„Hello Louis. I have brought your favourite book today. I know that you would gladly read it again on your own. But… Ok, Dear, just let me take my glasses and help you. I will just chat with a nurse, you know, and ask her if I can do anything more for you.”
I closed my eyes. For a moment I was thinking back about past days. My husband was injured in a car accident. Drunken driver hit him from opposite direction. And did not even get a scratch. While my husband lied in a comma for 253 days.
„Hello Louis, I will not bother you with books today. We will try to find another method. But, maybe you can hear me, even now, when I am uttering these plain, meaningless words. I am exceptionally embittered now. The doctor lost his faith today. Or rather he had lost his faith before, but could not find his nerve to tell me about this till today. Do you know what he suggested? That I should give you back to other people in need. They want me to distribute your body, piece by piece, among other patients.”
I have no idea why I said this to my husband. This was the only moment when I hoped he can still hear me. The pain caused by my husband’s doctor was mind-bending. Should I sacrifice my husband for transplants?
„And? Have you thought it over? I do not want to press you but many people in need are dying just know.” The doctor said without beating around the bush, when I entered the ward without.
“My husband is dying also, and you do not want to help him.” I replied and went to the Louis’ room.
I felt cheated. Not only by the doctors, but by the entire health service. I was not sure if I can trust them at all. And if not? If it was true that donation of human organs was only invented for financial reasons? I was confused.
„Loiuis, and what if you already broke through on the other side? Perhaps it is just your body laying here? Perhaps he only spoke with your external shell, and you disappeared a long time ago? I am afraid. Am I afraid of loneliness and that is why I ordered doctors to sustain your life which had already faded away? Give me a sign what to do… Please… Oh God, help me, I do not know what should I do…”
Days were passing by. I kept delaying my decision. But somewhere back in my head a conviction hatched that the doctors may be right. We just unnecessarily keep the bed, heart, kidneys that someone could employ for a better use. I had these and similar thoughts almost every day. I decided that day after his birthday, my husband Louis will depart. I have not told the doctor yet. I did not want him to break me and try to convince to speed up the date. Only two weeks stayed to his official death.
I spent this entire time completely alone. I think I had started my private mourning back then. I was browsing through our photos, packed his stuff to grey boxes. I did not want to dispose them forever. I decided to take them up to the attic. When I was packing another box of his perfectly ironed shirts, the telephone rang.
„Please arrive quickly to the hospital, your husband…” I hung up my phone. Tomorrow would have been his birthday. I cried like a small child. Why didn’t he give me enough time to say goodbye?
I took a cab to the hospital. I wouldn’t be strong enough to drive a car. I was striding across bright corridors, faces of nurses, doctors and other patients were blurred by tears swelling in my eyes. I couldn’t believe that it is today. I wasn’t ready. I wanted to deceive myself that the day after tomorrow I would come here prepared for the death of a man whom I loved above all. His departure came as a surprise for me.
„It is good you came.” The nurse leaped close to me. But I was still heading to my husband’s room.
„Wait, please.” The nurse tried to stop me efficiently. „I must tell you about something, before you enter there…”
I entered the room. Louis’ eyes were wide open. He was looking around, uncertainly. I couldn’t believe in what I saw. I did not know, what was happening I looked at the confused nurse.
„Your husband has just woke up. Unfortunately, he doesn’t remember anything. I wanted to warn you, so that you wouldn’t be frightened.” Uttered the nurse breathlessly and went out of the room.
„Louis, my love. You are alive.” I cried for good.
My husband was lying unaware. He did not know who was I and what I came for. He lost his memory. But he was awake, he came back from a long journey, and only this mattered.
„Doctor.” I called my husband’s doctor. „I am glad I did not listen to you.” I said bitterly.
The man in a white overalls looked at me from above the documents he was signing. “I am happy too.” He said and left to the doctors’ room.
I came over to the nurse and asked:
„How do I change my husband’s doctor?”