Beep, beep, beep…that’s the first sound she heard when she woke up. Rubbing her eyes and willing things to take shape, she couldn’t recognize the sound. Beep, beep, beep…rhythmic, subdued, counting…beep, beep, beep. Next to hit her was the smell, it was hard, cutting, slashing across her nostrils leaving bloody streaks down her now awakening mind. Beep, beep, beep…her neck felt painful as if she had slept sitting up. Objects were now starting to take shape…beep beepbeep. She was on a chair, in a dimly lit room, with squares with burning blue number… Beep beepbeep.

Then it hit her, where she was, why she was here and what it could mean for her. Beep, beep, beep…the sound continued as it counted down the last beats of a heart she knew so well. Beep, beep, beep…It had finally come the moment they both had been dreading for 6 years. It was different then, knowing its coming and it actually happening was two very different things. She had promised herself and her that she would be strong when time ran out, but now she could barely handle sitting in the chair without screaming and crying until her eyeballs were raisins. Beep beepbeep the rhythm had changed it was faster and stronger. Just maybe…

A maroon uniform walked in and adjusted something near or on the bed. All she saw were tubes running in and out of the chest she had so often dozed off on. Beep beepbeepbeep just maybe it was time yet, maybe they could have another year. She could be strong if they could get another year. She could do it, just one more year.  Beep beepbeepbeep. It was getting stronger. She could feel it, she could hear it. For the first time in weeks, she thought of tomorrow as a reality, not a life sentence. A white coat came, stopped at the door, then moved to the bed. Her hand slipped off the bed and landed in the early morning sunlight. She thought of how often she had seen those hands turning pages in a poetry book, in the same sunlight. Hands that were so vigorous then but now barely moving. Just one more year. Beep beepbeepbeep.

Something was biting into her thigh, making it hard to sit. She looked down and realized she was still wearing the white satin gown from last night. She had rushed out so fast that she hadn’t even changed. “If she woke up and saw me she would laugh so hard, she would fall back into a coma. She smiled for a second and froze.

It was the first time she had called it by what it was, a coma: the edge of death. But she was coming back from the edge, just one more year. Beep beep, beep…that was different! Beep, beep, beep. It was slowing again, she looked frantically at the bed and saw her looking at her and smiling. She mouthed “You are beautiful, I love you”. And shut her eyes…beep…beep…beep. The white coat was shouting and screaming at maroon coats and they were working on the bed. Beep……….beep…….beep.

About the writer:

Nyameko Bottoman is a South African author and travel blogger. He is in the process of compiling and publishing a series of children’s stories. He is focused on short stories that deal with the human condition. When he is not trying to pull your guts out by your tear ducts he is a travel blogger and ESL teacher with
This story is about a lover sitting in their partner’s hospital room and going through the emotions of letting go. It is inspired by the author going through a breakup and trying to let go and move on. 


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