Do You?

Care instructions lie. under. cards, flowers and vases. A hundred different messages blinking on the phone left unread as we hold each other close on the couch. You look at me with tired eyes. I’m just glad we’re home. I stroke your hair and your eyes smile back.

I love you.

I love you, too.

Tea kettles drained and the leaves left to rot in the sink as we numb ourselves with films we thought we’d never a chance to watch. Do you remember that moment before the accident when I told you I’d be too busy for us to spend a moment together that evening? Well never again and let’s spend each and every moment together. The sun sets and rises and as I sense the rays creeping in through the window I hold you tight until the morning has completely taken hold. You hug me back and shout:

I love you!

I love you, too.

late breakfast and I’m trying to make you laugh as the burn the eggs and boy do we stink we’ve been up all night and I haven’t showered since we got home from the hospital. Let’s take a shower together OK?

Your skin is softer than I remember and the water beads off it perfectly and I ask you if you remember when I said I was afriad you’d slip and fall in the shower. Do you remember when you said it was a silly fear and even so you’d never be far away even if I lost you? I rub your back as you shampoo you hair.

I love you.

I love you, too.

We’re damp and tired and fall into bed and you bury your head in the cest the way you always do. Remember the hospital? Remember the scratchy sheets and the awful food and how you were afraid you’d never leave the place?

I love you.

I love you, too.

You wake up crying and I hold you. The tears like crystal curve the lines of your face and you shudder slightly as if my hands were cold when I touch you.

Do you remember when we thought I was over?

Yes.

Do you remember what I said about how I’d want you to let me go so I could be by your side?

Yes.

You’d never do that thing to me right? You’d never lock me again just because you were scared.

No.

I know what would have happened if I had fallen asleep. I would have stayed with you and watched you and kept you safe. I’d watch you make and do and be and when you fell asleep we’d dream together.

I know.

And you wouldn’t make me stay right? You wouldn’t lock me away and tie me to those machines?

No. I promise, just go back to sleep.

You nod and roll over and scruntch up against yourself and I rub your shoulders but they are completely devoid of any tension and it surprises me because you’re shoulders are always tesnse and then I rub them away because it makes me feel more normal. I rub knead the skin until my fingers and ache and you’re fast asleep and the sun is about to dip again.

I love you.

The phone rings and I pick it up.

“Are you following the instructions we provided?”

Yes.

“The technician will visit once a month. She needs to be off when the technician arrives.”

I know.

“Are you satisfied with your decision”

Yes.

“Then we thank you for your patronage”

I caress your hair as I slide the cord up into the hole at the base of your neck that the doctor put there to keep you with me. I kiss you and hold you and try to sleep and wonder if you’re dreaming.

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