Gentle Touch…. (3)


Chapter 3

I didn’t meet Susan for a week now. I knew she was going to be saddened by it. I called her up three days after that night. She deserved that, I couldn’t abandon her totally. I had to think and decide something.

Those days. Every three days, I called her up. She would ask me how I was, how my work was going at the bank where I worked as a teller. She tried hard to not ask me, as though she was afraid of what my answer would be. This indecisiveness was as much painful for her as much it was for me.

Those days were dreadful. I was alive but as though someone had beaten the life out of me. I knew that deep in my heart I had developed love for her. Her uniqueness, her smile, her care was boundless. Was she what I needed in life? I was going mad. I knew I had strong feelings for her. But why this indecision then! I had no answer to that question.

It was week two now. While I was returning home from the bank, I received a call. It was an unknown number. I received the call. It was from nurse Amy, Susan’s colleague at the hospital. There was a fire that had broken out on the pediatric floor and…… I heard nothing. There were a hundred thoughts in my mind. A hundred what-ifs. A hundred prayers to God. A hundred times my heart told me now, I love her. I will love her. Just let her live, and I will love her immeasurably.

I ran towards the nearest taxi and made the driver rush to the hospital. There was smoke coming from the building. I rushed in. There was all chaos. I was taking long strides. Where are you Susan? Please for God’s sake, don’t leave me now! I whispered my prayers.

The fire was put off and children were shifted in a makeshift section of the other wing on that floor. There she was! Her white uniform turned grey with the smoke and ashes. Her face had soot. Her hands were covered with bandage but she was still comforting the child on the bed.

I ran towards her. Uncaring about the place and people, I pulled her into my arms. She was shocked. “Simon! I am fine Simon!” She said. I hugged her tighter with tears falling from my eyes. I knew she was strong. This time I was trembling. And I told what my heart had told me a few minutes back.

“I love you, Susan. I really do!” I said holding her tighter to my chest. I would be hers. I would give her all the love she needed and wanted. I would have her love me. I would be hers. I loved her. Nothing else mattered. She was in shock. She pulled herself slowly away. She held my hand and moved me to a corner.
“Don’t be mad Simon. You don’t have to be so worried and decide something like this! Think rationally.” she blurted.
“It’s decided. I was away as I needed to decide. I wanted to assure myself that I loved you and only then I wanted to come back to you! I didn’t avoid you Susan. I wanted to know myself, my feelings and my love.” I spoke my heart out.

She was speechless. I smiled at her and kissed her. Her soft and tender lips were under mine. I knew I had a lot to do. But I was ready to do anything for her. For my Susan.
After six months we got married. No one had any say as Susan and I had decided that we wouldn’t need to tell everyone everything. So we became one. She was an amazing wife and lover. Except for the missing breasts, she was the epitome of love and care. Susan, my life.

When two years to our marriage passed, and she wasn’t able to conceive, she went in for some dreadful tests. And then hell broke lose in my world. She was diagnosed with cervical cancer. I tried my best to make ends meet. She kept her job going. We went for chemotherapy, for all sorts of medicines and therapies. Nothing was working for her. It was five years back. She was now in the last stage. I was trying my best to hold on to her, to keep her with me. I needed her.

I was here again today. My wife lay silent, asleep. As I got ready to leave, she had opened her eyes. This happened lesser because she was under high dose pain killers and morphine injections to ease her pain. She held my finger. She pulled me closer. She spoke after a long time. “Thanks for eeevvveerrryyythhinnnggg, Siiimmmooonn” she spoke with dragging the words. Speaking four words was making it hard to breathe. Her thin cold fingers were touching my face now. I held her other hand, it was just a bony structure. She caressed my cheek, “Goodbye love” she said and then her hand fell limp.
My wife was gone. Her suffering ended. I gave her all the love that I could but I couldn’t save her. My heart wept for my love. And Susan left me alone. Her gentle touch today was her last one!

💠💠💠💠💠💠 THE END 💠💠💠💠💠💠

Thanks for reading!



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