The nurse looked at the old woman sitting on the floor. She looked at me, covered in green vomit. She approached her first and gave her a hand to help her up.
“Are you alright?” Melanie asked her.
“Where did you come from? Who are you?”
She didn't answer, but instead came up to me to help clean me up. She started pulling the sheets off the bed and bunching them into a pile, then began untying my gown at the back. I watched her tits under her shirt as she moved, really hoping this marriage thing could happen fast so I could see her out of those clothes.
The nurse, after staring and seeming unsure for a moment, came to help too, snapping me out of my pleasant daydreams.
“Do you want another shower?” whispered the woman who I realized I could now call my fiancee.
“Nah, it hurts too much,” I answered. “They usually just use washcloths. Maybe I'll make the trek in the morning.”
“I'll bring some washcloths,” said Melanie, and after retrieving a pile of them, went to moisten several in warm water from the faucet.
I started getting up out of the bed since the sheets had to be changed, and I realized I needed to use the bathroom anyway, so couldn't avoid the added pain of moving around. I felt dizzy and lightheaded as I stood up on my leg while holding on to the bed. My fiancee went to get the wheelchair for me and held it steady while I sat into it. I began wheeling myself to the bathroom and she followed behind with the IV stand.
When I emerged from using the bathroom, also having brushed my teeth, the nurse was putting fresh bedding on the bed and my fiancee was cleaning the floor. I got myself into the wheelchair and wheeled myself toward the bed and lifted myself to sit on the edge of the bed once it was ready, annoyed at how moving around was both painful and physically draining. They both helped me out of my gown, pulling the IV bags through the armhole, wiped me down with washcloths, and dressed me in a fresh gown. My head was pounding. My side was aching. I scooted over and pulled the blankets off the bed and I went to lie down and pulled the blankets over me. I felt so worn out and tired, and was glad to be in clean sheets.
Eventually the nurse spoke to her.
“So we don't have anyone signed in in the visitor log for this room. Are you his wife?”
“Uh, almost,” she said. “This sexy and amazing man just asked me to marry him!”
Melanie smiled. “That's very sweet. Congratulations. We do have a policy, though. Hospital policy is that only immediate family members are allowed in here overnight, and they need to be signed in. You're not family yet and you're not signed in even.”
“We'll get married tomorrow morning or as soon as we can get someone to come here and do it!” she said.
“Sorry, ma'am, I understand, I do, I would love to let you stay, but I have to follow the rules or lose my job. Once you're married and you're signed in, you can stay overnight.”
She didn't answer right away. She looked at me.
“I'll be fine! Just sign in tomorrow so you don't have to play hide and seek all day!” I said to her.
“You've been here...all day?” Melanie asked in surprise.
“Kind of,” she answered with a giggle.
“All the stuff! That was you. Ahhh, I see. You do need to sign in, though. We ID everyone for security.”
“Okay,” she said. She came over to kiss my mouth softly and lingered longer than I expected her to with the nurse watching. I heard her let out a soft “mmm” as she kissed me and then stood up and stared at me with a very happy smile.
“I love you,” she whispered, still smiling.
“The other books an' stuff are in the lockers over there,” I said, pointing.
She went to collect the bags of extra stuff and her purse and gave me a last smile and a little wave with a cheerful “G'night” followed by my name, and departed.
Melanie started going through the standard procedure of taking my vitals again.
As she slid the blood pressure cuff up my left arm, she asked me about the news she'd heard earlier.
“So, getting' married, huh?”
“Unless she suddenly realizes she can do better than a corpse,” I said flatly.
“She must really love you,” Melanie said.
“Haven't seen her in 40 years,” I said, causing Melanie to start with a little gasp. “Sure wasn't expecting her to show up."
“40 years!” Melanie mused. “Forty years,” she said again, slowly, taking it in, before asking, “So what kept you apart? Why couldn't you be together back then?”
“Just didn't work out. Bad timing I guess.”
She made notes on my chart, then took my temperature.
“Still a bit high,” she said. She checked all the machines and the IV in my hand before exiting with the advice, “Try to get some sleep!”
I didn't realize I was dreaming when I stood on a bridge over a shallow creek in front of my angel, who was adorned in a long, flowing white gown. We were both young and smiling at each other with our hands joined. I kissed her. She wrapped her arms around me and kissed me back eagerly. Then we smiled at each other again. I looked down at the creek and it looked farther down than before. I kept staring down at it, as the bridge seemed to go up higher and higher.
