21 comments

Romance Drama



My footsteps slow as I reach the end of the hall. I know you’re there. I can hear you breathing every so softly. I stop in front of your door and reach for the knob, but I don’t pull it open quite yet. I’m waiting for you to sense me and say, “Come in, I’ve been waiting for you.” I’m waiting to hear your wonderful voice, clear as a bell and also wavering in and out of existence. When I’ve waited for over five minutes and still haven’t heard you say anything, I push the door open and walk in. You’re sleeping. I sit down by the bed and watch your chest rise and fall with every breath you take. Up and down, up and down, every movement gives me hope that you’re still alive. And you are. Of course you are. You have to be. 

“Hi.” I say, even though you’re probably dreaming too deeply to hear me. “It’s me again. How are you? Howzit going?” You smile in your sleep and it’s hard to tell what you’re actually smiling at, but I like to think it’s my voice. I wish I could hear yours again. “Um, we had a pretty good day at school, but everyone still misses you. Mostly me, but you know how that is. I’ll always miss you the most. When do you-” An unexpected sob catches in my throat and I lean against the bedpost. “When are you coming back?” My voice comes out in less than a whisper. “I need you, okay?” I can’t really stop crying now, no matter how much I want to. And I don’t want to. I’ve cried so much you’d think I have no tears left to cry… but here I am and my tears are starting to soak through my t-shirt. 

Your eyelids flutter and I swipe at my face. I don’t want you to see me cry but why don’t I? What’s wrong with showing you care about someone so much it hurts you to see them in pain? Especially when it’s you. It doesn’t matter though. You aren’t waking up. You were only moving around, I guess. 

“Hey. Really.” I take a deep breath and try to talk to you again. “I just want you to come back to school. Like, soon. It’s getting really boring without you.” I sit on the edge of the bed now. 

You look so pretty, even with everything that’s keeping you alive. I wish I could run my fingers back through your hair, but I can’t. I can’t because… I just can’t. I look at you and wish you looked back. But your eyes stay closed and you keep breathing like you’re on a tightrope and you could fall at any minute. How could I catch you if you fell? Right now, I don’t know. Because your tightrope isn’t an actual line stretched between buildings. No. It’s a line between our earth and my arms and heaven’s gates and the arms of God. It’s a line and if you’re not okay… if you fall… where will that leave me? Can you just not die? 

There. I said what I wasn’t supposed to. They keep saying for me to have a hopeful outlook and everything will turn out the way it’s supposed to, but what if the way it’s supposed to means you aren’t here? What if it means that one day I can’t come in here and see you breathing like you’re just hanging on one more day? What if it means you’ll never say, “Come in, I’ve been waiting for you,” again? What if it means the next time I see you is in a box, surrounded by all the miserable people you left behind and me, who isn’t at all sure why it’s okay that you aren’t here but I am? What if is a scary two word knife to me right now. What if it is like a never ending nightmare that I can only wake up from if you get out of your bed and say, “I came back and I’m okay.” 

But. 

What if you’re not? 

I stare out the window in silence until my thoughts eat up all I have left of my heart. What am I even saying? You are my heart and you’re dying. That’s killing me. I get on the floor beside your bed and clasp my hands together in a desperate prayer. I’m not saying it’s unfair… but it is. I just can't understand why things like this happen to us. We never did anything wrong. You certainly didn’t. Remember when we were little, like seven or so, and we both got sick with the flu and thought it was the worst ever because we were going to miss a Halloween party? Remember that? 

Well. Weren’t we wrong. Because now you’re sick, but I’m not. And instead of missing a Halloween party, we’re missing prom and stuff. You’re here, all wired and needled up, and I’m here too, always on the brink of drowning in my own tears. What happened to us, love? 

The nurse will be coming in soon and I’ll have to leave, but I’ll be back tomorrow. Maybe you’ll be awake then, and we can watch some movie on TV here. It won’t be like that one time when we went to the movie theater and I realized that I loved you more than I could possibly bottle up. So I guess that’s the first time I kissed you. Mmm. I wish… 

“Hey there, visiting hours are almost over, honey. Do you mind wrapping it up?” I look at the nurse like she’s crazy. Wrap what up? My heart, so it’ll stop breaking every time I walk into the hospital? Wrap it up, she says. I know she means no harm. 

