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My Last Breath
The hands on the clock whiz by like cars on a racetrack. The phone hasn’t rung for hours. Not even a text message.
He’s never this late, Drew thought to herself. Drew has spent the last few passing hours nail biting and ocean deep in thought. Sitting at the kitchen table she continuously frets over Will. A shadow of worry creeps over her mind and she has terrible thoughts. As soon as she becomes fathoms deep in thought the phone rings and startles her.
“Hello is this Drew Denton,” asked an unfamiliar female voice on the other end. This startled Drew the most. Why would anyone call at this hour looking for her?
“Yes this is she,” Drew said with even more angst in her voice.
“I’m so sorry, but your fiancé Will has had a terrible accident and…” her voice began to trail off and became muffled. Drew only heard the first few words and then began to feel a sharp pain in her chest. Her legs were wobbly and her eyes were watery. Her mind rushes back to the month of December when the cold chill was whisping through her hair and she could hardly feel her hands, but his smile was warm enough to heat an iceberg. He took her to the metal bridge which was lit up with Christmas lights for the season, by the river which had frozen over. The stars were high and bright in the sky and so was the look he had in his eyes. He slowly descends down to one knee and pulls out a glistening diamond ring. He said softly,
“Drew, although our time has been short, there’s no one else like you and I’ve known that since we met. I know now that I can’t spend my life with anyone else. When I look at you I see my present and most importantly I see my future. Some people are born to lead countries or win football games, or change the world, but I was made to love you. It’s all I’ve known how to do. No one even comes close to you. Drew will you marry me?”
Drew breaks from thought and immediately jumps into her Lexus and speeds to the hospital. She whisks into the parking space closest to the door, puts the car in park and runs into the building. She is so driven by worry and anxiety she forgets to turn her car off. She barges through the door and makes for the front desk. The lady at the desk asks her to calm down, so Drew takes a few deep breaths in order to regain her composure. A nurse leads her down maze of hallways, she would have been lost if she had to try to find it on her own. While she walks with a much calmer pace now, trying not to make a scene, she remembers how they met. Will was so young. Drew and Will were good friends for so many years. They both went off to college in different states, different directions. They drifted apart but still kept in touch. He’d been in love with her since he saw her, but they agreed friendship was more stable. She confided in him and he in her. Finally Drew decided it might not be so bad to try out a relationship. Will was more than thrilled and did everything he could to keep her. She recalls how he’d take her to restaurants, movies, plays, and walks on the beach, amusement parks, and small towns with shops. She remembers how he’d surprise her with dresses and bracelets and earrings. He’d never let her pay for anything. He was so sweet to her, and now he might be leaving her. Her face scrunches and tears start to caress her face.
The nurse and Drew finally arrive at Wills’ room. Drew pauses before entering; she knows she needs to relax before going in there. She wipes the salty tears away from her cheeks and mouth. Then Drew tried to put on a smile, but to try and force it would only end in tears. She puts on her best straight face and walks into the room. Her heart beat quickens and her eyes immediately water. There Will is, in the bed with a mask on helping him breathe. He’s wearing a big, bright, and warm smile. Finally Drew is able to smile a little bit.
“What took you so long?” Will said with a smirk. Drew sits beside him and scowls at him, but then smiles and takes his hand and holds it tight. No matter how hurt he was he’d never let her know, he always kept his humor. They sat together talking about how their lives have been and what they will be, and the hands on the clock move in circles. They talked about having three beautiful children, and a house that has space, but still has a warm feeling. Will told Drew that he wanted his kids to have a life that he never dreamed of. He talked about how he’d pick his kids up from school and go to their games and their plays or art shows or whatever they choose to do.
“I’ll never leave them alone.” Although Will meant this with all of his heart, a tear trickles down his face because he knew his time was very short. Drew wasn’t sure if he’d recover or not, but spontaneity took over her for a moment.
“Lets get married now!” Drew said with excitement in her voice. Will smiles and even more tears descend down his cheeks. She asks the nurses to get the Chaplain and next to them is an elderly couple who had overheard the entire story. They gave Drew their rings so they could be married. The Chaplain reads a verse.
“Ruth 1:16-17; Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; for wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, and there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, if anything but death parts you and me." It was such a beautiful ceremony. Now it comes time for the vows. The beeping on the monitor is slowing down. Will is starting to weaken. So Drew says,
“I love you. I love you with all of my heart. Let death not be so strong as to eternally part us, for my love for you is everlasting. To say death till we part would be such an understatement. I will be faithful and honest, and I will love you and only you until the day that I die.”
“You write that yourself?” Will said jokingly. She scowled at him again, and gave him a playful shove. Now the tears are dripping down like rain, the nurses bring tissues not only for Drew but for themselves too. Beep…beep…beep…beep. Wills’ heart rate is continuously dropping and his breathing gets slow. The beeps are becoming farther and farther apart. His voice is so low. Everyone is quiet. Not a sound is being made except for the beeping on the heart monitor. Will musters all of the breath that he has left and says,
“I want you, all of you always and forever. I know we were supposed to see the world, have children and grand children, and grow old together. My love for you will stand even past the end of time. It is perpetual. I am so sorry that this is our last goodbye my angel, but one day hopefully far away from now I will see you again.” The light leaves his eyes as they shut for the last time. Drew closes hers while tears continue to drip down her face. The nurses try to regain their composure so they can comfort Drew, but everyone is sobbing so heavily that no one person can comfort the other.
A month later it was February 14th Valentine’s Day. Drew was feeling very lonely at work. Especially since Will would send her flowers every year that said, “My love for you grows.” She was typing away at the keyboard when a man put a bouquet of roses on her desk. She said, “Excuse me sir who are these from?” “They are from a Mister William McCarthy.” The man said. “That’s impossible,” she said as he walked out of the office. She looked at the card. It read, “My love for you is eternal.”