“I can't be on this bridge. I need to get off this bridge!” I said urgently, and started pulling her hand to the end of the bridge, that also seemed to be getting farther away.
“You can't go that way! Don't you see the fire?” she dug her heels in and wouldn't come with me, but held my hand tightly and tried to keep me on the bridge.
I looked around. There was no fire. I glanced down, and the bridge was over a deep canyon with steep cliffsides and rushing water at the bottom. I heard the boards of the bridge cracking.
“Fire!? There's no fire! Come on!! The bridge is breaking!” I jerked on her arm and started trying to get her off the bridge.
“No! Stop! STOP!” she screamed, and fought to stay on the bridge. “It's burning over there!”
I kept hearing cracking noises coming from the bridge. She was struggling with all her might to keep me on the bridge. It's gonna break! I put my arms around her and picked her up to carry her forcibly off the bridge.
As soon as I stepped off the bridge, I felt a surge of heat like an oven had been opened in front of my face. The heat was everywhere. I was surrounded by flames. My skin started feeling like it was peeling and melting. I looked for her but she wasn't beside me anymore. I looked around, and saw her standing on the bridge. How the fuck. She was in my arms!
She stood at the edge of the bridge crying and screaming my name over and over. She was trying to enter the flames but was unable.
Far off in the flames, I could see a hooded and bearded dark figure approaching the bridge. I was burning. The pain was everywhere. I tried to make my way to her, but I didn't seem to be able to. The dark figure stepped out onto the bridge, and once he was out of the flames, he looked like me, and was wearing the exact tux I'd been wearing.
He smiled at her. She hugged him. He started talking to her.
I tried to get closer to hear what he was saying.
I couldn't hear. I could feel the searing pain all over my body. It was constant. I tried to get away from it, but I couldn't.
I started to groan from the pain. I glanced back at the bridge. He had her by the throat. I noticed she now held a sword in her hand. The blistering heat kept scorching me relentlessly.
I watched in pain and horror as he tightened his grip around her throat. The sword was in her hand, but she wouldn't use it. She thinks it's me! It's not me! Use the sword!! I tried to yell, but she showed no signs of having heard me. He was strangling her. She was trying to pull away, but his grip was strong. In desperation, she lifted up the sword and held it to his throat. Do it! I tried in vain to call to her. I tried again to move through the fiery slough, but could do nothing to escape or move or quell the suffering. I grimaced and groaned. Her hand quivered, and with a shriek, she turned the sword and plunged it into her own chest. Her white dress was soon colored with red streaks, and she collapsed on the bridge. The dark version of me vanished.
I woke up alone in the dark hospital room with my heart pounding. My head was still throbbing. I pressed the button to up the dose of painkiller multiple times. I needed water. I pressed the call button.
After Melanie brought me water, I went back to sleep. My next dream I enjoyed much more than the previous one.
We were young, and I made love to her repeatedly, first in the truck that I used to have, then on a beach, then in my bed, then in the back of a crowded movie theater, then with her sitting on my kitchen counter.
I woke up in the morning with a situation. As badly as I wanted to jerk off, it would have to wait, since a different kind of situation that is likely what wakened me from a dream I'd have liked to stay in presented itself.
This morning held another surprise in the doorway to my hospital room. It was unusual enough to have one woman from the past show up unexpectedly. The woman who now stood in the doorway was an extremely attractive half-Asian woman in her 50s, nearly 20 years my junior, and looked younger than her age, although I knew she artificially colored the lightening strands in her apparently solid black locks. She wore a very low cut black dress that clung tightly to her athletic body and ended about an inch below her crotch, revealing nearly all of her thighs down to her knee high, high heeled black leather boots. Seeing so much of her skin delivered an onslaught of steamy memories. Her exquisitely made-up face was embellished by a diamond nose stud and sizeable tassel earrings dangled from her ears, which I recognized as ones I'd purchased for her when she'd begged, during the days when she'd sizzled my sheets. I hadn't seen my most recent ex since shortly after the amputation, when she'd told me it was too hard to watch me suffer and had packed her things the same day. She'd done the same thing after the initial diagnosis, but came back when she needed a place to stay. Her artwork sales weren't faring well now, I guessed. I'd been amazed when any of her piles of glued-together spray painted paper clips had amassed any consumer interest.
