The sign blinked in the slow manner that signs in store windows do; on…off… on… off. He stood there watching it from the window of her hospital room across the street. He listed to the sound of the machine she was hooked up to and realized that it was in time of the sign. Beep… beep… on… off… beeps…beep.
He looked over his shoulder and saw that she was still deep in a peaceful sleep. That was good he thought. With the hell of pain, she’d been through the last few days. He wasn’t sure if it was exhaustion or the meds that had allowed her to finally enter into a deep sleep. He didn’t care what it was, as long as she slept. The lights in the room were low; he turned and sat down in the chair by her bed.
There was a soft knock at the door. He looked up and saw the nurse slowly enter. “How is she?” she asked in that stage whisper all nurses have. He wondered if they had a class for that in nursing school.
“Asleep.” He watched his wife move in her sleep. The nurse moved to the machines looked at them, checked the IV drip, then straighten the bed covers and left. The woman who, for 46 years had been his rock and compass still slept but uttered a slight groan of pain in her sleep, if he lost her, he wouldn’t know what to do. Should he think like that? No, No she’s gonna be fine, just fine.
Just a cold, the doctor had said. Admit her just to be on the safe side, they said. So they could keep an eye on her, they said. At her age, they didn’t want to take chances. That had been six days ago and she had been going downhill the whole time she had been here. He wouldn’t have minded it so much if they could tell him what was wrong. A place or a thing, even a person, somewhere to vent his anger, his fear, frustration, but they could tell him nothing.