*five years ago*
"Barely breathing. Faint pulse. Blood. So much blood.”
Words that played on a loop in my head. Words I knew, would haunt me for the rest of my life.
Never had the possibility of death terrified me so much.
The strong smell of disinfectant was permanently etched into my memory, and as I lowered myself on the chair beside the bed, I didn’t dare look away even, though, it ripped me apart. My suffering was my punishment. The sound of several machines beeping was deafening in the silence of the room, but it assured me she was still breathing. Her heart was still beating.
That she was still alive.
The gentle rise and fall of her chest was the most beautiful sight I’d ever seen, and the thumping of her heart, the sweetest melody I’d ever heard. Lightly clutching her delicate, pale hand between mine, I rested my forehead against it, and for the first time in years let a drop of tear escape from my eye. Fuck.
“I’m sorry.” It was a shaky, desperate whisper. I knew she couldn’t hear me, but I needed to say it anyway, because by the time she’d wake up, I’d be long gone.
Too risky, they’d said. Although, at this point I wasn’t sure what I was protecting her from, if I was protecting her at all.
“I’m sorry I failed you.”