Her eyes fluttered open. I couldn't take my eyes off of her. Even in her weakened state she looked like an angel. She looked so poised and so composed. I knew I loved her for years. Sure we had our ups and downs but we had many more ups then downs. The doctor told me that she has a wicked infection which led to her heart being weakened. She would need surgery to fix her heart but she needed to slow down. In her weakened state her heart wouldn't be able to survive surgery. My mind was cluttered. I was scared to death. I can't lose her.
"Hey," I said softly.
"Ugh," she muttered, "I feel like lightening ran over me." Her voice sounded scratchy and weak. I had never heard her talk in that tone before.
"Maybe I was just being stupid," she added.
"You are not stupid," I told her firmly, "You're sick."
"I couldn't handle as much as I thought I could," she whispered.
"Eva," I said, "That doesn't make you a failure. It makes you human. Your little body's slowly breaking down," I explained, "You're losing speed. You're losing strength... not style. That goes on flourishing forever. But your eyes... your smile doesn't have the sparkle of your fantastic past-"
"What's wrong with me," she asked. How could I tell her she's dying? It was like telling her she would have to face a very painful experience; and yet as before I would be the one feeling the pain. But this time I couldn't do that. I was just so frightened. I would gladly go under the knife for her if she would benefit from it but this wasn't like the whip. It wasn't a price that had to be paid where just anyone could pay it. It was surgical intervention that without it could cost Eva her life. That was too high a price to pay.
"You have an infection," I told her softly, "It weakened your heart."
"An infection? But I didn't sustain any injuries," she said, "I don't have any scars or-"
"The infection was from the inside," I explained, "That's why your heart is weakened." Even as I said that my heart was breaking. It had nothing to do with her having to slow down. I was fine with that. I certainly wasn't okay with the thought of losing her. That fills me with fear to the very depths of my soul.
"Am I going to die," she said in a whisper.
"As if I would EVER allow that to happen," I told her softly, "No. You're not going to die but what you are going to do is slow down. You're not going to do the tough stuff anymore. Not until you are back on your feet anyway and maybe not even then. Until you are back on your feet you need to take it easy. It is now my responsibility to do the tough stuff. You just lay back and take it easy."
"So basically I'll be doing the easy stuff," she asked with a laugh.
"Not basically," I said, "Exactly."
"Great then I order you to get me some hot soup. It sooths my throat,"she half joked.
"I'd be glad to," I said, "I'll be right back." I know I could have had one of the staff bring back the soup but I wanted to do it for her.
"What soup do you want," I asked.
"Hot soup," she said, "But not too hot."
"Of course," I said. Her doctor said the only soup she could eat was plain broth and crackers. I got it and I was back in 5 minutes. I found she was asleep when I came back. She roused after a few minutes. I gently held the straw to her lips. She seemed to find herself relaxing after the soup. I was thrilled to see that. It gave me hope that she would get better. I was able to see she was getting tired. As I stroked her hair gently she fell asleep. I didn't move a muscle. I was afraid to do so. I was scared if I did that she would be disturbed and that was the LAST thing she needed right now.
Days turned into weeks. She was sleeping a lot more lately. She had become so weak. It really scared me. The person I love turned into someone who had no energy. The doctor said she would need her surgery sooner rather then later. It was scheduled for three days from now and the best surgeon was flew down in order to operate. I refused to have anything less then the best when it came to her. The day came. I wasn't even allowed to kiss her before the surgery. She could not be exposed to any germs at all. The infection had been eradicated but this was a complex procedure. This had to be as clean as possible. The doctor told me that I could see her as soon as she's out of recovery. He warned me that until she had fully recovered she wouldn't be herself. Is his last name Obvious or Duh? He also told me not to order her around (which I never do) because right now all she could do is rest and recover.
I tell her I love her. She is brought into the OR and I'm relocated to the waiting room. Normally I don't mind waiting. I remember one time waiting for her for forty-five minutes while she put on her make-up and got her hair done. This was a different kind of waiting though. It was the kind of waiting that drove me crazy. I was waiting to find out if she would be alright. I couldn't stand to think about the possibility of losing her. She is my breath. She is my heart. She's a part of me. I pace the room. I glance up at the clock. Every second seems to move slower. This would take hours. Minutes turn to hours and yet nothing happened yet. She was still in surgery after 12 hours. Finally after what felt like years the doctor came out.
"She's in recovery now," he told me, "She's definitely a fighter." I smiled.
"Is she going to make it," I asked.
"At this point she's improving," he said, "But she's not out of the woods yet."
When she was released from the hospital the staff tried to help her upstairs. I put my hand up and I carried her upstairs. She was so fragile and so weak. But the next day I saw the spark back in her eyes. She said five words. She said, "I'm going to make it." She smiled at me. I looked at her and I smiled back. I knew she was right. I knew that this was a fight that she would be able to win. I knew I would have her back soon enough. Many months ago her brother had given me some good advice. "Never tell my sister what to do," he said, "Instead tell her I would appreciate it if you could..." I leaned forward and whispered in her ear.
"I would appreciate it if you could stick to your word of getting better." She whispered back to me, "I promise to keep my word" It was at that moment I knew everything was going to be alright. It was that moment I could breathe again.