I sit, paralyzed in the waiting room of the hospital. Eildh had been whisked off on one of those trolleys, wearing an oxygen mask and surrounded by doctors nearly two hours ago. Why hadn't I received any news?
"Mr. Stanbridge? Donny Stanbridge?" Comes a voice. My head snaps up, and I struggle to my feet, my crutches skidding a little on the slick floor. I clear my throat, and call:
"Thats me." The same mixed-race doctor who had treated me is in the doorway. "Oh, Dr. Adeyenka." I smile at her, but she doesn't smile back. She walks briskly over to where I am stood.
"Donny, I think you'd better sit back down." She says, gently.
"Why, is it bad news?" She doesn't answer, and I sit down, my heart pounding. "Is Eilidh OK? She is, right? Nothings happened to her, right?"
"Donny, Mr. Stanbridge... Your wife's cancerous tumor had gone down, thanks to the chemotherapy she had. It had stopped growing, so we decided it was not a threat, and opted not to remove it, seeing as that procedure could easily have damaged her heart.
"But... More recently, the tumor seemed to have been growing again, not noticeably at first, but soon it was pressing against her heart and lungs. She couldn't breath, and-"
"But it can be sorted out, right? She can just have it removed, right? She'll be fine, won't she?" I say, cutting her off. I am sure I do not want to hear the next words that will come out of her mouth.
"Donny... I'm really sorry. But even if she could have it removed... It won't help her now. Your wife, Eilidh Stanbridge, passed away twenty minutes ago." Dr. Adeyenka looks at me, tears filling her chocolate brown eyes.
"Ha! You're kidding, right? Eilidh isn't dead! She can't be! She isn't! She isn't!" I say, forcing a laugh.
"Mr. Stanbridge, I'm obliged to take you to spend your final moments with her now. Believe it or not." She says gently. She takes my arm and leads me down the corridor. Eilidh lies in a bed, her eyes closed, her expression peaceful, as if she were only sleeping. But as we enter the room, it is unnaturally still, and quiet. Her blonde hair is splayed out on the pillow, shorter than I am accustomed.
I stand there, silent for five whole minutes. Finally, it sinks in. Tears fill my eyes, and I collapse to the floor.
Eilidh... Eilidh... What am I going to do? You can't die... You can't..
I don't know how long I sit there, tears streaming down my cheeks. Eventually, I fall into a fitful sleep. My last thought before I drift into unconsciousness is:
I hope I never awake. I can't live without you... Eilidh...