“What are you doing here, Kim?” I asked, sounding as annoyed as I felt.
She said my name in a drawn-out simulated pout. “Don't be like thaaaat!”
“Why are you here?” I said tersely.
“I was looking for you at home, and since you weren't there, I called your brother and asked where you were.”
“Why were you looking for me?”
“I just wanted to see how you were doing!”
“Cut the bullshit. What do you want?”
She stepped closer.
“Well, since you're not using it, I was thinking I could stay at the house for a little bit.”
“No, you can't stay at my house,” I said. “You should leave.”
“You don't mean thaaaaat,” she crooned, beginning to run her fingers up my left arm with her dangling bracelets skimming my forearm.
I yanked my arm away. “I do. Go find someone else to fuck with. I'm done with you.”
She climbed on top of me, kneeing me in my bandaged incision, lending me to uttering a string of profanities She seemed not to notice and started running her hands over my chest.
“Get off me!” I said resentfully. I thought about using my arms to throw her off, but didn't want to get arrested if she broke something. That gave me the idea to just press the call button and let the hospital staff remove her.
Kim continued to accost me aggressively, causing her short dress to ride up, revealing a black thong. The sight of her body and its motion was having an unwanted effect on me. I'd woken up insanely horny, and this wasn't helping calm things down.
“Get the fuck off me!” I demanded.
She continued to dry hump me and the motion was causing my hospital gown to slide up, and in spite of my will, I was still rock hard and now it was showing. I started to pick her up under the arms to set her on the ground, but she very suddenly grabbed both my wrists and pinned them to the bed and continued. As much as I fought it, my body was starting to surrender to it, and in spite of myself, I heard myself groaning in pleasure.
Right then, I noticed her in the doorway. Realizing how the situation looked, nothing I could think of to say right then seemed adequate or believable.
I saw the look on her face as she took in the scene. Her eyes met mine, and the betrayal I saw her reading silently pierced me through. That broken-hearted look of sickened and supreme anguish was the last thing I saw on her face before she disappeared out of sight.
A nurse arrived in response to the call button. It was the crabby ginger-haired nurse, whom I was for once glad to see.
She ran up and started yelling. Kim started to scramble. Security was called. The police were called. Kim was removed in handcuffs after being scolded for her trashy outfit and matching behavior by Hades Ginger and being wrapped embarrassingly in a bedsheet.
Some time later, a police officer entered my room.
“Sir, I'd like to ask you a few questions.”
“Sure,” I said.
“Can you tell me what happened in here?”
“She came in here and started touching me, got on top of me and was kind of forceful and wouldn't listen when I asked her to stop. She's an ex-girlfriend I haven't seen in about two years. I think if you just ask her to leave me alone, it'll be fine.”
“This is a sexual assault. We take these very seriously. The hospital is pressing charges. She is likely going to prison.”
Great, now she'll have a place to stay.
The officer asked me for a more detailed recounting of the incident, and I tried to downplay it and didn't mention the kneeing of the incision and tried to explain to him that this was a typical reaction of women around me, that they just go a little crazy for me, likely due to my boundless sexiness. He looked me up and down and seemed skeptical. He said they might need to come back for more questioning and informed me that I might be asked to be a witness in a trial and asked if I could make it to a courtroom or whether I'd prefer to do a video testimonial.
I laughed internally. I'll probably be dead by then. I had no plan to participate in any way, shape, or form, but just said I thought they were taking it a bit far.
After he left, I picked up my phone. I typed her name and hit send. I tried to think of what to text her. It's not what it looked like. The standard line seemed almost comical. I realized after thinking for a bit that she would believe me. No matter what I told her, she'd believe me. Then I thought back to last night, and how she was planning to leave everything behind for me. Now she'll go home. She'll have a better life with her family than she would watching me die. All I have to do is nothing now. I wanted to tell her I loved her. I wanted her to come back and hold my hand again. I wanted her with me. Think about her. I put my phone on the stand beside the books and the CD player.
After awhile, my phone chime brought me out of my nearly-asleep fog. I picked it up. She'd replied with a single question mark. I deleted the message and blocked her number, then put my phone away again.