hospital 524244I can’t bear it. It’s been… oh God, six hours. That’s not a good sign, is it? But she’s alive. That’s what matters. That’s all that matters.

I hate hospitals. That’s not strictly true. The last time I was… we were here, was when I gave birth to her. Six years ago. An hour a year. If they’re another hour… please let them be another hour… let her see seven.

Nick was here then. Holding my hand while I screamed at him, calling him every name. You don’t know what you’re doing when you’re… you know how it goes. Or not. Maybe you don’t.

Oh God, please don’t let me lose them both. I’ll go to church again, I promise. You can’t be that cruel twice. I’m sorry, I don’t know what I’m…

Nurse! Please, is there any…? Thank you. I’d be grateful… very…

I don’t know what I’d do if… no, mustn’t think like that. She’ll be fine. She has to be. She just will.

It’s my fault. Well, not totally. I wasn’t the one driving, speeding outside a school. Who does that? But I was late. A minute or two, that’s all. Stayed to listen to the end of a play. Put it before her though, didn’t I? Nothing’s more important, I knew that. Know that.

If I’d been early, on time, the car wouldn’t have been there yet. The road would have been clear when she’d chased the… yes, it’s the cat’s fault. No, mine. We usually hold hands but I’d let go so she could say “hello”. That’s all, just a hello.

Of course the road may not have been clear, it’s a school, but other drivers, parents, would have been going slower, legal, and they would have stopped. I hope they catch the son of a…

Oh no, he’s walking towards me. He’s taking his… what’s it called? The surgical cap thing. No, no, no, no… please don’t say…

“Yes, I am.” I don’t want to say anything else. I just want him to speak. Tell me quickly, get it over and done… one way or the other. Just say something. Why isn’t he saying something? He must have done this hundreds of times.

Good news would be easy, quick. So it’s… He’s speaking. Just don’t let him say, “we did everything we could” or “I’m sorry Mrs Everett…”

I don’t need every detail. It’s too complicated.

“Please,” I say out loud, “just tell me. I can handle it.” I’ve handled it before. Five years ago. Sudden, like this, couldn’t be helped. Of course it could have. Everything can be helped but we knew the risks. You don’t marry a policeman lightly.

Then he tells me. Magic words; “very slow recovery… will need your support… more operations” but I don’t care what it takes. She’s alive. Then it hits me; that her life has come full circle. Mine too. We’ll both leave hospital not knowing what the future holds, but I know one thing for sure, she’ll never be more loved and I’ll be there… holding her hand, every step of the way.

***

This story was taken from my Story A Day May 2011 collection. Photograph above courtesy of morguefile.com.

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