|Amy sat beside the hospital bed. She gently held his cool skeletal hand between her warm soft hands. She prayed that he could still feel her love flowing to him. Soft beeps and machines purred in the background. The freshly mopped floor masked the stringent hospital smells.
The housekeeper cleared her throat, “Mrs. Amy, I put fresh towels and a few things I thought you might need in the bathroom. Is there anything I can get for you before I go home?”
“Sally, you’re so kind. Thank you so much, but we’ll be fine.” She turned and smiled, “You have a nice evening. We’ll see you tomorrow.”
Sally opened the door. With the whoosh and jangle of the housekeeper’s cart leaving the room, Amy immediately returned her gaze to the man, well, what was left of the man lying before her.
Their son quietly walked back to his mother’s side. “I’ll sit with Dad a while. Why don’t you go get some sleep?”
“Son, I’m fine. You go on home. We’ll be alrignt,” she whispered as she patted the strong hand on her shoulder. “Go on now, your kids will want you home in time for tucking in and bedtime kisses. We’ll be fine.”
With reluctance the young man sighed, “Alright, call if you need anything, or if anything changes.”
Her son opened the door and stopped, looking back at the heartrending scene. He shook his head, and closed the door wondering if this would be the night.
Amy gently pressed her lips to the back of Ron’s hand, watching for any signs of response. She sighed and lowered her cheek to rest on his hand. His fingers tenderly wrapped around her fingers. He slowly stroked her hand with his thumb. Amy looked up and smiled, “How long have you been playing ‘possum, you ol’ coot?”
“Long enough to know everyone’s finally gone home.” His eyes sparkled as he gazed into his wife’s eyes.
She chuckled, “I should have known.” She shook her head and rolled her eyes.
He licked his dry, cracking lips and grinned. “Darling, I want something.”
Amy started to get up, ready to fetch anything that he wanted.
“I want you to get them to unhook all these contraptions from me and then I want you to come and rest in my arms. I want to feel the love of my life at my side holding on to me, clinging to me, just like we used to do.”
“But…” her face darkened with worry. It wasn’t like Ron to request anything so crazy. He’d always been the strong silent force of their family, with everyone else’s needs coming first.
“No buts, Honey. I need you. I need to hold you, kiss you.” His eyes revealed the depth of his desire. “Please, Amy. No wires, no tubes, nothing but me and you.”
Ron waited, knowing that he and Amy hadn’t shared a bed for so long. For ages, the slightest touch would exacerbate his pain. He’d missed being with his wife. He missed lying in bed for hours just talking about mundane things. For a few hours, all he wanted was to be her husband, her soul mate, her one and only.
He quietly watched Amy weighing the consequences. The fear of causing him more pain shone in her eyes. Patiently he waited, slowly caressing her hand with the gentleness that she’d always give in to.
Amy took a deep breath and sighed, “I’ll be right back.” She leaned over the bed, kissed him gently on his forehead and crossed the room. Stopping at the door, she looked back at the man she’d lived with for the last forty-five years. He smiled and blew her a kiss before she walked out.
As the door closed, she leaned back against the corridor wall. The bright lights and reality of living in the hospital caught up with Amy quite by surprise. Tears streamed down her face.
A nurse’s aide stopped and gently supported Amy. “Mrs. Amy?”
She shook off her grief, pulled a tissue from her pocket and wiped her eyes and then she blew her nose. “Oh, I’m alright. I don’t know what’s gotten into me.” She gathered her courage, and headed toward the nurses’ station with Ron’s request.
Amy stood at the door as the last nurse left the room. “Mrs. Amy, if you need anything, you just call.”
“Thank you dear,” Amy’s eyes revealed her true emotions but she kept up her brave face, “I think we’ll be just fine.”
Ron lay on the bed. The room was silent other than his soft, shallow breath. He opened his eyes when she took his hand. “Do you know how beautiful you are?”
She smiled, “I think you’re delirious, maybe I should call the nurses back in. You’re obviously seeing things.”
“Nope, you never thought you were beautiful, but you’ve always been gorgeous in my eyes.” He paused and closed his eyes for a minute.
Amy started to sit down in the chair.
“No, Honey, don’t sit down.” He awkwardly shifted over in the bed, pushing down the sheet. He tugged at the hospital gown, “Help me get this drafty thing off.”
Amy untied and gently slid the gown from his shoulders, folded it neatly, and placed it at the foot of the bed. He patted the bed beside him.
