Short story. Short chapters. Will update on Sundays.
Title and writing inspiration: youtu dot / vfQPUJpPsKM
Thanks be to EBT, MrsSpaceCowboy, and TKegl for pre-reading.
"Good morning, sleepyhead."
Edward smiled as he walked back toward his wife, her eyes fluttering open. He kissed her forehead and smiled that they had another day together.
"How are you feeling?" he asked.
She gave a small smile but wasn't able to stop the groan from leaving her lips.
"Want anything?" he asked, running the back of his fingers over her face.
Edward poured her a small glass and stood next to her as she slowly drank through a straw.
With pained movements, she adjusted her body and raised the bed's sheets.
"Just the company of the most handsome man that ever lived," she replied with a weak smile.
Edward laughed as he removed his just-put-on shoes and climbed in with her. He tried not to move the bed too much, worried that the tubes and wires would unhook or tangle. When he was settled, he kissed her lips softly and took a deep breath.
She didn't smell the same anymore. She hadn't for some time, and it bothered him. It was one of the things he'd treasured since they'd first met. It made him smile, thinking about how the woman next to him had changed him for the better, but as she coughed, his smile lessened and his grip became tighter.
"More water?" he whispered.
She nodded, unable to speak without sounding so hoarse, and gladly accepted the water she was given.
Once he made himself as comfortable as he could, they spoke to each other in smiles, laughs, and hushed words about what had happened the days, weeks, months, and years before. They didn't allow Leah's entrance or her usual tasks disturb their routine. Leah wore a smile on the outside, full of happiness at the scene that continued on despite her presence. On the inside, she hurt for Edward and their kids.
But as she looked over the machines, Leah's face changed. Edward did his best to keep his the same so as not to alert his wife. Leah met his eyes and tried to smile, but Edward could tell something was wrong.
It wasn't until an hour later that Edward noticed a change in his wife's demeanor. Her face showed more pain than usual, and that worried him.
"Honey, you okay?" he asked. "What's wrong?"
It was a stupid question considering, but the heavy feeling in his stomach was becoming too much to ignore.
Edward was almost in a panic.
"I think you should go get Jake," she whispered.
Her request to see Dr. Black startled Edward. While she didn't have any ill feelings toward the man, asking him to stop by was an admission that something was very wrong.
"Okay, baby. I'll be right back."
Edward climbed out of bed slowly and then ran to the nurses' station. He told Leah Bella was asking for Jake, and she immediately paged him, knowing how significant the request was.
Minutes later, Dr. Black arrived out of breath. He looked over Bella's chart as Edward detailed the morning.
Edward was frantic. He wanted to know what was going to happen.
"Let's talk to her first, Edward, okay?"
Edward nodded and held back his tears. He needed to get himself together before going back in. He didn't want Bella to see him unhinged. It was his job to be strong, to help her in any way he could.
When he and Dr. Black entered Bella's room, it was obvious she was in a lot of pain. Edward immediately rushed to her side. She was close to tears, and Edward had never been more scared.
Before Dr. Black could ask her how she was, Bella shook her head at him.
And that's when Edward knew.
"It's time, Jake—"
"Bella, no," Edward interrupted.
After taking a few minutes to sit up, Bella took Edward's hands in hers.
"Edward, I can feel it. It may not be today or tomorrow, but it's going to be soon."
Dr. Black sighed. This was the worst part of his job, and it couldn't have happened to a nicer woman, to a nicer family.
"Okay," Edward whispered, his bottom lip trembling. "I'll call the kids."
As Edward walked to retrieve his cell phone from across the room, Dr. Black sat next to Bella's bed and held her hand.
"Before they get here, let's go over the details of the DNR again."