“I never knew I could hate a color this
much,” she said, glaring at the white sheets wrapped around her, pursing her
lips in annoyance.
He paused for a moment then chuckled as he slowly closed the door. “The white getting to you?”
“It’s more like eating me alive,” she snapped, throwing a vicious look at the white walls of the room. “It’s awful.”
“Don’t worry, you’re not alone on that.” He sat on the edge of the hospital bed, and he gingerly took her hand in his, the expression on his face becoming solemn.
She turned towards him, and her gaze softened. “Thomas, what happened? What did the doctor say?”
Thomas cringed. “Er, nothing. It was nothing.”
She gave him one of her are-you-kidding-me look and rolled her eyes. “We’ve been together for seventeen years. When have you been able to keep something from me? I may be sick and bedridden, but I’m not stupid.”
Thomas ruffled his bangs exasperatedly, “Olivia…” He straightened his posture suddenly, and with an unsmiling face, he said, “Well, you won’t be bedridden anymore. At least, not in this hospital.”
Olivia arched a delicate eyebrow. “What did you say?”
“You’re being transferred.” Thomas hunched over and his jaw started shaking.
Olivia’s eyes were downcast. She knew what that meant, and it was not good. “Thomas…”
“The treatments, Olivia – you’re not responding. Not anymore. Dr. Carter suggested you go through another treatment, but she said there’s little chance…only, only 28%. I’m so sorry, Olivia, I – I – ” Thomas choked on his words, the hand holding Olivia’s tightening.
“Shh,” Olivia embraced Thomas, trying to stop herself from crying. Thomas, however, began to sob, covering half of his face with a hand. Olivia swallowed. She turned Thomas’ tear-streaked face towards her, placing both of her hands on his cheeks firmly. “Listen to me, Thomas. It’s going to be fine. I’ll go through the new treatment, and I’m going to be fine. It’s all going to work out.”
“Olivia…” Thomas shook his head. “I just – I can’t…”
“Hey,” Olivia whispered, a tear silently sliding down her cheek. “We’ve been through a lot of things, and we’ll get through this too.”
“I can’t lose you, Olivia,” Thomas said brokenly. “Not like this.”
“You won’t.” Olivia wrapped her arms around his neck. She shook her head sadly, “You won’t.”
“Mr. and Mrs. Hayes, are we all set to leave?” A nurse peered through from the door.
A woman sitting on a wheelchair fixed the hat on her head, and she smiled at the nurse. “Yes, we’re ready.”
The nurse nodded satisfyingly. “Dr. Carter is already at Saint James’ Hospital handling the preparations, so she’ll be there when you arrive. I hope you get well soon, Mrs. Hayes.”
“Thank you,” Mrs. Hayes said. “I hope so too.”
The nurse flashed a smile before closing the door behind her. Mrs. Hayes sighed. She turned towards the man who was facing the glass window of her hospital room. Outside, the clouds were white and fluffy, and she could make out a ray or two breaking their way through the clouds. The scene looked like shimmering silver across the blue and white – glowing, radiant. A silver lining.
However, the man’s brows were furrowed, and his eyes were glazed over. His lips were parted, and a restless sigh escaped him. He closed his eyes.
“Thomas,” she called from her place beside the bed. Thomas tilted his head towards her, and she lifted a hand to him. He interlaced his fingers with hers. Her smile was faint, but it was there. “You know, I’m banking on that 28%.”
“Seventeen years, Thomas, remember? We’ll get through this. I know we will,” she told him, widening her smile a little. “So you better bank on that 28% too.”
“You know I do,” Thomas told his wife, a far-off smile etched on his face. “Come on, Dr. Carter’s waiting for us.”
“Yes, she is,” Olivia agreed. She then grinned up at him as he wheeled her towards the door. “I’m going to request a yellow or an orange room at Saint James’!”
He laughed, and she reached for his hand, squeezing it tightly. He squeezed back lovingly, and together, they went into the hallway, slowly yet surely closing the door to the white room that was now behind them.