Amy studied him. Memories poured through her mind. His body so virile, he could have been a male model when they got married with his chiseled features, those cerulean blue eyes that melted her heart, the scar that crossed his eyebrow, and a smile that made her knees grow weak. He was the true beauty, in the manliest of ways.
“What are you thinking?” Ron inquired.
She shook her head and grinned. “Some things a woman just keeps to herself.”
“Come to bed, Darling.”
“Let me go freshen up. I’ll be right out.” Amy headed toward the bathroom. She brushed her teeth, and her hair, just like she did every night at home. She took off her clothes and hung them from the hook on the door. She took one last look in the mirror, pinched her cheeks and practiced what she hoped would be a convincing smile.
She opened the door and slowly peeked around; making sure no one had come in to Ron’s room.
“We’re all alone.”
Amy tiptoed across the cold tile floor, covering herself with her arms as best she could. Ron grinned at her bashfulness, even after all of these years. He held up the covers and waited for her to settle in beside him. She nestled into his side, with her head upon his chest. He wrapped his arm around her shoulder. His fingers barely touched her skin, trailing up and down her arm, tingling sensations intensified wherever his fingers touched.
Ron sighed. “This is what I’ve wanted for so long now.”
Amy rested her hand upon Ron’s chest. The nurses must have brought him his aftershave. She always loved the earthy scent and how it melded with his own natural musk. She noticed the ease of his steady breath, the rhythmic beat of his heart, and the depression between each rib. Her thumb brushed over his nipple, a shallow gasp followed by a sweet sigh. Ron tilted his head forward, kissing Amy’s forehead as she continued her gentle ministrations.
“You still take my breath away, my sweet Amy.”
Amy pushed up, propping her head on her hand. She gingerly stroked his lightly stubbled jaw line. “I love you, Ron. I always have and always will.” She leaned forward, caressing him, gently sampling his tender lips.
Ron embraced her. His hand caressed her breast, thumbing her nipple, feeling it pebble with his gentle touch. He deepened their kiss, sucking on her lower lip, searching for his passage. She responded as she always did, their tongues swirling and dancing for a brief but exhausting moment. He closed his eyes, and sighed.
Amy gently kissed Ron once again and snuggled back down in his arms. She clung to his side holding on to the man she loved as they both drifted off into a peaceful sleep.
“Come with me, Amy.”
“Huh?” Amy yawned, stretched, and rubbed her eyes as she sat up in the hospital bed. A bright light illuminated the room.
“Come with me, Sweetheart.” Ron stood at the foot of the hospital bed, his hand outstretched. His gray hair gone, replaced with the raven black hair he’d had on their wedding day. His cerulean blue eyes were as clear and excited as he’d looked like as she walked down the aisle. His body was as virile and handsome as any romance novel cover model had ever been, no longer broken by the hardship of cancer.
Ron walked around the side of the bed. “Amy, join me please.We've lost so much time. I can't stand the thoughts of losing more time with you. Come with me, my sweet Amy."
Amy smiled and wrapped her arms around Ron’s neck, she whispered softly in his ear, “Intreat me not to leave thee,…for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge…”
Ron caressed Amy’s face, searching her eyes, the portals to her heart. She’d never been able to hide anything from his loving gaze. He smiled broadly, pulling her tightly to him.
Her hands explored the muscles that had replaced the withered, disease-riddled ones she’d gently touched the night before. She felt the strength in the strong planes of his back, the firm bum that had first caught her eye when he was playing football in high school and that certain thickness that was growing between them. Oh yes, there was no doubt. Wherever he was going, she was going too.
She gazed into his eyes, her lips slightly opened. She closed her eyes, tilting her head ready for an eternity with the one she truly loved. His lips met hers, ravishing her, making up for so much lost time.
The housekeeper’s cart jangled down the hall. The door whooshed open, “Mrs. Amy, I brought you a cup of coffee this morning, and my newspaper.” Sally froze when she saw them. The cup of coffee fell from her hand. It hit the floor sending hot coffee all over the floor, as the reality hit her. “Oh Mrs. Amy, Mr. Ron, You look so happy, so at peace. You two were so special, been in love forever. Now you’ll have eternity.” Sally mopped up the mess the coffee had made and left the two to rest in peace.
Prompt :A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous." Ingrid Bergman
A kiss to halt someone's speech - make it matter.