WAITING ROOM SLEEP

It had gotten to the point where he could no longer control his relentless angst and frustration. It really had taken its toll over the last few months. Cara had so many issues, and right now the not-knowing-part was really the worst.

How would it all wind up?

He’d sat in this hospital for what, going on five hours now? They wouldn’t let him back there to see her, and the waiting was killing him. She should be getting out soon, he thought, trying to reassure himself. When’s the last time they gave him an update? What could they possibly being doing back there for so long anyway? In the meantime, he sat around reading old issues of Reader’s Digest and National Geographic, no longer even aware of CNN blaring in the background, nor the people coming and going around him.

Sure he and Cara had their share of problems. Who doesn’t? But during this whole ordeal he’d never left her side. He had some skin in this game too you know. What do you think, he could bandon her? The nurses and workers were all lollygagging around, some behind “the desk”, others walking the aisles, murmuring and whispering amongst themselves. He got up and walked over to the water fountain, took a long sip, then approached the desk. All really for lack of anything better to do. “Have you heard anything yet?” he asked the woman manning the station, the one who carried herself like she was in charge of everything. “Nothing yet Sir. I told you when we do you’ll be the first to know,” she said, feigning warm-heartedness. “Please, just try and hang in there. If there’s any news we’ll tell you.”

She smiled.

He shuffled slowly back over to his spot, and sat down again, folding his arms on his knees, lowering his head down to rest. What if it all didn’t wind up okay? It was even possible she could die! He brushed off that thought while his life started passing before his eyes. He nodded off into a waiting room sleep. Things had just been so hard between them, he thought. He wishes he could just take it all back. Do it all over and this time, do it all right. There’s just so much in his life he wishes he could take back. He thought about how idyllic everything was while growing up. And his father, God rest his soul. What would be thinking right now? He thought about all the people he’d known, all the places he’d been and all the bridges he’d burned. But the constant thought on his mind was his Cara. Remember when they first met? All the promise they shared! They had no idea what they were in for. They’d come so far over the years, and everything was so different now. All the hurt and the strife. Had the struggle even been worth it?

It’s eaten them both alive.

He played it all over and over in his head. The thoughts just tossed around and jumbled in there. He came to the conclusion that if things wound up okay, he just wanted to do it all right this time.

“Sir, sir?” The nurse was standing over him, hand on his shoulder, trying to gently jostle him awake. He lifted his head up and looked at her. The nurse stepped back and he saw Cara coming down the hallway, being pushed in a wheelchair. She had a smile on her face and was beaming at him. In his dreamy state he froze looking at her face. He rubbed his eyes and as she got closer he saw that in her arms she was snuggling their new baby boy.

Now could he do it all right?

By Julie Chappell

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