Jonah sat in the busy A&E department staring at Tasha from across the room. She sat alone – not enough time had elapsed for her family to have heard about her plight, but Jack and Peter sat close by sipping coffee from disposable polystyrene cups, and he figured that they were both probably giving her some space. She had a bandage wrapped tightly around her right wrist and hand, and Jonah worried about just how badly she had been hurt – the past few hours had been unbearable for both of them, but he was free from pain now. He wanted to be with her when she found out, and he wouldn't have long to wait now – he wanted to take advantage of this brief moment of quiet to say goodbye.
Suddenly the woman he'd known only by the name of Rachel appeared through the doors leading to the operating theatre, her face pale, her robes covered in blood – blood that Jonah knew belonged to him. At the sight of her Tasha arose from her seat, hope carved into every soft line of her beautiful face – false hope.
"I'm sorry." He heard Rachel explain gently. "We did everything we could – the beating he sustained was just too great."
"I'm so sorry Tasha… the internal damage was extensive." Tears filled both women's eyes – Rachel moved by the depth of Tasha's grief. Tasha's tears dripped down her cheeks and soaked her robes.
"No… no please… please…" Jack was by her side as soon as he heard her cries, holding her tightly to him as her hands searched desperately for something physical to cling onto – needing someone to hold. "He saved me Jack… if it wasn't for him I'd be dead."
"I know. I know." The young officer cradled her like a child, his tone soothing as he gently stroked her long blonde hair. Peter took in the scene in silence.
"You can see him now if that's what you want." Rachel explained and Jonah was relieved to see Tasha nod. She was gasping for air as she continued to cry bitterly – her face wet and raw with the salty tears of her grief.
Jonah followed as the three of them allowed themselves to be guided by Rachel back through the maze of corridors – it was dark and he felt cold now but he wouldn't leave Tasha until she was ready to let him go. Jack and Peter hung back as she entered the room alone – or so she thought herself to be alone but Jonah followed behind. The shock of seeing himself lying upon the bed in front of him almost outweighed even the strangeness of the past few hours – but his own feelings were quickly forgotten as he watched Tasha take up the chair beside his bed, taking his limp and lifeless hand affectionately within her own and caressing his fingers softly.
"I never meant for this to happen…" She told him, after silence had elapsed – words seemed to have failed her briefly but now there was so much she felt she needed to say. Jonah knew that he would never get to hear it however – he would stay with her for as long as she needed him, but he could already hear the sound of footsteps outside the door and he knew that Robbie had arrived. She would soon he back where she truly belonged – her pain would fade in time until it would become nothing more than a dull ache and Jonah knew that she would eventually forget him.
"I love you Tash." He thought sadly as he continued to watch her.
He looked on as Tasha turned to meet with Robbie's gaze – she couldn't speak but Jonah knew that their relationship ran far deeper than the need for words to express the way she was feeling. Robbie smiled a sad smile and Tasha suddenly found herself wrapped in the warm and loving embrace of her soul mate – the man she was really destined to be with.
It was a week later when a small group gathered at the local church to remember the life of a man none of them really knew – but he had died in the process of saving one of their own. The service was short, as had been his life, but it was a meaningful tribute by those few who had met him and in death had come to care. Only one person stood at his grave side as his body was lowered into the ground however – a girl, with long blonde hair and rosy cheeks. She spoke her final goodbye as she quietly read the message carved into the headstone.
A man who proved in the end that actions speak louder than words, and gave his life to save another.
May he rest in peace.
Tasha then spoke the words he had been waiting a whole week to hear – relieved to know that she was finally able to let him go, because it meant that she was going to be ok.
"Goodbye Jonah." She blew him a kiss as she pressed her hand to his headstone – and finally Jonah was set free.