It was Day One after Starsky had woken up. Day One of his second life. Whenever he opened his eyes, those hands were there, just out of reach. Starsky yearned for their touch. Those beautiful hands. His lungs were too weak to help him speak. Those damn lungs.
At the first sign of Starsky breathing unevenly, those hands jumped up to press the call button. The call button was close to Starsky’s hand. As soon as he’d have enough strength, he’d catch those hands. Those beautiful hands.
During the night of Day One, Starsky practiced moving his hand. That damn hand.
On Day Two, Starsky purposefully skipped a breath. The hands jumped up to press the call button. Starsky caught one hand. It took all his strength to hold on to that hand. He nearly forgot to breathe. As long as he felt the hand, he knew he was still alive. That beautiful hand.
On Day Three, Starsky realized that he could also reassure the hand by regularly squeezing it. As long as the hand could feel Starsky’s hand, it knew he was still alive. That beautiful hand.
On Day Four, Starsky’s reason to wake was to hold the hand. He had decided that he wanted to do a lot more of that when he was feeling better. That beautiful hand.
On Day Five, he got a fuzzy feeling in his center from the softness and warmth of that hand. He wanted the hand on his body when he was feeling better. That beautiful hand.
On Day Six, he smiled at the face attached to the hand, pulled the hand to his lips and kissed it. The hand caressed his face. The hand gave him strength. He breathed in carefully. “I love you.”
The hand cupped his cheek and the lips brushed his lips. Those beautiful lips.