He opens his eyes just to be blinded by the streetlight above. A searing pain in his chest was being drowned out by the ringing in his ears. He moves his hand gingerly towards the source of the pain. It was wet. He looks down to his fingers, they were red.
The ringing was fading and his eyes had finally adjusted to the blinding lights. He heard hysterical crying and suddenly a pair of hands converging to his chest, pressing down on the source of the pain, releasing more pain and more blood. He wanted to scream but he felt too weak and powerless.
He sees the anguish on her face as she was applying pressure to the wound. Her head cocked to the left holding her cell phone between her cheek and her shoulder. Tears were streaming down her face and falling drop by drop onto his face.
“It’s alright, calm down”
She didn’t seem to hear him as she continued to hold down his chest. With some effort he moves his hand up to her face to wipe her tears away but his fingers seemed to go right through. He attributes it to the numbness that had enveloped him. He tries to tuck her hair behind her ear but again his fingers just went through it all. A sense of panic engulfs him. With all the energy left in him, he gets up. He doesn’t feel any pain. Oddly, he didn’t feel her pressing down on his chest when he got up.
He looks down at her and sees her on the pavement. She was cradling his head on her lap and her hands were firmly on his chest. He feels the blood drain from his face and brings his hand to his chest again. He feels a hole, wide enough for two of his fingers, to the right of his sternum. His gaze had never left his lifeless body and once he had processed the gravity of the situation, he staggered back. It took him a couple of minutes to finally compose himself. He then organised his thoughts retrospectively.
He remembers her smile, warm and radiant, as they exited the theatre. The movie was quite horrible but then they had barely paid attention to it in the first place. He remembers the warmth of her hands as he held them. It was a pleasant November night and he suggested that they walk home. She agreed and they set off, hand in hand, down the street. It was pretty late and there was barely a soul on the street. They took their time, revelling in each others company. Then he saw a dark figure in the distant, walking towards them.
The figure had its gaze fixed firmly to the ground. It was wearing a hoodie, pulled down so low that it was impossible to look at its face and both hands in its pockets. The figure had picked up speed and was making its way much more quickly towards them. The figure stopped about 5 yards from them. He looks at the figure and senses something is wrong and quickly asks her to stay behind him.
“Lay down your wallet and belongings and kick it towards me. NOW!”
The figure had a rough, gravelly voice to match his imposing stature and to show that means business, he pulls out a revolver and aims for his heart.
” NOW!!! I DON’T HAVE ALL NIGHT!!!!”
He tries to negotiate with the gunman, while slowly removing his wallet. He felt her trembling hand grip his forearm. He looks at her with a smile and tells her everything is going to be all right. The gunman was getting impatient.
“GODDAMMIT!! Kick the fucking wallet towards me before I PUT A HOLE IN THAT PRETTY LITTLE BITCH!”
He puts the wallet on the pavement and kicks it to the gunman.
“Don’t you fucking try to be a hero!”
The gunman slowly bends and picks up the wallet with the gun still pointed at his chest. He gets up and smiles at him. Thinking the worst is over, he holds her hand tighter and consoles her.
“This is for wasting my time. Sweet dreams.”
Time seemed to slow down when the gunman uttered these words. There was a sadistic smile on his face. A bright flash emanated from the firearm swiftly proceeded with a loud bang, searing pain, fading light and distant wails of a siren.
The wail of the siren snapped him out of his thoughts. Her hands were bloody and tears were flowing less rapidly. Her lips were moving but no words came out, a silent prayer for the one she loved. The sirens were closer now and he could hear the screeching tyres. She looks up hopefully for the familiar flashing lights of an ambulance. He wanted to help her, console her but he didn’t know what to do.
The siren was deafening now as the ambulance screeches to halt beside his body. The paramedics rush out with their kits. They ask her to move aside as they delve into their kit to get the defibrillator. She staggers back to the wall and sinks to the pavement, helplessly watching as the paramedics go on about their job.
He feels weaker, fading. He knows there isn’t much time left. He walks towards her and sits next to her. He kisses her wet cheeks and whispers,
“You’ve done what you could but this is what was meant to be.”
The defibrillator is charged and the paramedic screams, ” CLEAR”.
An electric charge runs through his lifeless body to no avail.
“I’m sorry for everything and it’s not your fault”
The limp body jolts up and goes back to lifeless state”
“Smile. You look better that way and always remember, I will always love you”
She look towards him, surprised but she can’t see him. He sits there beside her and slowly closes his eyes for one last time.
“Goodbye, my love.”
A tiny flicker appears on the ECG and disappears.
A rush of blood to his head and he felt his heart pounding. He opens his eyes momentarily, just to be blinded by the streetlight. He feels a familiar touch and knows that everything’s going to be alright.