Fritz Occupies the Seat Next to Marcie's Hospital Bed

March 17, 2008
By Amanda Souaysene, Benton, AR

Fritz occupies the seat next to Marcie's hospital bed waiting for her response to his firm grasp. He rests his lightly tanned chin on the crook of his arm staring at her beautiful wavy red hair scooped off to the side, which revealed a bluish-black bruise on her forehead near her hairline. He reminisces the first time he laid eyes on Marcie and her glowing green eyes, the eyes that lead him to the better side of his conscious. He laughs thinking about the way she stood tall still managing to be almost a foot shorter than he. Her unresponsive five foot one frame lies helplessly there breathing through a tube.

I remember the vibrating of my phone around eight last night. Three buzzes annoying my concentration of the various tasks at hand: a special dinner for the coming new year. After two and a half years, I planned to ask Marcie to spend the rest of her life with me. I quickly finish chopping up the green onions and throw them into the boiling soup as I press my fingers into the damp towel and flip my cell open all with in 20 seconds.

“Hello?” I respond into the receiver.

“Fritz, this is Marcie's aunt,” Lucy slowly replies.

“Oh, good, has Marcie left your house yet?” I ask intrigued.

“Yes...but...Marcie went head-on...just meet me at the hospital,” Lucy hesitantly answers with a shaky voice.

Just in two minutes my world crashes. In two short minutes my life halts to a dead end, reminding me that life can only be perfect for so long. I can't imagine life without Marcie and yet I'm on the verge of losing her.

I park my black '98 Honda Civic in the overly crowded parking lot my heart beating uncontrollably, throat tangled in my chest hoping I'm not too late. I quickly scurry off to the entrance spotting Lucy with a cigarette in hand.

“I tend to start bad habits in overwhelming situations like these.” Lucy blurts out defending her actions. I can only imagine what she goes through in prosecuting criminals. Lucy wore a black and white button up shirt with a pair of solid black slacks. I assumed she was in court earlier that day and nothing more. Her face barely contains any wrinkles as she quickly approached forty. Her pair of eyes, identical to Marcie, stares out to the emergency entrance across the parking lot, lost in a trance with various pieces of hair sticking out of her brownish-red bun. She looked a total wreck, making the appearance of how my own external state appeare not as bad. My curly brown hair ruffled up a bit from slaving over a hot stove as I was preparing the lasagna, my grey shirt possessed a maroonish stain from the bottle of champagne, and my apron still attached to my waist.

“Is Marcie okay? What happened? Where...?---I frantically ramble question after question anxious of all the possibilities.

“Someone hit her head-on but I don't know the details. She slipped into a coma. I'm heading back home to make some phone calls. Talk to Dr. Johnson, he will give you more details than I can.” Lucy informs me as she walks to her Lexus in the moist melancholic night. I stand there waiting for myself to wake up from this hectic nightmare, the one where everything started out so perfect then turned the wrong way and collided with a brick wall. After convincing myself this night is as read as my own five-eleven existence, I reluctantly trail past the sliding doors and spot the busy receptionist.

“I'm looking for Marcie Vandaro...and Dr. Johnson.” I state to the stout lady at the front desk. She stared at me without sympathy just there to do her job. Her disgusting preoccupied blue eyes plainly replies “Room 53,” and tells me Dr. Johnson is in there running tests.

I take a few steps toward the elevator and slide up to the fifth floor as if heaven was breathing down my neck. Second floor...Third I near the fifth floor my breathing becomes more shallow. Out of all the floors the transition to the fourth to fifth seemed to take almost an hour. Finally the doors open, not welcoming my presence necessarily. The space emitted an eerie silence. I quickly step to the third room attempting to make time more bearable. The door was crack just a little as I unsuringly open it.

“Oh...Hi. Who are you?” Dr. Johnson replies startled as he was about to leave Marcie's room.

“I'm---I'm her brother—-half brother.” I stamper trying to make this lie a believable one.

“Oh, well then your aunt must have told you what happened then?” His tired brown eyes reply as he examines my unresembling features taking note of the questioning look. “I guess you missed her on your way here. Well, um,...” he searches the right words to answer my painful look, “The new member of your family has not survived...” still seeing my confused expression he continues with a different method, “Your not going to be an uncle anymore...she had a miscarriage.”

His blunt response knocks me off my feet as I stumble to find a seat next to my hurt Marcie. Regardless, the feeble doctor leaves giving me time to soak in the overbearing news. A million questions flood my mind: Is the baby mine? When was she planning to tell me? When did she know? How could MY baby be lost when I just first heard the news?

As Fritz sits next to Marcie, he replays the image of Dr. Johnson over and over again. The slightly elder doctor staring at Fritz, holding valuable information within that silver head of hair of his. Information Fritz unable to fully accept. He cant believe Marcie would keep him ignorant of the news.

Fritz sits there just waiting for Marcie. He glances at the heart monitor, her right leg cast in the air, her arm and chest wired to various machines and the seemingly painful face screaming for help. Lines steadily shooting up and down ensuring him that his precious “sister” was still present within her own body. He slowly doses off holding her hand stubborn to let go.

After napping for an hour or so Fritz jerks awake as he imagined feeling a light tender squeeze mocking his own hand. The heart monitor beats a little fast alerting him that Marcie acknowledges his presence.

“How long have you been sitting here? What happened to that stranger? Is my leg going to be fine? Ugh...” Marcie moans in pain lightly touching the side her head.

“You've been in a severe car wreck. I don't know how the car hit you but your going to be alright. But—-you are no longer pregnant.” I squelch the heartbreaking news as Marcie looks mortified at me. I sense the stress filling the room so I attempt to calm the vulnerable situation about to take place.

“Fritz, I'm sorry I didn't tell you. I was about to let you know at dinner but... I thought it would create more problems in our relationship. I really need to tell you---”

“It's okay. You don't have to explain. We have the rest of our lives for a baby. Will you marry me?” I place the ring on her left hand as she lets a tear roll down to her left cheek.

“Yes.” She responds somewhat relieved. “But...” her heart monitor beats in a rush.

“Get some rest I'll be waiting for you.” I command Marcie trying to relieve whatever was bothering her.

The next morning Marcie dies.

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