She hated that peculiar scent associated with hospitals but she had no choice but to come – as she’d been doing everyday for the past twelve days. It didn’t even matter that this particular hospital was a state of the art one, meaning most of the people who frequented it belong to the very elite social class. However, the love of her life had been confined to a sick bed and this is the time he needed her most. She had to be there to show her dedication especially in this trying time. As a matter of fact after the first three days, she doubted if she had the strength to visit him everyday for who-knows-how-long. Things however changed drastically on her part after she overhead the doctor telling him in his ward that he had at most three months to live, thus he should start putting his affairs in order. She didn’t particularly eavesdrop on them but she didn’t make them aware of her presence right behind the door either. Since that day she summoned a renewed vigor from deep within her whenever it was visiting hours.
Today as usual, she sat beside him on the bed and watched as he took another scoop of the soup she had prepared for him. The sophisticated machines that lined the wall always fascinated her; the whirrs and beeps, the pulsating lights and somewhat-surreal appearance of this-particular-one-that-looks-like-a-cold-store-fridge-with-numerous-buttons. She did not know how much exactly but she knew it was really expensive to get healthcare services from the facility.
“Darling… I have something to tell you.”
She looked at him and wondered if this was the day he was finally going to tell her he had three more months to live and the rest of what the doctor had told him days earlier. She calmly smiled and prepared to feign surprise and more importantly, profound sadness. She had been practicing for this moment for a while now and hoped she could pull it off convincingly. She gently grabbed his hand and nodded at him, a cue for him to go ahead – she was listening.
“I love you very much, you know that right?” He opened his mouth to say something else but faltered and fell silent. “Do you love me too? Truly and surely?”
She leaned in and hugged him because his gaze at her face was too intense for her. “Yes I do.” It was a soft whisper but she was sure he heard it all the same. How could she not love him? When the doctor had declared he had about three months left to live. I mean, she’s going to be a filthy rich widow very soon, she needed to love him…. for herself.