A/N: After watching Madonna's Evita, I got a little obsessed with Eva Perón and her story. So I went out and bought Evita by Nicholas Fraser and Marysa Navaro to learn the true story, because I felt the musical wasn't portraying Eva's story truthfully. I was so fascinated by her story, and moved to tears by the end. This is a little one-shot I wrote for fun, and I hope you enjoy it as I enjoyed writing it.
Disclaimer: I don't own Evita
Juan lifted his head from his hands at the gentle touch from the kindly nurse whom had been keeping watch over his wife. He smiled wearily at her, but he didn't feel it reached his eyes. He had been waiting patiently to be allowed to go into Eva's room, and the wait wasn't easy. Every time he thought of her, which was consistently, worry ate away at him. Sometimes, it weighed heavily on his shoulders when he realized how dire Eva's illness was.
If there was anything in the world he could do to cure his wife, even trade his own life to spare hers, he would do so in a heartbeat. Juan would take her pain as his own so she would never have to suffer again.
But then he felt helpless, as there really was nothing he could do. All he could do was trust the doctors and nurses to take care of his wife.
"Señor Perón," the nurse said quietly, "you may go in and see Señora Perón."
Juan nodded and thanked her. Standing, he composed himself before quietly opening the door and entering the special room given to his wife for her recovery. His eyes went to the bed where Eva sat up, her back supported by several pillows. She looked so frail, her cheek-bones gaunt. Her face held a paleness to it, and dark circles under her eyes told of her sleepless nights because of the pain she suffered. Where there was once a bright, energetic young woman with the zest no other could posses, there was now a body that was falling apart from the inside out. But despite her appearance, Eva's eyes shone and an unwavering smile came to her face when she saw Juan.
Her body might have been breaking down, but her heart certainly was still as spirited as ever.
"Juan," Eva murmured in a weary voice.
Juan smiled and came over to sit down on the edge of the bed. He placed his hand lightly in Eva's knee. "Eva, mi armor," he said quietly. "How do you feel?"
Eva sighed weakly. "The truth? Like the fire of hell is burning inside me," she admitted. "But it is not so bad now."
Juan felt his throat tighten and swallowed. It wouldn't do to break down in front of Eva. She was being so strong, always optimistic, and he was ready to fall to his knees and ask God why life had to be so cruel. Eva was stronger than him in this respect when it came to her faith, but Juan just couldn't grasp any in the present moment.
"Now that you are here, Juan," Eva continued seriously, "I want to know what has been transpiring since I was confined to this room." She sighed suddenly and frowned, glancing around her. "Ah, to think I had to die to get a room like this."
Juan looked around and could only frown. The room was so unlike his wife, between the red velvet curtains that gave off in air of elegance, the pink carpet that was soft underfoot, the pink upholstery sofa that sat two people comfortably, and the ornate bed in which Eva lay in. In the corner of the room was a cot for the night-nurse, and on the wall above the bed was a black cross trimmed in silver. The only window in the room lead out to the balcony that overlooked the gardens, and that was one of the finer details about the room. Eva glanced that way now and a look of sadness crossed her dark eyes.
"Juan, will you help me to the window?" she asked, giving him such a look of desperateness that Juan couldn't refuse.
"Of course," he agreed. Standing, he stooped down, and with as much gentleness as he could, scooped Eva up in his arms easily. She weighed close to nothing, which didn't surprise him, but it also reminded him of how fragile she really was. He knew he had to be very carful with her, as he didn't wish to hurt her in any way.
Eva rested her head on Juan's shoulder and wrapped her arms around his neck. Juan walked slowly over to the balcony before gently setting his wife on her feet. He kept a gentle grip on her elbow to keep her from wavering on her feet. Eva parted the curtains and glanced longingly outside, where the sky was overcast and rain drizzled down in a fine mist. Outside, there was a crowd of people on their knees praying despite the dreary weather. Many of them had brought bouquets of flowers, and had set them on the lawn until there was a carpet of colors, ranging from yellows, to pinks, to purples and reds. The devotion of the people was so great that Juan knew that no weather could hinder them from coming to offer what support they could give.
