Disclaimer: I don't own Evita
((Juan's point of view))
I held her hand so many times before. Now I was holding her hand for what could be the last time. How do you let go of the person you love the most in life? How do you say goodbye to someone who has changed your world? She is more precious then she will ever know.
We've always been "us". We've always been a team. I never once argued with anything she thought of because her ideas were fantastic. It troubled me when she thought she was less than myself because the truth is that she was the reason for the wonderful things that have happened in Argentina.
Beyond the common things she did she was the one responsible for putting an end to the public whippings and humiliations in Argentina.
But she is now only a shell of what she used to be. The cancer is eating away at her. Now the doctor says there's only one chance of stopping it. They said she needs a hysterectomy. The surgery is dangerous. She could die at any point. But if she doesn't have the surgery she has no hope of survival. She and I spoke the other day and she said, "I won't be a full woman anymore." I told her it isn't her body that makes her a full woman. It is her beautiful soul. She is kind. She is loving. She is strong. You don't want to get on her bad side. I have seen it when people get on her bad side and let's just say it's not a pretty sight. She has a way of giving someone a look that will chill them to the core of their bones.
Once and only once I had gotten a look like that. I don't even remember what I did but I'll tell you one thing. That look chilled me more than any whipping or anything for that matter ever would. I thought nothing would chill me worse than that. This chills me so much worse. The idea of losing her... I mean where would I be without her? Who am I without her? That, I would feel to the end of my days.
The doctor came in.
"It's time," she said gently.
I had met the doctors on her case several times. I grilled them like a cheese sandwich. There was no way I was putting Eva in the hands of anyone but the best doctors and nurses in the world. Our doctor was from the United States of America. She was absolutely the best in her field.
"You make sure to take care of her," I said making it clear that anything less would not be acceptable.
"Of course," she said reassuringly
I bent my head and kissed her sleeping form one last time until the surgery was complete. I realized that this could be the final time I see my wife alive. Then I reluctantly let go of her hand. As she was moved onto the stretcher and wheeled into surgery I went into the waiting room.
It felt like time was standing still. It was that moment where a knot grows in your stomach and you feel the panic build up inside your chest before something happens... or doesn't happen as the case may be. I was unable to move.
This operation would take 13 hours if there were no complications. If there were complications it would take longer. If the cancer has spread it would be much shorter. The doctor said that the hope is it will take 13 hours or a little longer. Less time means it's hopeless. Less time means she didn't make it. I sat down on the soft padded chair.
There were people all around me. But I couldn't see them. I couldn't focus on anything other than the moment. Time stopped. My stomach knotted up. As president of a country you have a lot of control but there are some things only GOD can control. I hate that right now.
Our love started out as a relationship that mutually benefited us both.
We had the same values. We had a lot in common and she was fun to be with. Naturally it was a good fit but at first I didn't see it as anything more then that. Slowly we started to become more than that. We began to become friends. Eventually we became the best of friends.
I don't know when I realized I loved her. Maybe it was when she was facing a rough time. I felt a surge of protectiveness over her so strong that I literally stepped in and shielded her from the harshness she was facing. It also could have been when it was my birthday and she surprised me by flying all of my brothers, sisters, grandparents, friends and parents out to Buenos Aires to surprise me. It could have been any one of a million times but by the time I had known her 7 months I knew I loved her. Shortly after that we fell into a romantic love. Suddenly she was every part of me and everywhere I was.
Is she perfect? No. Nobody is perfect. There have been times where she's done some insane things. There have been times where I was so frustrated I thought of playing hardball.
To be perfectly honest if she were perfect I don't think I would love her. The final conclusion I always came to when I was frustrated was that her flaws and imperfections were endearing as well as at times infuriating.
Right now though I would take all of those annoying things and none of the good for months if it meant that she would be alright. I knew it didn't work like that of course but that doesn't mean I wouldn't do it.
Several hours later the doctor came out. She was smiling. That had to have been a good sign.
"When we opened her up," she said, "We found that the cancer was contained in one area. We were able to go in and take out all the tumors without taking out her ovaries or anything else for that matter. She has to stay here for awhile. We need to monitor her very closely but if all goes well she'll be released within the next two weeks."
My heart sang. This was the best news I ever heard.
"I want to stay with her," I said.
Normally they wouldn't accept it. I was however president of Argentina so they put another bed in her room for me.
Eva was in the hospital for 12 weeks. For awhile it was touch and go but my Eva pulls through anything she does. She wouldn't let anything control her. Eva had to have radiation but she didn't need chemo. She was released on September 15th 1952. She came back strong as ever. Sadly our happiness didn't last as long as I wanted.
Five years later I sat on our bed holding her hand for the last time. When her eyes closed and her breath stopped I broke down. I whispered to her, "I love you and I will see you again soon." After all how much longer could I live without my reason for living?