Regret

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short story on the thoughts of death for some.

Submitted: December 25, 2014

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Submitted: December 25, 2014

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Waking up now just seems to be the biggest burden. I try hard every day just to keep myself going without wilting over. This is the eighth year he has been gone, but the memory sticks with me like it was yesterday and I relive the nightmare every night I go to bed. The nightmares aren’t what keep me up at night though; it’s the screams and whispers. Sometimes I can feel him holding me, other times I feel him push me away as to not fall to the inferno of denial. 

The day my husband died was simply the worst day of my life. I am a nurse at John C. Lincoln E.R., so I am used to seeing people die, but nothing could prepare me for what I was going to experience that day.

“You never do anything around here!” I remember yelling at him that morning. Now that I live on my own, I regret saying that. “You only work nine hours, what do you do when you’re at home? Nothing?!” There was no reply from him; he just sat there reading his newspaper. Boy did he know that ticked me off, ignoring me. “Know what?! I’m not going to waste my time with you; I have to go to work.” I left and made sure to knock over some things and slam the door. I remember that as I was driving away, I saw him open the front door and step out, waving good-bye.

All day at work, I was busy. It was the first day we didn’t have patients from the 7:00 o’clock rush hour though. All that seemed to be coming was kidney failure and heart attack victims. I guess that is to be expected the day after the Fourth of July. Then we got it, two car accident victims, it was 7:32 if I remember correctly. Both of the men were unconscious, one had minor injuries and a concussion; the other had been fatally wounded. I was working on an open heart surgery when they came in, but one doctor that was observing the operation was called over immediately. I would not know about either patient until 9:46. When I was called out for an emergency notice, I knew something was very wrong, and how right I was. I came into the room of the fatally injured patient to see what anyone would dread. There, in the bed, was the face of someone I loved; only it was scarred and burned. It seemed I stepped in just moments after his heart had stopped and I swear I cried, but I’m told that I had not shed a single tear, just collapsed and fell unconscious.

The day my world ended was the same day I opened my eyes to see the nightmare of life. My last words to him were pernicious and malicious. They sent me home early. The moment I stepped through the door, I regretted waking up that day. The sign spread across the hallway said “I’m sorry,” I swear I heard his voice say those words as I read. I fell to my knees and collapsed my face into my palms, I bawled for an hour, at least. By the time I came to, my palms were pruned from my tears.

The nightmares started that night, and they got worse every night after that, all of them reliving the moment I said good-bye. In some, I was in the car with him as the large diesel truck ran the red light and slammed into the side of the small Chevy pick-up truck. He was on his way to pick up flowers. I know this because I was called at 11:00 o’clock saying the flowers had been ready for pick up over three hours ago.

Every day, after work, I go to see him. I buy him flowers once a week, the same bouquet he was getting for me that day. Sometimes I fall to denial, but watching death happen every day makes me understand he’s gone. It also makes me realize something else. We all fall to the powers of death, so I sped up the process. That is why you are reading this note.


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