In the waiting room

As I entered the waiting room Buck Cannon was sitting on a bench, sleeping. His cheek had fallen down on to his chest, his arms were crossed and his legs stretched out. I turned to a nurse, just passing. "What is he doing here?" – "He is waiting for mr and mrs Cannon who are seeing the doctor" the nurse said. "He is very tired. They rode all night." – "I can see that" I said.

I looked at him, who seemed to be fast asleep. "I don't know for how long the Cannons will stay with the doctor" the nurse said and hurried away. The waiting room was empty but for the two of us. I sat down on the bench beside him. He didn't wake up. Such a peaceful calm emanated from him that my heart was filled with tenderness. I shook him by the shoulder to see if he would wake up, but he just groaned and went on sleeping.

Then I closed up on him, put my arms around his neck and leaned my cheek against his. It was dirty, a bit rough but warm. A great tenderness filled me. I leaned against him, sometimes touching his cheek with my lips. I closed my eyes. I heard a door open, so I pretended to sleep too. I heard some nurses coming. "Look at them, sleeping" one of them said. "Yes, and in what way!" They left. I wanted him to wake up and find me sitting there, but he didn't.

I heard the Cannons coming and got on my feet hastily. I had left the bench by a few steps when Victoria and John entered. "Buck!" his brother said in an firm voice and Buck awoke and rose immediately. That's how easy he woke up by a summons from his brother! "Come on, we are ready now." – "You were right?" – "Yes, we were." – "Congratulations!" Victoria smiled proudly.

Buck looked at me. "I had a strange dream" he said, as if to himself. I looked him in the eye. I touched my cheek which still was red and licked my sore lips. He saw what I did and I think he understood. He stroke his cheek and smiled, a little embarrassed. Then I smiled too. "Well goodbye then, little dream" he said. Still today I don't know if he slept or not. But it sure seemed like it?