The white sheets that were laid across Nate were soaked in dark red blood and there was a bag and breathing tube connected to where, just yesterday, a lovely smile had been. His forehead was gashed open, his eyes were irreversibly closed, and his skin was pale. He looked lifeless. Rex reached for my hand and I gladly took it and held on to it. This was going to be a tough night for all of us.
We followed the paramedics and Nate’s gurney through the buzzing waiting room and we went through large white automatic doors to the trauma wing of the ER. Before I could even blink the trauma team had begun to peel away the bloody saturated sheets to access his wounds. His eyes never opened, but I knew he was still alive because his pulse and heart beat kept strong and steady.
Rex and I were quickly ushered into the family waiting room down the hall, closely followed by my own parents. When we walked into the empty waiting room, I gripped my chest with my clammy hand. I gasped for air as I felt my knees begin to buckle. My whole perfect world was crashing down around me. My mom came over to me and took me into a hold-me-up-because-I’m-dying-hug. The tears were running down my face so hard I could barely see. I just wanted to rewind this horrible day back to the time when Nate was okay.
I kept repeating the same thing. “I wish I could have this day back.”
The time ticked by but I couldn’t feel the minutes pass and I couldn’t judge the time that had disappeared. I knew, however, that I was sick of waiting, and I wasn’t even sure what I was waiting for. I did know that I wanted to see his smile, like the night before in his apartment. I wanted to see his tousled bed head, like when we woke up together that morning. I wanted to feel his arms wrapped around me into a perfect, comforting hug. I stood up and physically shook my head, as if to shake all the sweet memories that I would come to miss out of my head.
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