"Please Wake Up!"

December 6, 2007
By Mariesa Hirsch, El Cajon, CA

“Please wake up! Please?” Tiny wet circles grew visible on the stark white sheets. Realizing that her efforts were fruitless, she quietly got up and stretched away the aches of the night. She walked over to the window and carefully pulled back the curtains. She looked out onto the city and watched the lights. Her throat began to burn, as it had many times during the last month. Eyes brimming with salty tears, she stood, arms crossed, and watched the tiny lights move across the horizon. She pulled up one of the comfortable chairs, meant to be sat in for long periods of time, and continued her observation of the foggy metropolis until her vision blurred and everything slowly grew dark.

She awoke in her bed, the sun warming her face. “How did I get here?” she whispered. She smelt bacon and heard quiet sizzling. She got out of her bed, changed into jeans and a tank top, and gingerly walked out of the bedroom and made her way to the kitchen. She found a familiar face standing at the stove.
“Good morning, well actually it’s afternoon bu-“
“I thought you were still in the hospital.”
He gave her a curious look. “What? I’ve been here since yesterday. Remember, we went to the park.”
“No, you’ve been in a hospital bed since last month; unconscious. I was sitting in your hospital room yesterday, not in the grass.”
“Are you okay? You look a little pale. Here, I made breakfast.”
“Breakfast? You can barely pour yourself a bowl of cereal. How did you manage bacon, eggs, and pancakes?” she said reproachfully.
“Oh, I did a little research.”
“On how to make breakfast?”
“Can’t I just cook you meal every once in a while?”
“But that’s just it, you can’t cook!”
“Just eat it will ya? I got up early just to make it for you”
“Okay, okay. I guess I’m just a little weirded out by that dream. I mean, it seemed so real. I could feel the tears, and your skin; it was like leather.”
“Well, my skin’s just fine and I’m in perfect health. Look.”
He jumped up and down and touched his index fingers to his nose. Seeing that he was starting to make her giggle, he continued to stretch and moved on to dancing the salsa. She burst out laughing at his sad attempts to dance and he realized that he had accomplished what he wanted. He tangoed over to her side and proceeded to stroke her hair, quietly laughing to himself.
“You know, this tastes a little funny,” she smirked.
“Oh come on! It can’t be that bad. Give it here,” he said as he quickly scooped a mouthful of food onto his fork. “You know, your right,” he chuckled. “It does taste weird. Kinda like hospital food. What can I say, I tried.”
Hospital food. At those words, the smirk was wiped off her face. She swiftly stood up and walked over to the window and pulled back the curtains, only they weren’t the ones that she had put up. She almost immediately recognized the distasteful print. These were the hospital curtains! She heard someone calling her name, it was him, but she couldn’t find him in the increasing darkness. Then, everything went black.

She awoke with a start. She was back in the big squishy hospital armchair. “It was only a dream,” she whispered to herself. She wished it hadn’t been. She wished it was real. With all her heart she longed to be waking up to a terrible breakfast, lovingly made by her new fiancé. But alas, she was still in the austere hospital room, room 204: ICU.
Her thoughts were disrupted by something, a kind of groan. She quickly turned around and gazed at the white-clad man, then, once again, pulled the chair over to his bedside. She held his hand, the skin rubbery against hers. A small groan seemed to escape his lips. She was snapped out her trance-like state and stood up, still grasping his hand.
“Jon? Jon, can you hear me?”
No response.
“Jon, if you can hear me, squeeze my hand.” Her heart began to beat in her chest and she nervously waited for something, anything.
Maybe it was just in her head. Who knows, maybe she just day-dreamed it. But she had been so sure. For a moment, she was full of hope, a feeling which had almost completely escaped her over the last few weeks.
Suddenly, that feeling was regained. A tiny pressure was felt on her hand, the one that held her fiancé’s. Her eyes met his closed ones.
Her heart felt like it was in her throat and her eyes began to water as she waited for a response.
“Jon?” she repeated, a little louder.
She stared at her hand, then at his eyes. A tiny moan broke the silence of the hospital room.
“Jon! Jon, it’s me! Wake up. Wake up! Please. Just open your eyes. Oh God, please!” she pleaded.
Ever so slightly, his eyes began to flutter open. She kept calling to him, slowly growing louder and louder with excitement.
“Nurse! Nurse! Come here! He’s waking up!” she called to the nurse passing by the door.
His eyes continued to struggle open as his body seemed to fill again. Life was coming back to his skin and at last his eyes were open. She looked into them with her gleaming ones and began squealing with joy.
“Jon! My God! You’re awake! I didn’t think it was possible anymore, but here you are!”
“His vitals are normal and everything looks good. The doctor will be down in a minute,” said the nurse who had been bustling around the room assessing his condition.
For a while they just looked at each other, taking everything in. Then came a hoarse whisper,
“I love you.”
She began sobbing with joy. She had waited to hear those words, just one more time, for so long. Relief and happiness took over her body and she collapsed on top of his bed. Holding her and stroking her hair, he quietly cried with her as the lights dimmed and the curtain came to a close.

The audience rose and clapped furiously as the curtain slowly opened again and the cast bowed, over and over, until the misty-eyed viewers has been satisfied. As the red curtain closed once more, the two actors walked off stage together.

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