- Maybe, I said, we can go there some day? I looked thoroughly at Sam, trying to catch even the slightest glimpse of life, but there was nothing. He was just laying there, not responding to anything I said or did. Not that I could blame him. He was, after all, hooked onto life support machines of all sorts, shapes and sizes. He had been for a few months now. There were wires and tubes everywhere, and beeps and all different kinds of other sounds. I usually had some soft music playing in the background in an attempt to drown it all out. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't.
The doctors didn't give him any chance of waking up, but I just couldn't make the decision to turn the machines off. I wasn't ready. Not yet. "Maybe some day I will be", I thought to myself, "but not yet." Part of me knew I was being selfish, but the other part of me thought it would be selfish to turn it off. It wouldn't make his life easier, it would just make him dead. It would, however, make my life a lot easier. It would actually give me a life again. I wanted to say give me back my life, but nothing could ever do that, so it didn't feel right to say it. It would give me a life again. A different life from before, but a life compared to now.
I looked at the sweet man that was the love of my life, trying to see him as he used to be, but it was hard. The memories were there, of course, but they were just memories, this was the reality now. Sam would never be what he used to be. He would never smile or laugh again, never cry or get angry either. I would never see the twinkle in his eyes when he thought of something funny, or have his hands softly touch my skin. I would never again hear him say my name, or feel the warmth inside my chest when he told me he loved me.
Was he in pain? Obviously nobody knew, but I didn't think he was, it would have been an easy decision to make if I had thought so. I didn't want him to be in pain, I just wanted him alive. I sighed; "Alive, that's a joke, he's hardly alive. Neither am I although I'm a lot more alive than he is."
- I'm sorry, Mrs Kent, it's time to change his sheets., a soft voice said behind me. One of the nurses looked at me with guilt in her eyes.
- Thank you, nurse Colleen, you have no idea how much that means to us., I told her reassuringly. There was no point in having Sam's carers feel like they were in the way. Without them I would be even less alive than I already was, and Sam would most likely be sleeping in a lot dirtier sheets. The nurse's big, blue eyes lit up and she smiled.
- Thank you, it's nice to hear that, you are always so kind to us., she answered back with a touch of relief and appreciation in her voice. I smiled at her; - I'll get out of your way, it's time for dinner anyway.
As I was driving home I thought of all the times I had driven that particular way in the last few months, between the hospital and home. Our home that was becoming my home more and more. One small thing at a time it was changing. Once the doctors had told me there was no hope I had completely re-done the guest en-suite and made it my bedroom, my domain, my haven at home. It was a room that Sam had never spent any time in. It was out of that room my strength grew, step by step; my strength to move forward, to move on. Next thing I had done was to paint the kitchen; I had always wanted a warm colour on the walls and cabinet doors, but Sam had preferred white and steel grey. He wasn't there to argue with me about it right now, so I had made the decision to go for it. I had to admit it was a lot out of anger, to make him just as mad as he had made me when he drove that car so recklessly against the red light. If he ever woke up he couldn't blame anybody but himself for the accident. Well, that wouldn't be a problem because he wasn't waking up anyway.
After I had re-done the kitchen I just kept going, I needed something to occupy my mind with, so I had changed the whole house except for our bedroom and Sam's office. They were in a time capsule, a reminder of what was and of my pain. The pain he had caused me. I had started to forgive him though, he wouldn't have wanted to be the way he was now, I figured. He had been careless, and he had paid the price. Soon it would be the ultimate price. At that moment I knew I had to let him go. It was time.
"Take a left here." I voice in my head said, all of a sudden. Without having the time to think about it I did. - Well, it's nice with the change., I said to myself out loud. "Maybe this is the next step, changing my route home?"
I had learnt to just go with it when these thoughts of change hit me. In the beginning I just didn't have the strength to fight them, and after some time I started enjoying it. As time had gone by I had understood that it was something I had to do, that it helped me move forward, step by step.
I started to feel excitement rise within; I was wondering where this change would lead me. Literally, as I had no idea where I was geographically. "Oh, this is fun!", I thought to myself as I turned the music on for the first time since Sam's accident. I listened to music at home, and played music to Sam, but this was the first time I had turned it on in the car since Sam's crash. The Police thought he had been doing something with his old car stereo when he had been hit, it had been the old type where you use a cassette tape. Sam had loved it. It had made me loath the combination of music and driving, but this time it felt good. It felt right.
Driving on an unknown road, with my favourite song playing made me wish I had a convertible so I could have felt the wind in my hair. I actually felt alive. "I feel alive!", I said to myself with surprise. "I AM ALIVE!", I shouted when the feeling had sunk in. I laughed, and sang along with the music, and I looked around at the landscape. Yes, I was alive.
Far behind me, at the hospital that I had just left, Sam opened up his eyes. "I am alive!", he said quietly to himself. He started to move his fingers and legs, before he sat up. He could feel his wife's spirit, her energy, hit him. "That's what woke me up.", he thought. Sam smiled and pressed the little buzzer next to his bed.
Nurse Colleen opened the door and stopped mid sentence while saying she thought Mrs Kent had left. Her jaw dropped and her already big eyes turned even bigger. She stared at Sam. She couldn't speak, she couldn't find any words to say, so she just continued to stare.
Sam smiled at her and said; "Nurse, could you please call my wife and tell her I'm alive."