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EC+AM=4ever Chapter 48
August 19, 2009
St. Edwards Hospital
“Right this way, Mrs. Mongolia.” Dr. Velasquez said as he guided me to my mother-in-law’s room. Once we got there, he added “I’ll leave you to be alone with her now. I’m very sorry for your loss.”
Then he turned and walked off down the hallway. I took a deep breath and walked inside of the hospital room that I’d come to be quite familiar with from my trips here with Ash.
“Who’s there?” she cried the second I walked through the door.
“It’s me, Evalynne.” I assured her. She’d just woken up last night around midnight. The doctors all said it was a miracle, that she had some kind of incredible breakthrough.
“Evalynne?” she asked, unsure of who I was exactly.
“Yes, Evalynne.” I replied, taking a step towards her. I pulled a chair up next to her hospital bed and sat down. The doctors had also said that she wouldn’t remember much. Only the basics like her name, her family members’ names, her birthday, stuff like that.
“Why are you here? Who are you?” she demanded, confused. “Where’s my son, Ash?”
I swallowed hard and answered her. “I’m Ash’s wife. We just got married on July twentieth. That was about a month ago.”
“You’re married to my son?” she cried. “Oh my gosh, how come I never met you before?”
I sighed, knowing that I had to be patient with her. “You did, you just don’t remember me. You have Alzheimer’s right now. That makes it hard for you to remember things.” I explained.
“Yeah, I know that. The doctors and nurses already told me about a thousand times. But I still want to know where Ash is right now. If you two are married then how come he‘s not here with you?”
“Two days after the wedding Ash had to leave to go somewhere. Do you remember where he had to go?” I asked her.
She sat there, thinking hard, trying to recall where her son had gone off to. “Oh my gosh. You two got married on July twentieth, so two days after is July twenty-second. He had to go to war didn’t he?”
I nodded slowly, “Yes, he had to go fight in Iraq.”
“So he’s in Iraq right now? I never even got to say goodbye to him. I hope he’s ok.” she said.
I felt tears begin to fill my eyes, but I blinked them away. “Actually, the day before he left he came here to visit you while you were still in a coma. And he said goodbye to you.”
She squinted, trying to evoke this. “I don’t remember.” she stated.
“Oh, well that’s ok.” I replied. Now was the hard part. “But there’s something else I have to tell you about Ash. He’s not in Iraq right now.”
“Where is he?” she questioned.
“He’s dead.” I informed her, my voice shaky and strained. “He got shot in the chest and died on August third. His funeral was about a week ago.”
She stared at me for a long time, unable to take this all in. “You’re lying.” she declared. “You’re not married to my son! Get out of here! Leave me alone!” she began shrieking. “Get out! Get out! Get out!”
I stood up, taking a step away from her. Then Dr. Velasquez came barging in, rushing over to try and calm her down. “I think you should go now.” he told me.
I nodded, stepping out of the room and listening in on what she was telling him from outside of the closed door.
“What’s the matter? What happened?” Dr. Velasquez asked calmly.
“That girl! She told me that Ash is dead! She’s a liar! Why did you let her into my room? Who is she?” she shouted.
He was silent for a moment, not knowing how to respond. “Ms. Mongolia, that was Evalynne. She is Ash’s wife. And she was telling you the truth. He passed away two weeks ago.”
There was more silence. And then the muffled sound of someone crying. Ash’s mom. “That can’t be true.” she whispered.
“I’m very sorry.” he replied.
“Send Evalynne back in here please. I want to talk to her.” she said after a moment of crying.
Then the door opened and he looked at me, realizing that I’d been listening in on their conversation. “Go on in.” he told me.
I nodded my head and stepped back into the room. “Hi,” I said to her.
“Hello,” she responded. “I’m sorry for yelling at you.”
“It’s ok.” I reassured her. “What do you want to talk to me about?”
“I forgot.” she stated.
“Forgot what?” I asked.
“About Ash. What did he look like? What was he like? What kind of person was he?”
“Well, I personally think that he looked like a mix of Ryan Phillippe and Christopher Masterson.” I told her.
“Who and who?” she inquired, staring at me like I was from another planet.
I laughed lightly, “I’ll explain it in a different way. He was tall and muscular and lean. And he had grayish-blue eyes. His hair was a mix of light brown and dark blonde, and it was spiky. Plus, he had a smile that completely lit up the entire room.”
She sat back in her bed, smiling, yet inaudibly crying at the same time.
“And as for his personality…well, he was a lot of things. Kind, loving, sweet, generous, funny, easy-going, down to earth, understanding, reassuring, always positive, humble, courteous, modest. But he also had a bit of a temper and got jealous pretty easily. But only if he really cared about something.” I grinned sadly, reminiscing the time when Cole and I spent the night at Marconi Beach and he came to pick me up and punched Cole in the face.
I’d been so furious with him. I’d thought of him as a monster. But he wasn’t. He was just trying to protect me because he loved me.
“Wow, he sounds like a great person.” she commented.
“Yeah, he was.” I agreed.
“I don’t think he deserved to die.” she stated.
Then she looked up at me, her eyes sparkling with tears. “And you seem like a very nice girl too. I can tell how much you loved my son. I’m glad that he chose you to be his wife.” It was ironic how kind she was being to me now. But I was very grateful and appreciated her flattery.
“Thank you,” I told her, expressing my gratitude.
“You’re very welcome.” she replied with a smile. And for the first time since Ash’s death, I felt good about myself.