“I guess so.” She shuts the door and walks off, but not before holding up a hand of five fingers, indicating exactly how long I have. Your hand looks so cold. I pick it up and kiss each of your fingers once, each time reminds me of a little thing you do. It’s the little things I miss the most, you know. 

“Is that you?” 

You don’t open your eyes, but you know I’m here. “Yes, it’s me.” 

“How long have you been here?” You squeeze my hand and I laugh. You’re still the only one who can beat me at arm wrestling. 

“About an hour. I got here after Satchel left.”

“Does he know you’re here right now?”

I’m quiet. No. He doesn’t know. But why should he? Your boyfriend only comes to see you once a week. He wasn’t here when… well. I’m always here and he comes on his own terms. “I may have told him I was coming.”

“You can’t keep doing this. You’re my best friend but I have a boyfriend who isn’t you.” You sit up and pull your hand to your chest. “I told you before…”

“And I told you I’d love you until I was dead. I told you that.” I hear footsteps in the hall. It’s that nurse again. “I told you I loved you and you said…”

“I said that you were like my brother. My cousin, at the most. You’re my best friend and I don’t want you to try for anything else. Satchel’s going to kill you.”

“Then I’ll be with you. I don’t care. Tell him all you want. I can’t sit here and watch you like this. Maybe the medication has gone to your head. You aren’t thinking clearly.” 

“I’m thinking just fine! Maybe you need some help. Maybe I’m not the really sick one here, because you keep putting yourself through this when you don’t have to. I told you how I feel, now don’t make me say it again.” I see tears glistening in your olive eyes. “I don’t want to hurt you again.” 

I stand up. “Fine. Have fun being alone tomorrow. Because that boyfriend of yours only comes when he wants to. I come every day. I’ve canceled most of my life for you. College applications, sports, all of it. I put it on hold so I could be here for you.” 

“Do you really think I don’t know that?” You hide your face in your hands. “I can’t handle this on top of everything else right now, Pinecone.”

“Okay.” I start for the door. Then I turn around just as my hand hits the handle. “You can’t handle me giving up everything to be here for you in a time when it seems to me, the only person who’s supposed to be here isn’t and I am. That’s what this looks like to me.” 

“Then maybe you should open your eyes.” 

I storm out. I don’t stop to say hello to anyone in the halls. They don’t know me. They don’t know you. They don’t know this horrible, ripping thing inside me. I walk to my car and lean hard against the steering wheel like it’s the only thing keeping me up. It may as well be. 

That night, the phone rings and my mother picks it up before I can. 

“Hello? Oh yes. Mmm hmm. Wait. What?” She almost drops the phone. “No, no, no. That can’t be true.” 

I watch from the steps as she puts the phone down and begins to cry. 

She looks up at me. “We have to go to the hospital right now. She’s gotten so much worse. This could be it for her, they said.”

“I don’t think she wants to see me right now.” My mom shakes her head in disbelief. I shrug. “She told me.” 

I call your boyfriend. I have his number because he’s my best friend. He picks up and the phone whines with the electric chaos of a party. I hear girls laughing in the background and finally he responds, breathing irritated like. 

“Yeah?”

I clear my throat and ask, even though I know he won’t know what’s going on, “Hey, does she want me to come to the hospital or not?”

There’s a silence on the other end. And then, “Does who want you to come to what? I’m at a party, man, I can’t hear a thing you’re saying.” 

I slam the phone down hard and start for the car. 

Wait for me, please.






May 15, 2020 21:13

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

21 comments

Daryl Gravesande
13:18 May 23, 2020

Hey, Rhonda! How's it going?

Reply

Rhondalise Mitza
15:22 May 23, 2020

It's going well, Daryl, how's your new story going?

Reply

Daryl Gravesande
15:23 May 23, 2020

Really good. I have some inspiration coming from various sources!

Reply

Daryl Gravesande
15:24 May 23, 2020

What about you?

