She took a deep breath and closed her eyes for a second. Her palms were sweating, her vision was blurred and for a moment she felt like she was going to faint. She could barely hold back the tears threatening to spill, while taking unsure steps, her entire body weak and trembling.
She felt like she had no strength anymore. She felt both guilty and powerless. Everything depended on him now, on his body’s power to heal. She realised how small and insignificant people are in the great scheme of things. Just a moment, a wrong step, a little mistake, an error in judgment, her error in judgment and you’re gone, like you’ve never existed. She would be all alone without him, truly alone.
This was something that often thought about, especially in the dark period when they were apart. It was her dark thought, that visited her often. Sometimes, in the middle of the night, this thought wouldn’t let her close her eyes. They only had each other, that’s it. Of course, some friends, but they didn’t had children or siblings, their parents have passed, they only had each other, the only soul she was truly connected to in this entire world was his. She never felt more alone that in the time that they’ve been apart. She always felt like she was on a brink of a panic attack, when he thought about him all alone, in his cabin, in the middle of nowhere. If something would have happen to him, she wouldn't even have known. But back then at least then she knew that he was out there, that if she really wanted, she could pick up the phone and hear his voice.
She lift up her eyes in front of this white door. She was so afraid of seeing him like that, she was so afraid of what she is going to feel seeing him on that hospital bed, with tubes coming out of him, motionless, helpless. But for now, he was ok, the doctor told her so, so he must be. He must be, because he can’t leave her alone again. She finally, slowly, opened the door. The moment her eyes lay upon him, rivers of tears started falling down her face. She felt like a lost, little child. His face looked so peaceful, even in this vulnerable state, he still looked stoic.
Finally, the need to touch him became too strong and in two, quick steps she was beside his bed, taking his hand in hers. She fell on her knees beside his bed, taking kissing his hand softly, then brushing her chick on the back of it, trying to find some comfort, some alleviation, knowing that he was still there, still alive. She remembered the night she drove him home from hospital, she remembered the way his unsure fingers tingled the skin on her face, how he tried to comfort her, although he was the one being injured. Back then she accepted his gesture reluctantly, not wanting to raise his hopes up. How she wished her fingers could caress her skin again. Back then he made him promise that he won't do things that put him in the hospital and now he was laying unconscious, on this hospital bed because of her.
With pale, trembling fingers, she arranged the strand of hair that felled on his forehead back in to its original place, then gently lean in and kissed it. His skin was warm and somehow that gave her more confidence, in a strange, unsettling way. She pushed the thought away and looked at him, continuing to caress his face. He seemed so serene and tranquil, like he was just having a good, dreamless afternoon sleep. She wished she could rest her head on his chest, it was a need that was so hard to quench, but somehow she needed to hear his heart beat under her ear. She started crying slowly, resigned, taking his hand to her lips again and kissing it ceaselessly.
Suddenly she felt his fingers twitching and she heard this hoarse, shaky voice, that she almost didn’t recognised.
She jumped, looking at him incredulously. She didn’t know if she should laugh or cry, but with a sob she embraced him, repeating endlessly, like a prayer, like a thank you to whatever grater power brought him back to her.
“I’m sorry! I’m sorry, I’m sorry”
Adrian collapsed on a chair next to the one Liz was seated.
“Is so painful to even imagine what she must be going through.” Adrian said, leaning his head on the cold wall behind him.
Liz gave him a small, sad smile.
“Well, I have an idea or two. Is true that we weren’t exactly a couple, but still…”
“You’re right, I’m sorry”. He covered her hands with his large hand for a moment, giving her an apologising smile. “ This man is her entire world. And just yesterday she seemed so happy and so In love.”
“Yeah” Liz answered with a sad voice, looking a little lost in her own thoughts.
Adrian suddenly looked more energised, turning quickly towards her and lowering his voice.
“But I don’t understand Liz, how could this happen? I mean a SWAT team…in their home. Why? It makes no sense to me.”
Liz avoided his gaze.
“Who knows? Nothing makes sense these days anyway. I guess crazy mistakes can happen.”
Adrian searched her gaze, forcing her to look into his eyes.
“Liz, are you hiding something from me? Do you…know something that I don’t?” he asked carefully.
Liz looked in his eyes for a few moments, she opened her mouth, then closed it and shook her head.
“I can’t tell you anything, Adrian. I’m sorry. Is something too serious, something that might…she looked at her shoes for a moment and then back to him again…that might incriminate you. So, I have to talk with Diane first.”
“Liz, if it’s something important you need to tell me. We’re in this together.”
“No, Adrian, we’re not. Not in this, trust me.”
They both looked each other for a few seconds, then both looked straight ahead, not saying anything for a while.
"I wanted to tell her about the merge. We need to do it and fast.” Adrian’s voice seemed professional all of a sudden.
“I know, but I don’t think this is the right moment.”
“I know, but we need her vote on this so we can move forward with the procedure. We are fucked, Liz, there is no way out, we are fucked” he looked at Liz again and then he closed his eyes, resting his head on the wall again, both sighing.