When he entered the city, it started raining.
The rain fell from the heavens in sheets. It was as if he drove through a barrier of water from a sunny, bright, cloudless day into a dim, dreary, grey day.
He slammed his palm against the steering wheel frustrated when he was forced to slow down and stop at traffic lights.
Eventually, he arrived at the hospital and he stopped the car in front of the entrance. He ran around the car and after a few seconds of frustrated fumbling with the safety clip, he picked her up in his arms.
He held her close to his chest as rivers of water ran down both of them. He was praying for a miracle, struggling to keep hopelessness at bay as he ran toward the entrance doors to the hospital. He wanted her to open her eyes and he wanted her to be inexplicably healed.
When he reached the doors, they swooshed open in front of him and a trail of water followed him onto the light grey laminate tiles.
He walked with her in his arms to the information desk. There were four people standing in the queue ahead of him, but they stepped aside for him while looking at Taylor concerned.
Daimhin’s voice broke as he said, “I think she might be …” He could not say the word ‘dying’.
The clerk recognized Taylor. She said hurriedly, “Let me call Dr. Dunne.” She picked up the headset for the phone on her desk and then started a quick conversation.
Daimhin looked down at Taylor still in his arms. An attendant pushed a wheelchair toward him, but Daimhin shook his head.
Taylor looked so small, a hole opened in Daimhin’s chest. “I need to tell you something,” he said softly.
She glanced up at him, her expression grave.
Before he could continue, the clerk behind the desk and the thick glass panel said, pointing her finger to the right, “Take her to the Emergency Room. Dr. Dunne will be there now.”
Hurriedly Daimhin rushed down the long winding corridor. His wet footsteps followed him.
In the Emergency Room, a concerned nurse rushed to his side. “In here.” She pulled aside a vomit green coloured curtain. Daimhin stepped into the cubicle and laid Taylor down onto the bed. He brushed her wet hair away from her face as he bent down to press a kiss on her forehead.
Taylor shifted on the bed and her discomfort was clear.
Gently Daimhin helped Taylor to get out of her wet clothes and then he helped her get dressed in a blue hospital gown he found hanging on a hook on the wall.
Daimhin carefully gathered her into his arms, soaking up her tears in his already wet shirt as she cried quietly.
Dr. Dunne stormed into the room. “Taylor?”
Daimhin straightened, but his hand remained linked in Taylor’s.
Taylor smiled up at him weakly.
He smoothed her wet hair back from her forehead, wishing he could draw the hurt from her body into his own.
Taylor closed her eyes.
“Wait outside,” Dr. Dunne instructed.
“Be useful,” she suggested. “Phone Mrs. Fergusson and tell her to come immediately.”
Daimhin looked down at Taylor’s pale face, trying to will her to open her eyes again. He was losing her and soon the sun would set on her.
Sympathetically Dr. Dunne touched his arm. “You really need to phone her mum, there isn’t a lot of time left, I’m afraid.”
He walked away from the cubicle reluctantly. The little memories he had with her flashed in images through his mind. Every word played like an invisible music player in his ears.
As if in a daze he phoned her mother. She was asking a lot of questions, making a lot of accusations, Daimhin could not really remember anything from the telephone conversation.
He would have done everything to have made Taylor well. He would have done anything to have a future with her.