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
A. Y. R
21:31 May 19, 2020

You built the tension and kept the suspense really well! I was hooked all the way to the end!

Reply

Rhondalise Mitza
21:37 May 19, 2020

Thanks!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Gwen Anderson
21:53 May 27, 2020

I got emailed for a critique circle, so here’s some feedback! Okay, first of all, this is amazinggg. You created a short story so raw with relatable emotion which is so incredible. I really felt the character’s pain and I wanted to cry. I think there was a small typo in the begining (you said every when I think you ment to say ever). I also felt like the girl waking up was a little abrupt just because I was getting the impression that she had been asleep ever since she got sick (that could just be me misreading it though). Overall, great ...

Reply

Show 0 replies
Adam Wright
10:17 May 27, 2020

Great story. I really felt the agony of the main character throughout and I loved how the simple love triangle is majorly complicated given the circumstances.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Avani G
00:06 May 27, 2020

I loved this story! It was amazing and I loved how the words just flowed on the pages!

Reply

Rhondalise Mitza
00:16 May 27, 2020

Thanks, what did you think of the end? Oh, and check out my new story, I think you'll like the author's note especially...

Reply

Avani G
00:17 May 27, 2020

Thanks! Your stories always leave me wondering how you can publish, like, five stories for a contest that are SUPER creative and not get writers block, haha! And I loved the ending. It made me want to know more (ie. what happened to the girl and Satchel and Pinecone??) But you tied it all nicely in the end! :D

Reply

Rhondalise Mitza
01:53 May 27, 2020

Did you read Dear Ruslan? It's kind of like this. But as for the girl and Satchel and Pinecone, I think either she realized her boyfriend was a class a jerk and went to Pinecone in her last moments, or died before either of them got there but left a letter for both of them saying like, "You two were the guys I loved best in the world, one for being my heart and the other for being my soul." and the Pinecone and Satchel either beat each other up or had a come to Jesus moment and chilled out. How would you end it, though, I'm curious?

Reply

Avani G
13:48 May 27, 2020

I would end it with the second option-so cool! Actually, your ending reminds em a lot about the series You, where Beth knows that she should break up with her abusive boyfriend Joe. I'll definitely read your story, though! Can't wait!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Kathleen March
16:34 May 26, 2020

Nice management of pace and leaving details to do the work of telling the story.

Reply

Rhondalise Mitza
16:41 May 26, 2020

Thank you! This is one I wrote a while ago but it fit the prompt so I thought I'd enter it.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Daryl Gravesande
23:33 May 22, 2020

Ok, that's great. That way we can keep this going! Before you do though, what should I say? Is it your phone or just your mom's phone number?

Reply

Show 0 replies
Daryl Gravesande
22:03 May 22, 2020

I loved it! You clearly have more experience when it comes to writing a well thought out story. I was captivated from beginning to end! I use that word a lot, but I really mean it. This story is amazingly told and so focused and driven. I would say that in terms of the dialogue, you should always start anew. For some of the paragraphs, you forgot to do that. It flows better that way. The dialogue is crucial, so execution is key. Like this. She was talking an awful lot. "I'd appreciate it if you could be silent for once." I muttered u...

Reply

Show 0 replies
Cynthia Scott
03:44 May 20, 2020

Wow I love this story. It is very very moving. Grabbed me right in the heart. You did such an awesome job. :-)

Reply

Show 0 replies
00:03 May 18, 2020

Very good. You asked for feedback, but your story is good. The only thing I will say is this line: I wish I could run my fingers back through your hair, but I can’t. I can’t because… I just can’t. In my opinion you could take out on of the can't, because it doesn't sound right. when you used it three times. I hope this helps!!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Len Mooring
23:12 May 15, 2020

I looked up Sarang and as Korean it just meant love. However, it has many other definitions less than loving. You portray obsession well, Rhondalise. Once again the immaculate prose that you do so well. I'm going to 'tally-ho' over to your new story.

Reply

Rhondalise Mitza
23:42 May 15, 2020

Fantastic! I think the new prompts for this week will be fun.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply