The Heat

October 22, 2008
By
When I walked into the room I dragged my fingers across the letters on the door. Critical Care. Critical didn’t even begin to cover how his face appeared on the bed. He looked like he always did after he fell asleep on his old dusty blue recliner, after the daily novellas.

Trish held my hand as I sulked by his bedside. In her casual optimistic taste she started making jokes about his cigarettes and solid gray hair. When the doctor came in. he acted as if I wasn’t even there; I tuned out the horrid picture plans he laid out for my step-mom. She got all the facts, while I ran my fingers through Grandpa’s fluffy hair. The wires blocked me from touching the original “Cabello ears,” but I still laughed at the thought of Bubba and me trying to tweeze the ridiculous hair shooting out by his earlobes. The wires continued down his arm, all the way to his finger tips. I couldn’t help but trace the wires that held his life with my hand.

His fingers were ashy like always, fingernails were brittle, but best of all, even after a week in the hospital, he smelled of Marlboro Reds and coffee. Trish left the room, but I hadn’t noticed exactly when. Alone, near midnight, Grandpa and I had our last talk.

“You know, I finally admitted the inevitable, Grandpa. I’m working for Tio Juan at McDonalds. It’s not as bad as everyone makes it sound, actually it’s much worse. I’m still playing tennis too! I just got back from Wichita Falls today and I did really good. I’m dating a guy right now too. You wouldn’t like him much though, he’s very quiet. He takes good care of me, though, and he is a college student. Got me a smart one just like you said. Momma hates him, but oh well, I think I finally found a keeper. You know I love you, right, Grandpa? I’m not ready to lose you too. Please don’t go. I know you’re a stubborn old man. So just don’t go. Please just fight back for one more time. I’ll see you tomorrow. Goodnight. I love you.”

I touched his arm one last time before walking out of the room. His hair was fine with age, felt tender and soft along my fingers. The heat from his body was just as I remembered when sitting on his lap all those times. The heat of his arm was the only thing keeping him close. The heat of his hand still held all the love I always turned to. The heat of his skin was the only reminder of the safety I always has in his arms.

Grandpa never woke up. And the heat was gone.





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This article has 8 comments. Post your own now!

pinksage33 said...
Aug. 5, 2009 at 12:00 am
Love it!!!
 
Ray J. said...
Nov. 20, 2008 at 6:18 am
I love your story.
Remmember i love you and im with you all the way.
I believe in you!
 
Ray J... said...
Nov. 20, 2008 at 6:05 am
I love your story!!
Remember i love you and im with you all the way!
you have my votes!!
 
ray j. said...
Nov. 20, 2008 at 5:28 am
Baby i love your story!! I wish u the best and remember im with u all the way!! And remember that "I LOVE U"!!!!
 
OnryOne said...
Nov. 15, 2008 at 7:30 pm
I got chills on the back of my neck. And yes, I read it again, twice.
 
jenpin said...
Nov. 15, 2008 at 4:08 pm
I am tears. Great job!!!
 
EL said...
Nov. 12, 2008 at 3:34 pm
I could feel the heat from the writer's heart flow down her arm and onto her paper :)
 
omgitsme! said...
Nov. 12, 2008 at 5:14 am
AHHH!! That's my story!!!=]
 
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