In a hospital room, on a large bed with white sheets, a woman was lying down. The devices around her hummed and hissed, and like an electronic and robotic choir, several beeps were sung. A distant and singular voice called for the woman.
Her body, not as small as others would think, was heavy, as heavy as were her eyelid. The woman heard the distant voice, but she felt so, so heavy, her body was so, so foreign to her, that she seemed to be crumbling with the singing of the hospital's machines and devices. The voice called her continuously, clearer and neater, if neatness was possible as a characteristic of a sound.
On the last call, the woman opened her eyes slowly, heavily, luscious thoughts did not accept to work to form a clear reasoning. Turning her head to the side, she saw a young woman, or perhaps a young man, standing, watching her with a sincere smile, the eyes crossed an unrivaled calm, the abundant light robes covered her body in such a way that they gave no chance to see if it was a female or male body, since it wasn’t really important.
– Hello, my dear.
The woman breathed once, feeling an uncomfortable weight on her chest, her throat scraping with the dryness of the air. The young woman or man came over and put a hand on the patient's sternum. The weight was gone and the throat was freer. The woman looked surprised and confused at the person.
– Who are you? A doctor, a nurse?
– If you want me to be a doctor or a nurse, I can be.
The lady thought for a while, sitting with difficulty on the bed, only to be assisted by the helper. She thanked for it, but felt insecure as she held the other's hand. After a few seconds of studying the helper's smile and calm, she decided to ask.
– You came to take me, didn't you?
– Yes, of course. Did you think you would go on without company?
– Well, no, no. But I didn't think it was so, so, so... ordinary, perhaps?
The person next to her hung the head and raised the eyebrows, not understanding what the lady meant by that.
– You see, I thought that when it happened, a lilac letter would appear, with my name on it and a... a date!
– A lilac letter? Why should I give you a lilac letter?
The lady in bed mumbled something incomprehensible with her clumsiness, only the following being audible:
– Just something I read in a strange story written by portuguese...
– Oh, I see…
A few more seconds of silence, if it weren't for the chorus of humming and beeps in the room.
– Well then, is it now, like right now?
– Yes, like right now – the person extended a hand with long, thin fingers, but again the patient looked at her suspiciously. No, I make a mistake, there was no suspicion in her eyes of old retina, it was sadness.
– I thought it would be someone I knew who would came to pick me up... Serafino, my sister Carmen, or dear friend Aurora.
– If that's the case, I can be each one of those people.
– What do you mean?
The surprise question that assaulted the woman's slow thoughts is certainly in the eyes of the reader of this story. But it wasn't surprising that it was said by that person who reached out to the lady.
Without the need for a step back or gesturing typical of the street or stage magicians, the person who was neither young woman nor young man, became Serafino, the woman's beloved and much-loved husband, who made an “Oh” with her thin-lipped mouth and placed her hands on her stained-skinned thin cheeks.
– Serafino! Oh, my Serafino! My dear, sweety, beloved!
Serafino, then, also smiled widely, just as the young woman or young man had done, and embraced her with firmness and love.
Tears were wetting the light robes her husband wore, which were promptly dried by the so longing fingers of him. Between tears and laughter, she spoke, chatted, remembered, dreamed all the things she used to say, chat, remember, dream with her husband.
He shook his head, agreeing with everything, as he always did, smiled once in a while when heard the woman's talk saying funny things, like old jokes or old comical situations that had happened to both of them.
After what seemed like hours of reunion of souls that had not been seen for many years, since that was the case in truth, the woman got silent and looked at Serafino with wise eyes, those eyes that only old people have.
– You must think I’m a fool, but I ain’t.
Serafino got up from the bed where he had been sitting for the entire conversation and held his hands in front his body, solicitously.
– I never thought of you as a fool, not at all.
– Uh, I see – she shrugged, adjusting the sheets. – You did it because I asked, because I needed it. I needed to see my Serafino, so beautiful... so loved... so dear... I needed it, you know.
– Yes, I know.
A few more seconds of silence.
– Would you like me to be Aurora or Carmen now?
The woman looked at him as if she were going to say a desperate "yes", but restrained her will, thinking that Serafino was mocking her.
– No. I don't. I already understood. If you want me to go with you, I'll go.
– Great, I'm very happy to hear that! – and indeed the young woman or young man who was now Serafino seemed genuinely happy with the woman's response.
She struggled up from the bed, accepted the outstretched hand and stood up. Looking at the person's face, grief mixed with relief, the woman saw that Serafino had disappeared, it was just the young woman or man.
– The place we are going to, is where my dear, my sweety ones are?
Both left the hospital and went on their way.
– Yes, darling, since my hands only touch those.
Merci pour la lecture!