A young volunteer at a local hospital was allowed to leave for home after her shift ended.
She took her time wandering around the hospital, passing by one ward after another and greeting each patient she meets on the way. She stopped by at one of the vending machines to get a soda, and was just about to enter the lift when her eyes landed on an old couple in one of the hospital wards. The man was sitting in a chair, and he was holding his wife’s hand on the bed, gripping it like he was never going to let go, while his other hand was holding an open book.
Out of curiosity, the young volunteer edged closer to the room. Her heart ached at the sight of the wife, who looked pale and powerless, yet her lips were tilted upwards, and she eventually broke out into a quiet sort of laughter when her husband said something. It took the young volunteer only a heartbeat to realize that the old man was reading a story to his wife, his voice full of animation and emotions that reminded her of her late father. She smiled and leaned against the back of the door, thinking that it probably wouldn’t hurt to stay for just a little while more.
When Bill finally read the last words from the page and puts the book back on the table, Emma stroked his hands softly with her thumb, “That was great, love. You are the best story teller I’ve ever seen.”
He chuckled and pressed an affectionate kiss to her forehead, “Honey, I’m the only story teller you’ve ever met.”
“And I’d have it no other way.”
They shared a long stare, his blue eyes melting her brown orbs, and for a few minutes they allowed silence to embrace them.
He was the first one to speak, “You’re going to be just fine, Emmy. The doctor said so.”
She rolled her eyes even though he told her not to do that; rolling it would only make her dizzy.
“Bullshit, Bill.” She mumbled, calling his bluff.
He smiled, his wrinkles telling the world his age and worries. He hasn’t been sleeping well for the past few days; it was starting to take a toll on him. She held his hand tightly, or at least as tight as she could manage. Her eyes were fixed on the love of her life, her man, her friend, her sweet, sweet lullaby.
“I’m leaving soon, Bill.” She whispered, her eyes filling up with tears once more. She hated saying this to him, hated hurting him this way, hated the idea of having to leave.
He shook his head, “I’m not letting you.”
“You don’t have a choice. I don’t get another chance to live.” She argued, her voice quivering with each syllable. Her hands were shaking, so were his. “Sweetheart, sometimes people just… run out of chances.”
“Don’t say that.”
“It’s the truth.”
“Then let’s run away from the truth for a while.” He wiped away his tears, and then pressed a thumb on the side of her eyes to stop hers. He repeated again, with a reassuring smile, “You’re gonna be alright, baby. You’re gonna be just fine.”
It felt more like he was trying to convince himself.
“Mm.” She played along, too tired to argue further. Then, she looked up at him and said, “Promise you won’t waste your last years missing me when I’m gone, Bill?”
Bill smiled, “Sure. Promise you won’t blame me when I break it?”
That made her laugh.
“I love you, Bill. I love you so, so much.” She murmured, her hands reaching up to cup his face for a moment before she lost her strength and had to lie still again. When she regained that bit of strength she patted his chest, “Just know that whenever you need me, I’ll always be right here. I’ll be listening. Now and always.”
He kissed her lips, too overwhelmed with emotions to speak. He didn’t have to, anyway. They both knew what he wanted to say.
“I love you. I love you with every breathe I take.”
But what they didn’t know was the fact that at that exact moment, a young lady, who has been listening to their conversation for the past hour behind the door, was busy rummaging through her backpack for that damned packet of tissues.
steel share this from JYHLing coz it's really touching.