Waiting required patience.
Patience was a virtue I clearly never possessed.
But sitting here now silently I wished more than anything I possessed that ability. Sitting here by the window, I could see the sun was about to set.
Another day had passed. Another day you have survived. Another day you have lived. I kept telling this to myself.
Maybe I am being too harsh on myself. I walked towards my drawing table all the colors have been scattered around. I should clean it up, but I didn’t have much time. I need to visit her first.
I still remember the first time I saw her. Her strawberry blond curls blowing in the wind. They looked like waves in the ocean. Her eyes also the color of the ocean sparkled as the sun rays hit them. She shielded her eyes and smiled looking at me. She was beautiful. She locked her car and walked towards me.
Sitting now in this same car, I could smell her perfume. She always smelled like a rose and a little bit of vanilla. I closed my eyes pretending she was still sitting beside me; I could almost hear her melodious laugh whenever I told something funny. I started the car to drive. It had become a ritual for me. I drove every day for the past 2 weeks and a half. Everyday. I never missed a day. I knew I couldn’t miss it even for a single day. I went every day just waiting with patience like clockwork.
I drove past the same roads, the same trees, the same traffic lights every day. As I stopped at a red light I saw another woman sitting in the driver seat waiting for the sign to turn green. As if sensing my stare she looked at me and smiled. I smiled back. Though they didn’t reach my eye. I knew I was handsome, and the kind of effect I have on women. She was about to say something, but the sign turned green and I left.
I didn’t want to listen to what she had to say. I was a one-woman, man after all. I have never cheated in my life. I made it a point to have only one woman at that point of time in my life. And I’m not about to change now. Though she was beautiful, she doesn’t come even close to my beautiful Rose. I couldn’t do this to her. I couldn’t stray from my path now that I know more than ever, where I am supposed to be.
I am supposed to be near my Rose, be with her. It’s not only that I want to, but also, I need to. I need to be there now. I need to be there for myself. For me to survive I needed to be there for my Rose, my love. Or I would die. I couldn’t let that happen. I can’t stop the love I feel for her. My love for her was everything I needed to survive. I didn’t want to live a life without my Rose.
As I reached the parking lot, I checked the time on the dashboard. I still had a few minutes. I tried to control my breathing. I took long deep breathes. Looking at the white hospital building I felt very uneasy. I have never liked hospitals. Those white-colored walls, the smell of disinfectant, continuous noise of some distress were too overwhelming. But I knew I had to. I had to get out of this car filled with her perfume and go up.
I took in one long breath, letting her smell fill me up. It almost felt like her hug. She gave me the strength to get out of the car and walk into the building filled with contradiction. Honestly, hospitals are a place where you get hope that maybe things get better on the other hand you also lose hope, that everything is lost and done. I don’t know what I am about to get today. I have been waiting for the past 2 weeks and a half patiently. I don’t know what I was even expecting after all these days. I don't even know if waiting patiently was worth it. But knew I couldn't run away from my Rose, because if I did, my life would be over. I couldn't live without her. I have to wait not only for her but also for me.
I somehow knew something was about to happen today. Either I was about to lose hope that I have lost everything or that maybe tomorrow I have to follow the same ritual again hoping. I was tired of this constant waiting. This wait is honestly killing me silently. I was beyond angry at myself. This waiting feels like a punishment. Punishment for being reckless and stupid. How did I ever let this happen?
Maybe that is why I follow this ritual every day, to punish myself for what I have done. For losing control and look what that had led to. I have always been cautious about everything, but something about her, something in her made me lose myself.
I was getting tired of waiting. But I knew I had to. I had to do this for my Rose. I walked into the lift filled with different people, I saw one woman in the front she was looking at me and smiling. I smiled back. It was only polite. I knew she was trying to be flirty, but I couldn’t do that. I couldn’t do that when my Rose was already so near. Even if she wasn’t, I wouldn’t think about anybody else other than my Rose.
Yet again though, I couldn’t help but compare her to my Rose. My Rose was the most beautiful woman I knew. She had something within her that made her unique. No one could ever compare to her. She made me feel alive again. She made me want to smile again. She made me want to lose everything just for her. I knew it from the start she was special.
I walked out of the lift and walked towards the nurse. Almost all the nurses knew me by now since I visited every day.
“Mr. Downing, we have been waiting for you”. The nurse said looking at me with an expression that I couldn’t read. I have always been good at reading people.
I knew something was up. I have been waiting for this day. Waiting for something to happen. Just anything because this waiting was really tiring and murderous. Now that it is here, I don’t know what I wanted it to be. Did I want to lose all hope or wanted to have hope that maybe I could come back tomorrow again?
I saw the doctor along with the police officer come out of her room. I couldn’t breathe. I felt that the world had stopped spinning. This was it. It was done. All this waiting with patience, everything that I have done, everything is lost just like that. I couldn’t breathe. I saw the police officers' gaze fell on me. He started walking towards me. I felt my knee give out. I was shocked. I fell on the floor. The police officer walked fast and reached me. I felt the doctor and nurse all pull me to sit on the chairs.
It was over. The waiting was for nothing. Maybe I should have just left when I had the chance, yet no I decided to punish myself and wait.
“I am sorry Mr. Downing. We couldn’t save her. We tried our best”
“What?” I shouted at the doctor, not believing I heard it right.
“We really tried our best. She was our only led to catch the serial killer. But she had already lost so much blood. Few of the stab wounds were so deep that they caused many internal damages, we couldn’t do much.” The doctor explained.
I hid my face in the palm of my hand that was supported by my knees. I was glad I was sitting down. Or I don’t know what I would have done. I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t.
All this waiting was actually worth it. All this punishment, the ritual was worth the wait. I can’t believe I did it. She was honestly special and unique. She was the only one who had managed to get away from me ‘alive’. I couldn’t believe she managed to get to the hospital. She also managed to whisper my name before going into a coma.
When the police found me, they thought she whispered my name because I was her boyfriend. I came to the hospital every day to check if she was going to wake up. Now that it is done, I am glad I came every day. I learned from it. I learned to never be careless again.
I can leave and pursue a new Rose again