Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Highs and Lows (Blogophilia 26.9)

The roller coaster made a sharp turn.
Watching her bridges burn at the point of no return after her confession scared her. Going back to Buffalo seemed certain. But Bart’s affirmation of love and faith came and it was overwhelming. Psycho and the past was gone and she felt light as a feather. Scattered lights illuminating the sweet round face, speckled with sweat and eyes twinkling like stars. Kissing the last of her makeup off, they made love in the front seat as the rain poured down outside. It could have lasted all through the night and forever. 
She was home at last. 
It was after midnight when they finally got home. A shower, bed and a long cuddle was the plan, but not what they got. The gasp came just as they got in the door. His knees buckled throwing all of his weight on her weak side. With a shriek of pain she managed to get to them both to the couch. She didn’t remember calling 911, just the two paramedics appearing on either side of him. Questions she couldn’t answer. There was never any mention of prior problems or pain. Or had she so caught up in herself she hadn’t paid attention? The guilt was unbearable as he disappeared in the ambulance.
All she could do is wonder who knocked her off the dock.How could this man, so virile and loving earlier be gone? She wondered what would Amy do? Without thinking she called her name and she felt a soothing hand under her chin. Looking up, the raven haired image stood smiling. 
“Holly, Angel, go to him. he shouldn’t be alone. And remember I love you, too.” 
Mrs. Donohue had brought her to the hospital. She didn’t even remember her even asking if she wanted to go. 
A river of blue, green and purple clad people flowed by her. By the time she arrived, Bart was already in surgery. A large clot had lodged in his lungs, too large for the modern chemicals. At least that was what she heard. There were usual questions: Did Bart had any next of kin? The answer, of course, was no. He was a widower without children and his parents passed long ago. Final instructions or advanced directives? It had never been discussed. It wasn’t like they were married...
But God, she how wished she was.
There was a promise of updates and the nurse went away. A few minutes later, a chaplain with a collar came up an spoke a few words that really didn’t register. With a brief prayer, he moved on. 
Hours ticked by. Mrs. Donohue bought coffee and tried to get her to talk. She was a good shoulder to cry on. She told the story of her own husband’s passing some twenty years before and how she had wished for some support. They had just moved to Atlanta the month before and didn’t know anybody. He was gone before she could even tell his mother and how that had always bothered her. The story really didn’t make Holly feel better, but it did keep her mind busy.
After a few hours she became tired and went home to get some sleep. It was almost 4 AM, and all Holly wanted was to see Bart’s beautiful face.
About six, an impossibly young surgeon appeared. His heart had stopped in the ER, but they were able to get it back pretty quickly and get him to the OR. The embolism was bretty big, but localized. The removal was straight forward without any other problems. Something was said about brain damage, the next couple of days would tell how much. He was admitted to ICU. Holly would be able to see him in about an hour. A purple suited attendant brought her up to the 16th floor to wait. 
It was the longest hour of her life. Swimming in the depths as she looked out the window, across to the skyscrapers up the hill. It wouldn’t be long before the workers would come, oblivious to her situation and every other situation like hers. Then in the reflection, she saw Amy’s face again.
“You’ll make it, Angel. I’m right behind you.”
“Ms. Colczak?” A tall, black nurse had replaced Amy. “We have Mr. Morris settled in now. I understand you are his girl friend?”
“Follow me, Sweetie. He looks a little worse for wear, but he ain’t the worst one we’ve got. He’s breathing on his own.”
Leading her past the charge station, they turned a corner. The nurse pointed to a glassed in room with a partially opened curtain. His body seemed smaller, almost shrunken underneath the strings, wires and thin gown. Most of his face was covered with a breathing mask and the skin was pale. A plastic tube protruded out of a stained dressing on his right side. There IV pumps and catheters, he looked more like a stage prop than a man. Was she that vulnerable when they met? Tiptoeing in, she sat in the chair on the right hand side of the bed close to the face she so loved.
“Can I get you something? Water? Coffee”
“No, Thank you.” The nurse walked away.
Soothing sounds of the monitors filled the room. She had heard them many times before, but never from this side of the bed. She was the one that was always monitored, being fussed over by the nurses and techs. Poked, prodded and x-rayed, it was attention and affirmation of her existence by those who wouldn’t and couldn’t judge her past. Even the chemo treatments would warm her like sunshine, just because the staff were the only people who seemed to care about her. 
At least until him.
Looking at the monitor mounted high up the wall, she saw the heart was still there. The unflinching heart standing strong in the face of betrayal. The gentle one that took her broken one and mended it. 
The beeping began to fade and became a ragged. A small tear formed at the corner of his eye as his breathing became more rapid. Amy guided her as she gently placed the cold hand between her breasts and kissed the moisture away. The voice was soft, but it came from the depths of her soul.
“Baby. Amy and I are here. Where ever you go, we are with you and we love you.”
The heartbeat smoothed out and became stronger as it synchronized with hers. Blurry eyes focused on her puffy disheveled face. He visibly relaxed and a small small formed underneath the plastic mask.To him, it was the most beautiful face in the world.
“I love you, too, Babe. I’ll be alright.”
He, too, knew he was home at last.
Topic (All Through the Night)- Sallon Newlove
Pic guesses: The depths (in blog), Off the dock (in blog) Atlantis, Night and Day, High and Low (title), Night Swim, Dive.
Steely Dan lyrics- there are two.
“Watching [her] bridges burn, from the point of no return”-Babylon Sisters (Gaucho).
“Home at Last” -Home at Last (Aja)

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