The Operation

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short and true story about the feelings of a man and his wife before during and after her operation.

Submitted: February 21, 2008

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Submitted: February 21, 2008

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THE OPERATION
 
 
 
 
Standing in the hospital corridor, they looked at one another as if it might be for the very last time.
They threw their arms around each other and as she cried on his shoulder he fought hard to hide his own tears. He then wondered to himself if perhaps she could be right in thinking the operation may prove too much for her system to cope with.
 
As they waved goodbye he swore to himself that he would love her for the rest of her life and as long as he was able to breathe he would not ever betray her or leave her alone again.
 
Stepping out into the night the sticky rain moistened the hot and sweaty feeling he had from the hospital and it was only as he approached the car that reality set in.
What would he do without her? Why did he ever hurt and betray her? How could he possibly have put someone else before her?
These questions raised his emotions to the extent that tears of sorrow started to pour from his eyes. And his last experience of tears was a long time ago when after a long illness his mother passed away in the very same hospital.
 
Turning on the car’s ignition he sat and wept uncontrollably thinking about everything that happened between them throughout their eighteen years together give or take a few years when he left her for a fling with another woman.
 
As he began to drive towards the exit of the hospital he stopped and looked at the window of the ward she was located and wondered what she was thinking. How horrible it must be for her to rely and depend on a man like him who had let her down so many times before who also broke his marriage vows for some unimportant flirtatious female far away in another land. How must she really feel as a lovely human being and a perfectly loyal wife not knowing if there was any real or true meaning in his promising he would always be there for her and would always do everything he could to ensure her future happiness.
As the tears continued to flow down his cheeks and blurring his vision he proceeded to drive onwards towards the hospital exit when his mobile phone lit up announcing a message ‘I will love you for always and forever’. These words added fuel to the increasing sadness he felt burning in his already blackened soul, a soul destroyed by lies deceit and perhaps an extent of evil too.  Responding to the message as quickly as he could he replied in the very same words she had sent adding ‘I truly mean what I am saying’.
Driving onwards on the journey home the tears still trickling across his face he decided he must pull himself together if for nothing else to survive the journey and for once in his life being able to keep his promise.
When he arrived home to a rather quaint terraced house he opened the door and entered into the darkness of what was previously a festive atmosphere throughout the Christmas period only made possible by his wife. It was only on that very same day as they were discussion the aftermath of a very pleasant Christmas the phone call from the hospital came that morning.
 
The hospital notified a cancellation made by another patient resulting in a slot available to carry out the operation on his wife. As she answered the phone and started speaking with the caller he could detect the trembling in her voice from the other room. As she continued the conversation she said ‘can you please call back in twenty minutes’ before replacing the receiver. Without a word between them they looked at one another and somehow felt each others panic. Yet he knew before she replaced the receiver that the call was about the operation and that the time had now arrived after a four year long wait for her pain and suffering to at last be relieved and the opportunity for them to both be able to lead a normal and active life together. The painkillers had stopped working and she was in agony most of the time and whilst he did his best for her in the home nothing would take away her physical suffering. Despite numerous visits to consultants and her GP the waiting list did not reduce quickly enough to provide any short term hope at all. It was only with a recent visit to a Senior Consultant the seriousness of the condition and the extent to which it had progressed was realised.
 
So here they were completely like a bolt out of the blue a long awaited message to say the time had come. They went into the kitchen for a coffee and cigarette and discussed the practicalities such as the welfare of their two cats and after care requirements.
As she began to cry contemplating what lay ahead he reassured her as best he could that it was for the best and that she could not continue to survive with such extreme pain and also that the long term benefits would greatly outweigh the short term consequences. 
 
After what seemed like several hours and in reality was only thirty minutes the telephone rang. As she spoke he noticed panic in her eyes. ‘today’, she said at which point he quickly realised there was no time to waste. Replacing the receiver once again she began to sob uncontrollably but he quickly comforted her and reassured her to be positive concluding the sooner it was done the better and that it was after all only a one hour drive to the hospital. Something within her changed dramatically. Rather than ponder on the negative aspects of the situation she said ‘ Right I better get a quick shower and get my things ready’. The suitcase had already been prepared well in advance with all the necessary items of bed clothes and toiletries. As she showered he quickly scurried around the house ensuring everything was switched off and the house would be secure in their absence. Time was critical as and they both ensured progress was speedy. Ensuring the cats had enough food and water to last at least a few days in case of problems he closed the front door behind him knowing if all was well it would be the latter part of the evening when he would return.
 
On the journey to the hospital he attempted to brighten her spirits focusing on all the positive things they would be able to do together in the future such as take a holiday abroad, walks in the countryside, and at long last be able to live a normal life. He knew very well that her real fear was of not awakening from the anasetic which was to be delivered prior to the operation. This was a fear he also had but pretended not to. Approaching the hospital grounds the journey has been relatively traffic free through the city. They pulled into the car park and decided to have one last cigarette together as they arrived slightly earlier than expected.
Entering the hospital reception area the nurse welcomed them with a warm smile and provided a registration for which he completed before proceeding to the upstairs ward area. Given the time of year the ward area was also very quiet with only two other patients waiting to have similar treatment. As he carried her case to the bedside they sat and talked a while before a nurse came over and explained the process of what lay ahead. She would be in for two or three days and the actual operation would be performed the first morning of her stay. So they still had a few hours together before he would need to leave on his journey home.
As she thought about the anasethic and the possibility of not wakening from this he reassured her once again that the likelihood of this occurring was very low given the fact that no similar incidences had come to mind. He did however realise during his reassurance that what he said was not based on any actual scientific evidence or statistics and only supposition.
Remarkably the mood improved over the next hour and after a couple of cigarette breaks it was comforting for her to know that he really did care about and love her and for him there was a great realisation that he loved her more than ever before.
 
As he switched the living room light on he felt the stillness and silence with the coldness of the room. 
Making a coffee then sitting at the kitchen table he could not remove his thoughts from the pain of knowing he may never see her alive again. He then started plea- bargaining with God asking for this one favour to keep her alive and he would repay God with anything he could give. On reflection he quickly realised he had made so many pleas before only to laugh in God’s face when the favours were granted. And, reality setting in he realised that neither of them had anyone else in the world other than one another and this was brought about mainly by his lack of trust and love of humanity. He also realised that he did not care less about this for himself but he did care for her and whilst he had distanced his own family and friends a long time before the to the extra marital relationship she too had distanced her own family through her love for him. Reality once again setting in he quickly decided to switch off his emotions and went to check on the cats.
Whilst getting ready for bed he thought again about how he could have ever left such a lovely genuine person for some gold digger he met through the internet and how could he have possibly subjected his wife to the torment pain and humiliation of separation.
Yes, he was evil he thought to himself but not anymore and he would spend the rest of his life making amends to her.
He felt so alone and unhappy without her at home and thought about the lovely person who made the house a home who was worried sick about her operation. Checking his mobile phone once again he read a new text message reading ‘love you forever and always’ and once again this brought him to tears as he once again responded in a similar fashion. The strange thing he thought to himself was he actually meant what he was saying and felt both excited and enthused at the prospect of being with her for the rest of his life. He had a lovely warm glowing feeling knowing that given the opportunity by God he would welcome with open arms the opportunity of remaining with his wife forever.


© Copyright 2017 Jay Magee. All rights reserved.

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