content with things being like that. Otherwise, you’d feel in debt to me. I wanted you to
be happy…and free…at the same time…”
He reached up and moved her hair from her face.
“You know,” she said softly, “It’s a miracle you’re able to move your arm.”
“I never thought miracles could happen in normal people’s lives…until I knew you.” His eyes seemed to glow.
His fingertips caressed her cheek, and then his hand fell to his side.
His eyes relaxed. “But I would have preferred it to remain that way. I didn’t want you to know.”
“But Michael, why? You did so much for me. I feel horrible…”
“All these years of helping you, and now I’m causing you pain…” Michael shook his head. “This was never part of my plan.”
“You should have revised your plan.” she said. “I wanted to be part of it.”
“You were all of it.”
“I wanted to be a part of your life.” she whispered.
The nurse inconveniently returned.
“Miss, you’re going to have to leave. Now.”
Michael turned to the nurse, his jaw set, then he turned to Anne.
His eyes really seemed to glow.
He put his two hands on the metal railing of his bed and pushed himself up. His muscles bulged, his veins throbbed, his bones made snapping sounds. As soon as he was in a sitting
position, they fell into a hug, Anne finding herself speechless.
“You’ll make it out all right.” She fumbled for the right words. “You’ll be fine. Then we can be together.”
She felt him putting his head against her. “If I was to be fine, you wouldn’t have rushed to see me. Anne, I’ve already accepted the doctors’ saying that there’s a slim chance of
survival from the operation.”
“No, no, no…” she whispered, trembling in his grasp.
Suddenly she felt a droplet of water on her shoulder. He was weeping.
“I…I never thought you cried.” she half-smiled.
“Neither did I.” he said.
“How do you feel?” Anne was worried. “You must be in a lot of pain…”
“All the pain…it’s gone…” he was breathing slowly. “You’re better than morphine.”
“That’s the first time you’ve complimented me,” she smiled. “A rather unusual one at that.”
His grip tightened on her. He didn’t want to let go. She understood.
She put her lips to his ear. “Michael, I love you.”
His grip easened in silent bewilderment, and turned to her. “I love you too. I never thought I would say it…but tonight I have.”
He quietly inhaled her perfume, rubbing his cheek against her long, mahogany hair that cascaded about her shoulders.
Would it be the last things he’d sense before…the end?
He lay back slowly, though he barely felt like letting go. It was his feelings for her, not the pain, which made him want to hold on.
“Here,” she said. She pulled out a ribbon from her hair. She turned to the doctors who were now there. “May he?”
The nurse was about to protest, but the surgeon pleasantly nodded. “Yes, he may hold it. For a while.”
They walked up and pushed him on, Anne holding his hand for as long as she could before he was driven through the metal doors that led to the surgeon halls.
She saw him holding her ribbon to his nose, breathing quietly.
He was….
…He was smiling.
He never smiled.
“I’m going to miss you,” she whispered as he disappeared down the corridor.
 

Comments

What happens?!

This was really good. I do hope you're going to continue this. Wow, I'm still kind of in a stunned silence :)

Ariel | Thu, 12/17/2009

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"To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written on the flea, though many there be that have tried it." -- Herman Melville

Forgive me!

This was in actuality written for a competition.

No, I didn't win, but neither had I thought a lot into where it would go. I certainly would work if a novel was spun around it, even perhaps a short story.

A stunned silence? You are too kind! Thank you, Ariel!

p.s. I love your name.

Anonymous | Sun, 02/21/2010

Wow, that was exciting. My

Wow, that was exciting. My only critique is that the dialogue seemed a tad stiff at times. It just needed to sound a bit more realistic.

Other than that, it was excellent and I demand more! :-D

Erin | Fri, 07/30/2010

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

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