Thursday, 18 March 2010

Second Nature

She's stumbling over her own feet just as much as her words. It was hard to hear anyway with all that noise around, but her intentions were clear with just a gaze at her eyes. He knew them so well... The bathroom was around the corner, he helped her there calmly - hiding the intensity of his worry for her. The footsteps and conversations echoed through the massive hallway, interrupting his own reasoning. So he fixed his eyes in the direction of the bathroom, awaiting her return. Unflinching for what seemed like several minutes was but mere seconds - enough time for three heel clicks and a burst of laughter - before she appeared in the doorway and made her uneasy way toward him. He took a few steps in her direction to help her stand straight so he could take a look at her face again.

Flushed. But she had only had a couple sips! She's weak. There was an exchange of words, but there was no need for them. The moments between standing by the bathroom and exiting the building were a blur of adrenaline. She knew how safe she would be under his care, so she collected all her strength. He saw her efforts. It was of most importance to get from there to a taxi in the minimal amount of time. He encouraged her to hurry because it would be near impossible to get her there on time if he had to carry her. She ran with him; weak, but determined, she ran with him through the crowd and large glass doors. They ran past all the things he had seen and remembered on the way in. This was something he did automatically whenever entering a new place - knowing the way out... Lights, Door, Porch, Stairs...Now his sight widened.

The tunnel vision of having to get out subsided, and now his peripherals were filled with thousands of entities to make sense of. A taxi for her is priority. They're close to one, it's noted... and she's close to reaching her limit of physical strength. It's starting to burn, to itch from under the skin. He sees it all in the way she looked up at him, muttering his name through trembling lips. He holds her up so her shaking knees don't drop her to the floor and helps her into the cab. She manages to remind him of the name of the hospital near her aunt's house which he frantically repeats to the cab driver, who promptly understands the emergency and makes his way.

She needs to know what's happening. Since there is nothing to do in the taxi, he takes the time to make sure she understands what's happening. Breathe. Concentrate on his eyes. Don't scratch. Her eyelids grew heavy and he lightly patted her cheek to keep her awake and for a moment, his panic was made evident to the driver in an explosive attempt to hurry. Looking back at her, he noticed she was on the very edge of her airways closing up. The jolts in the car's maneuvers told him they were reaching the hospital shortly, but not soon enough. He took a deep breath, leaned over to her, holding her nose up slightly... and as a tear made its way down his cheek, he kissed her full of air. Her lungs filled, she coughed, and looked up at him just as they rolled up to the hospital.

Emergency doors. Weak. Carry her. Almost there. Anaphylactic shock. He exclaims that she needs attention. To get her on a bed. To give her air. She's going into anaphylactic shock! The doctor's on his way. Her shoes need to be off, and her bag near her, and she needs him there, holding her hand. There was nothing more he could do when they asked him to leave. He tried his best to peek through the curtains to make sure she was comfortable. After they were done with her, he reassured her she'd be alright, and was asked by the nurse to wait outside now.

Nicotine. He must have repeated the story a thousand times to relatives of hers over the next few minutes. The whole experience had left him quite exhausted. He was still very much scared, but he couldn't understand why. The relatives drove him to her aunt's house.

Bar. Bathroom. Hallway. Lights. Doors. Porch. Tables. Stairs. Towers. Taxi. Phone. Breath. Hospital. Bed. The whole night cycled through his head several times. His body slipped into sleep, but his mind soared.

As he lay in bed, the next morning, she crawled into bed with him...


  1. This post makes me cry every time I read it. Its beautiful x