"Just look at them," Eva said tearfully. "The Descamisado's come here to pray for me, to give me hope, and I can do nothing for them from the confinement of my bed." Her shoulders trembled from the tears Juan knew she so desperately wanted to cry, but was holding in with all the strength she had. "How can I do anything anymore? How can I be any used to you or them now?"
Juan took her shoulders in his hands and gazed down at her fervently. "Eva, look at me," he said fiercely. "You are a fighter. You have always been. It doesn't matter to me if you can no longer preform some of the tasks you used to, because you still have your heart—a spirited heart that beats a strong rhythm." He swallowed the emotion threatening to rob him of his ability to speak. "I love you. The Descamisado's love you. We only want for you to get better."
Eva nodded faintly, tears beginning to cascade down her cheeks like the rain that fell outside. Juan gently wiped one away from her cheek with the pad of his thumb.
"Stay strong, chinita."
"With your love, I believe I can." Eva placed her small hand of Juan's cheek. Juan closed his eyes and tilted his face into her gentle touch. He felt her love, and it shone with warmth that gave him the hope that everything would be alright.
He needed everything to be alright. Eva was his other half, and he knew it would tear him up inside if he were to lose her.
"Bear with me," Eva suddenly muttered. "Because I feel the road will get rougher. But I'm ready for whatever life has to throw at me."
Juan opened his eyes. Eva was looking right at him, her dark eyes shining with determination. He was suddenly lost in her gaze, drawing comfort from the intensity of it. But suddenly, there was pain in her eyes and her grip on his shoulder tightened. One of her hands flew to her abdomen. Eva moaned and wavered precariously on her feet, her face turning even more pale than it had been moments before until it had lost all its color.
"Eva," Juan exclaimed, catching her as she fell into his arms.
"Juan, help me—it hurts," Eva cried, burying her head in his chest. "God, it hurts . . . ."
Juan called frantically for the nurse who awaited just outside the door. The older woman came rushing in as he set Eva back down onto her bed. Two more nurses rushed in and tried desperately to sooth Eva the best they could. Juan was beckoned away by a fourth nurse, who grasped his elbow and tried to lead him out of the room.
"Come, Señor Perón," she urged.
"No, I must stay with Eva," Juan protested. Eva's cries were tearing him up, and it was only when she was injected with morphine and a strong sedative that her cries ceased as she sank into the effects of the drug. Juan felt the lump in his throat again, and he allowed the nurse to lead him out. Only when the door had been shut did Juan sink into the chair just vacated by the elderly nurse, and let the tears fall. His sorrow had been held in for so long that he could not conceal his grieve. He buried his face in his hands and his shoulders shuddered from the sob that escaped him. He cried until he could no longer, and it was after the tears had fallen freely did he realize the old nurse was trying to comfort him. Her hands were on his shoulders, and she was speaking in a soothing, quiet voice.
"It's all my fault," Juan managed to say through the hoarseness of his voice. "All my fault . . . ."
"Hush, Señor Perón," the nurse said. "Don't blame yourself. Your Eva is not in pain right now, and for that you should be grateful."
Juan closed his eyes and sighed heavily. "Is she alright?" he asked.
"Sí. She is resting."
Juan nodded his head. He felt relieved knowing Eva slept, and that she could not feel her pain. "Thank you," he told the nurse.
The old woman smiled gently. "I'm only doing my duty." She patted his shoulder in a motherly fashion, then walked off to give the president a bit of privacy. Juan was thankful, as he needed to be alone. He willed himself to think of the good times he shared with Eva. Memories of their happiness would be a world better than thinking of the sadness.
Juan pictured Eva the night when they first met at the charity concert, and a smile tugged at his lips. Her vibrant brown eyes, and the way she had looked at him with such intensity, that she had believed in him, had been what had drawn Juan to her. She had spoken so passionately to him that it had made him feel he could accomplish anything.
That night had changed his life.
Instead of asking a God why, Juan sent up a prayer of thanks to Him for sending Eva into his life. Without her, he didn't think he'd be where he was.
For the first time in weeks, Juan felt at peace.
Perhaps things would be alright in time. He just had to have faith, like Eva.