His right fist was clenching on his side as he stood not far away from his wife's wheelchair. Watching her and the child conversing with each other was another salt to his already deep wounds. Unlike when she was with him, the smile on her eyes held warmth as the soft rays of the sun fell gently on her pale face.
He couldn't remember the day or year when he woke up from a different reality but he couldn't forget that day when he saw her figure on a school campus tailing behind a man he was greatly familiar with. He remembered that he called her name a couple of times but she didn't look back as if he was invisible.
He remembered how she smiled brimming with affection to the man he loathes.
He remembered how he knelt in front of her and sobbed on her feet, only to be pushed away because she said, she didn't know him.
He remembered when he got the news that she was in an accident.
And he remembered when she finally opened her eyes, after so many months of waiting for her to wake up, those eyes that looked at him with an alienated look before were now glaring at him with contempt, brimming with uncontrolled tears.
At that moment, he knew, she finally remembered him and they have now the same shared memories.
"Are you a doll?" He heard the little boy asked while slowly reaching for his wife's cheeks.
His wife laughed and said no. Closing his eyes, he savored the laughter that he hadn't heard for so long.
"Who are you visiting?" his wife asked the little boy. She folded her hands on her lap which was covered by a pink cloth cascading down her knees.
"My grandpa. The doctor said he is getting better!" The child beamed while holding a small car toy in his hands. "Are you also getting better?"
"Hopefully." His wife smiled. "Can you also visit me too next time? You're so cute I think I will get better if I see you too."
The boy's cheeks became ripened tomatoes and he scratched the back of his head while looking down at his shoes. "Well, I'll ask my mother if I could visit you. I can also bring you flowers just like we always do with grandpa if mum agrees!"
They chatted for a little bit more until the little boy's mother went to pick up her child. The boy waved goodbye before taking his mother's hand. His wife also waved goodbye but it was weak especially when the boy had turned his back. Her smile faded and her eyes turned to their former blank state.
He gave her a few more minutes, half of it was because he was afraid of disrupting her moment and the other half was because he felt suffocated.
When he felt that she and he were both settled, he walked towards her.
The scattered dry leaves crunched under his footsteps. The breeze was cool as the trees swayed in a soft rhythm but he still couldn't breathe. Pulling his collar a bit, he finally reached his wife's wheelchair and took a hold of it.
"Let's go back." He cleared his throat. "It's getting cold here."
The woman sitting remained silent as she looked away, gazing at the horizon.
When they arrived at her quarter, he helped arranged her bed and closed the window.
There was a knock. One of the hospital staff brought the food for the patient. He thanked the person and proceeded to place the tray on the bedside table.
"Are you hungry?" he asked. His wife remained silent and he watched for a long time before she meekly shook her head. She continued to stare outside the window.
He sighed softly and called her name. She didn't even glance his way.
Even with her back facing him, he knew her eyes were dull.
Even though he knew she loathed him in the bottom of her heart and she didn't want him to be here, he can't afford to leave her again even for a moment. He fisted his hands. She may hate him forever but he will stay.
He will stay no matter what.
Even the chance of her forgiving him or even accepting him was slim, he will be selfish and heartless at this moment to not let her go.
He will not let her go because he already experienced being abandoned. He can't... He just can't...
"I wonder," his wife uttered into the thin air. He blinked a couple of times. This was the first time he heard her talk aside from after she had woken up.
Hearing her voice that he missed talking with, his lips were parched and he gulped. Just when he was about to speak, he froze from the next words she had spoken. It felt like his heart was being punctured again and again.
"I wonder if it was a boy or a girl. I had hoped it was a girl so I can also braid her hair. Still, it will also be great if it was a cute boy."
Sometimes at night, he can't stop the tears from falling as he hugged his wife at night and tonight too was just the same as the other nights. Her back was facing him and she was sound asleep. He wouldn't want to let her see him in that state.
"I'm sorry." He suppressed his sobs and buried his head on the crook of her neck.
He wounded his arms around her thin waist and hugged her tighter. At this point, he didn't care if his wife would wake up. The accumulated ache on his chest won't go away even though she was here, right beside him, breathing and warm.
"Baby," he sobbed. "I'm sorry."
On that silent night, only the concealed wail of a grown-up man was heard at the hospital accompanied by the somber song of the cicada.