When he lifted his head, she barely recognised him for the bruises. This couldn’t have gotten worse.
She’d stormed out after they had an argument. It should have ended like any other silly fight, they’d split off for a few hours and then she’d come back and be able to apologise…
But this time, it already started badly.
On her way home from her friend Robyn’s house, she was trying to call him. The first few times, nothing. But then finally, someone did pick up. It wasn’t his voice, a grim voice that told her “fuck off” and hung up immediately.
She called for the police right after, and instructed them to pick her up and take her there with them.
She needed to know that he was okay.
The street was dark and cold, she was quick to crawl into the police car the very moment that it stopped at her side. Their sirens blared loudly, the whole thing was just a blur of worry to her.
All the way there, she was just praying that everything was okay.
And that was what led to it…
To her seeing him lift himself up at last, almost unrecognisable behind all the bruises those terrible men had left him. They weren’t that much bigger or stronger than him, but they outnumbered him easily and clearly pulled none of their punches.
All three of the criminals were dragged out by the police, out of this flat that used to be so clean. So much was broken and damaged now. Pictures around the room, the TV, and an expensive vase trashed on the floor.
“Wh-what happened…?” she asked weakly.
He shook his head. “Those guys.” his voice was terribly weak. “They broke in acting like I knew them…” he tried to make the joke, the laugh just turned into a painful cough. “Never seen the bastards before…”
She studied him carefully… He didn’t seem to be lying. It was a wonder why they could do something so terrible…
Without a warning at all, her dearest fell fowards, she shuffled quickly to be in place to catch him. To feel him laying limp in her arms, she couldn’t stop herself from bursting into tears at the very moment.
He was so terrible bruised, a busted nose and generally so bloodied up. When did this happen? Why did they have to have another stupid fight tonight of all nights?
Eventually the police managed to drag her off her partner, and had to stay with her while she desperately wailed for all of this to blow over. She desperately hoped that all of this was just another stupid incident, nothing bad would come of it.
From then, the long night was just another blur of worrying.
She refused to go back home.
She refused to leave this hospital without any updates on his situation.
After being left to wait in the lobby for so long, she was finally approached by one of the staff. The big white coat certainly must have highlighted him as a doctor. “Ma’am,” he greeted politely. “I’ve some bad news…”
“P-please, no…” she begged, feeling the tears coming back again.
He was hesitant to tell her, but he had to. “…He’s not going to make it.” he muttered, lowering his head as he said it. “It’s doubtful that he’ll wake up at all now. I’m sorry.”
She took the news silently…
Despite these tears trickling down her face, she never made a sound.
“…Can I come see him… One last time…?” she asked quietly.
“Yes, of course. Come with me.”
The young woman stumbled up and followed after the doctor in silence. There was nothing for her to say, nothing for either of them to say. What happened here was a tragedy, and one that couldn’t have been saved.
“Take all the time you need.” the doctor told her gently, patting at her back to encourage to her step into the room.
She heard his footsteps take him down the hall again, and she was left in the doorway of this miserable room. Just one bed being used, machines around it bleeping slowly. Very slowly.
She wandered in slowly, her feet quietly tapping against the tiled ground and past the empty beds to reach the only one being used. The room was dim, the light not helping too much, the curtains at the window shutting out the darkness.
When he reached the bed, she anxiously reached out her hand to sit on top of his motionless one. “I’m so sorry.” she sighed softly. “We’ve fought over stupid things before, but I never thought arguing over the rent was going to lead up to this…”
Of course, there was no answer.
The only other sound in the room was the sound of the machines beeping. The monitor beside the bed slowly losing the bouncing lines.
“I hope you don’t die thinking I hate you.” she went on miserably. “Because I never have. I’ve loved you since the first day we spent together… And I’m so sorry that I let it come to this.” her hold on his hand tightened slightly.
She felt her tears really well up when his hand attempted to move under hers, but seconds after it did, the monitor at his side stopped beeping… And gave out one long sound.
The green line had gone flat. No more bounces, no more life.
She used her free hand to hold her head, to try wipe at her eyes as she couldn’t stop herself from crying once again.
Things shouldn’t have been like this.