Black Marriage – episode 29
Silence stretched out and tension was at its peak as everyone held their breaths waiting for the doctor’s response. The doctor seemed to have frozen on the spot he was standing and for one second, he seemed like a frozen mummy statue.
“Well, Doctor?” Lizzy yelled impatiently. Andy’s face had already drained, leaving him white as he expected a response from the doctor but got none. It could only mean one thing.
Doctor Bright shook himself, the shock of seeing Andy and his father all at once had rendered him speechless. He cleared his throat. “She is still alive but very critical.” He swallowed. “Very critical” He repeated. “She is in a coma now and we have done all we can do for her now. All she needs now is prayers. We expect a reaction soon. I don’t mean to scare you but she is not fighting hard enough, or so it seems. I-”
“I want to see her” Andy interrupted, not wanting to hear more. He felt like he had died a million times and gone to hell.
“I need to see her” Andy stressed the ‘need’ because he felt that if he did not see her instantly, he would literally die.
Doctor Bright swallowed and nodded. “Come with me sir”
Andy hated the ‘sir’ that was accorded to him but he did not have the time to dwell on it or even to tell the doctor to call him by name. It was very evident that the doctor was older than Andy but Andy was ready to answer anything as long as it took him to Jessica. The doctor opened the door and entered with Andy closely behind. Immediately he was in the same room with Jessica, all his bravery was gone and tears brimmed his eyes. He moved like a robot towards the bed, feeling all his strength drain away. Seeing Jessica attached to so many machines shook him much more than anything. She looked terribly pale and astoundingly vacant.
“I would leave you alone with her. Please try not to disturb her in any way. There is a button by her bed over there, press it if there is any reaction”.
Andy barely heard the doctor as he spoke and vaguely noticed him as he left. He lowered himself onto the chair beside the bed because he could barely stand on his feet. He raised his left hand shakily and brushed Jessica’s hair gently, careful not to move her in anyway. The texture of the hair was as he remembered. He remembered burying is hands and nose in the rich mass of hair just this morning. How things change within the space of a heartbeat, he mused. He picked up her hand with his right hand and ran his thumb over her knuckles shakily. Her hand was warm and very pale. He bent his head and kissed her knuckles.
“My love” he breathed and almost choked as tears threatened to gush out. He inhaled and swallowed. “My heart, it is me; Drew” he continued. “Do you remember that day during our honeymoon that you decided to prepare the dinner? I had come back from work feeling hungry and the aroma of fried chicken had greeted me at the entrance. That day, you had entered my senses and refused to come out.”
He sniffed and smiled slightly. “You had been standing in the kitchen with your back to me, seeing to the meal, not noticing my presence. You wore one of those terrible oversized gowns I hate so much, in your quest to look ugly.
When you finally saw me and I asked for chicken, you had smacked my hand playfully. Do you remember that?”
Andy stared at Jessica’s face but her face was still blank. He smiled shakily. “Then I had stood in front of you. Really really close. I wanted to take the chicken but then you gazed at me and I was lost. Your eyes drank me in and it was like you had captured me and wrapped me around your little finger. I had placed my hand on your waist and had been thrown completely off balance by how slim your waist was. I could almost wrap my hands around it. And then your mouth, Oh my God! Jeez, I had wanted to kiss you so much that day that my brain went totally blank just looking at your lips. I don’t know where I got the ability to resist kissing you that day but immediately I left that kitchen, I knew I couldn’t be around you if I wanted to keep my sanity. I had ensured that I left for work early and arrived very late so that I won’t be tempted to do anything stupid.
Jeez, even though you were putting on clothes big enough for three of you put together, you had me under your spell, not to mention now” he swallowed.
“You can’t leave me Jess. You just can’t. After so many years, I have finally opened up my heart to love again and this time, I did not leave anything behind. I have not loved anyone, anyone, the way I love you. Seeing you like this is like a horrible nightmare; I just want to wake up.” He sniffed. “You just have to wake up baby, for me; for us. I promised you a real honeymoon; I still need to make that a reality”
Andy stroked Jessica’s hair and gazed at her beautiful face.
No! She can’t leave him now. He did not know how long he spent in the room, just looking at her but he knew that no one would be able to take him away from her. A nurse entered the room after some time and asked him to leave but he refused completely and when she insisted, he glared at her sternly until she recoiled and left.
Lizzy, Paulina, Tunji, his father and some other well wishers came into the room one after the other but Andy did not leave the room.
It was already running to the middle of the night. Another nurse came in again and asked him to leave but he refused, promising not to disturb Jessica at all…………
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