Read Part 1 here >>> Timeless Love (A short story, part 1)
Harry had been sitting on the bench for too long now. She didn’t come. The dial was crossing 6:15 pm. Harry was certain she would come. There was no doubt about it. After about 5 minutes, his mobile rang. An unknown number. Could this be her? Harry picked up. After the call, in some next minutes, Harry was rushing to a hospital in a cab. The call was from his doctor friend who informed him about how a patient, caught in an accident, kept asking for him before going unconscious.
The police at once took notice of it and had contacted him for, the doctor attending her, Mr. John Blackwood, happened to be Harry’s friend.
“Call Harry. He is at the Park… West-end Park.”
“Harry McHal. Call him. He’s waiting for me.”
“Yes. Harry McHal. He’s at the Park. Call him. Call him quick. Someone call him.”
The doctor tried to ask her for more details and, assuming it was his friend she asked for, he had called Harry to enquire.
The accident happened at the Hampton Crossroad, where the cab she was in was hit by a Heavy-Carrier that took a wrong turn on the lane. The Heavy-Carrier had hit the back of the cab, rendering her severely injured, while the cab driver sustained a few injuries. The driver of the Carrier had fled.
Harry’s world had come crashing down. She, whom he was dying to see all these years, was finally here, caught in a terrible accident. The more the hours passed, the more tensed and worried he grew. She’ll be out of this soon. She will. She has to.
The doctor hadn’t said anything except that her case was critical, before the emergency operation. Doctors had operated on her in next 3 hours and put her under intensive care all night. Harry had waited all night outside her ward.
The doctor, Mr. Blackwood, went for an inspection early morning at 4:30 am and came out to tell Harry:
“She is conscious now, but still critical. There’re a lot of internal injuries. We’re doing everything that we can”, he assured. The tone of the doctor didn’t seem right.
“But, she’ll be alright?”
“Can’t say anything at the moment.”
“We can only hold on to the treatment done to let it work. I won’t give you false hopes. Only time will tell.”
Harry’s heart suddenly weighed heavy with a shock on hearing this. What did he mean ‘only time will tell?’ He felt acute despair flash upon him. Somehow, he managed to speak,
“Can I see her?”
“She was conscious. I gave her pain relief. It’d be better to let her sleep.”
“I won’t take long. I just want to see her.”
The doctor reflected over the request.
“Please let me see her. Just a few minutes.”
After a moment of pause, the doctor agreed.
“Okay, I’ll allow you. But better be quick.”
Finally, after six long years the moment came, but amidst such a tragedy. How would he behold her lying critical upon a hospital bed? Harry felt himself ripped with the sorrow that had befallen him. He struggled to hold back his emotions, and did his best not to betray them.
It was raining outside. His heart was pounding. Entering the ward, he finally took a glance towards the bed. There she was, covered in a white sheet, bandaged head that had smears of blood, an oxygen supply attached to her. As he advanced towards it, Harry felt a calm spread in him.
She turned her head slightly on his approach and their eyes met. Those were the same pretty eyes, the same beautiful face, now marred with injuries. She didn’t seem to have changed much.
She woke up in a while.
“Harry!” she managed an enthusiastic tone in a weak low voice.
Oh, how he remembered this voice! Harry felt a sudden surge of emotions, tremendous joy filled his heart.
He seated himself on a chair beside the bed.
“Finally…How much I’ve longed to see you! How are you?” she spoke with deep gasps of breath.
He smiled, “I’m good. Now that I’ve seen you, I am better”, he replied.
She smiled through the oxygen mask.
“It’s been centuries. I’ve waited to see you all these years. Where were you? Whe–” asked Harry impatiently.
“I know you will be angry with me. You have a right to. I’d let you know all about it. But believe me, I’ve never forgotten you all this while.”
“Neither have I, Daz.”
(That’s the name he called her with, years ago.)
She again smiled faintly.
“I read your book! Loved it!” she said. “Harry, I am happy to see you a successful man today, and handsome too!”
“Hey, I was handsome back then too!”
They both laughed.
“Now that I see you, I feel peaceful.”
Suddenly her breathing intensified.
“You should rest. I’d better call the doctor.”
“No. Stay. I want no one now that I’ve met you.”
“You are going to be fine. You will be absolutely fine. And, first thing I’m going to do is to take you on a ride through the city. Just like old times.”
Harry could make out blush upon her cheeks. How beautiful she looked. How piteous, her to be suffering.
In short gasps, she said, “Harry, you’ll find a diary… in a bag which was with me… until I was brought here… Do get it. You’ll know everything about me… about these past years,” her voice had weakened.
“I’ll hear it from you when you get well.”
Her breathing grew deeper again for a few seconds. Harry urged her to let him call the doctor now. She resisted.
“No. Just stay with me”, she said “I’m alright.” and managed a weak smile.
It had started to rain outside heavily. Thundering was heard.
They looked at each other in silence.
Few moments passed, she was calm now. Her breathing normal again and she finally spoke with some efforts:
“Come here Harry, give me a hug.”
Harry leaned forward, gently put his arms around her neck. Their cheeks next to each other. With great efforts, she wrapped her arms around his back into an embrace. Harry could feel her warmth.
She slightly rose up and levelled her face next to his ear.
“Harry……… I love you”, she said in almost a whisper, “I have always loved you.”
Harry felt a strange tingling in his sensations, overwhelmed with emotions.
“I love you too, sweetie. I love you so much”, said Harry.
Her hold on Harry tightened for a second. There was a loud thundering outside. And then, her arms loosened. She sunk back. Harry rose slightly, and saw her. Her eyes were closed and he could make out a calm smile from the mask.
“Daisy”, he called out, his voice croaked.
“Daisy”, he called out again, slightly louder. But her lifeless face didn’t move. Her arms fell over from his back…
Harry went numb for a moment. Tears trickled down his eyes. A sudden grief had gotten hold of him as if the world had come to an end.
In next few moments, Harry had ran for the doctor; the doctor took his time and checked for life in her, in vain. The machines behind the bed didn’t beep anymore. Harry just stood by her side, with a grief indescribable, for all that he could remember.
It struck Harry that the cab had come to a halt. He’d reached the place. Getting out of the cab, he took out his umbrella, for it had started to rain heavily and held the bouquet in his hands firmly, as he managed to walk.
‘Daisy’, the tombstone was inscribed. He placed the bouquet upon the grave and stood in silence, winds bellowing and rains pouring on…
[“I’ll not be away from you. I’ll be with you always, in your thoughts, your memories, in your heart. So, whenever you miss me, just remember me. For, I’ll always remember you…”]
Hope you enjoyed the story!
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(C) All sketches used in the story Part 1 and Part 2 belong to the author.