~Beep, beep, beep.
Danielle’s heart monitor beeped as I slowly made my way toward her bed. I could barely make out her face through my blurred vision. Oddly, I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to see the bandages, scars, and bruises that I knew would be covering her precise physique. Her breathing was loud and rugged, like it would stop any moment now. My eyes welled with more tears even thinking that thought. A horribly wretched tingle lurked in my stomach. I grabbed her hand and carefully brought it to my face, falling to my knees. I gathered the courage to wipe away the tears and look at her. She looked so fragile. Danielle’s eyes were closed and her cheeks were swollen. She hardly looked like herself at all, but she was still breathtakingly beautiful, non the less. I sniffled then pressed my lips to her hand, placing sweet, gently kisses on it. “I’m sorry.” I couldn’t help but mumble. “This is all my fault. If I didn’t start that stupid fight; if I would have just washed dishes like you asked me to, maybe you wouldn’t have gotten into a crash.” My heart literally felt like someone was taking a stab at it. The pain and guilt I felt was unbearable. If anything happened to Danielle; if she, God forbid, died, I wouldn’t be able to cope. I couldn’t live. I pressed my eyes shut and let out a quiet sob. I couldn’t stop myself from thinking about the moment I got that call.
“Hello?” I huffed into the phone not bothering to look at the caller I.D. It was probably my wife, Danielle. It had been a good forty-five minutes since she stormed out. I know I should have I chased after her, but I just needed some time to cool off. She had completely over-reacted about me not washing the dishes because she felt sick. She yelled I was too into the game all the time. How I wasn’t being a great husband. Lately, she had been overreacting and stressing about everything. She was really starting to change after only two months of married life. “Mr. Niall Horan?” A rough male voice rasped in my ear. Immediately my stomach dropped. Something was wrong. “Yes?” My voice came out more meagerly than intended. “ My name is Officer Garment. This is a call informing you that your wife has been badly injured in and car accident, hit and run to be exact. She is in critical condition, and is being treated at the St. James Hospital.” My heart beat increased with every word he said. My brain couldn’t register what was going on. “What?”
“I’m sorry, son.” The man said slowly. A forced sympathy was in his voice. Almost as if he wanted to be sympathetic but saw this too many times to actually feel it any more. Like he blocked out the pain and hurt he enumerated in each call to a stranger that was receiving such horrible news. “Danielle… in a car accident? Critical condition? No!” I flailed jumping to grab my keys. This had to be a joke. This couldn’t be happening! The whole way to hospital was agonizingly long. My mind raced with horrible thoughts and scenarios. Guilt flushed through me.
As I made my way to the ICU reception desk my heart pounded in my ears. My face was probably red and streaked with tears. The lady pointed me to Danielle’s room after I gave her my information. She told me a doctor should arrive soon to discus Daniel’s condition with me. I couldn’t have ran faster to the room.
My head jerked toward the door when I heard a slight knock. The door slowly creaked open revealing ,what appeared to be, the doctor. I stared at her as she sauntered toward me. Standing to take her hand in a brief handshake, I quickly asked, “Is she okay?” I mentally slapped myself for this asking her that. Of course Danielle wasn’t okay. The doctor didn’t seem to mind my question though. Giving me a slight smile, she looked at her clipboard and replied, “Well, her left leg is fractured, she has two broken ribs, one resulting in a punctured lung, and she seems to have a concussion.”
“Is she gonna d-die?”
“No, Mr. Horan. You’re wife should be just fine. With strenuous physical therapy and rest, she should be back to her old self in no time.” I glanced at her name tag. Dr. Debra Waters was her name.
“Thank you so much, Debra!” I said.
“No problem. It’s what I do, but I’m so sorry for you lost.” My eyes widened. My lost? What lost? She just said Danielle was going to be fine!
“Excuse me?” I asked.
“The miscarriage. When we brought your wife in we discovered she was six weeks pregnant. We, unfortunately, couldn’t save the baby.” My heart raced. Danielle never told me she was pregnant. Suddenly it all made sense! The morning sickness and her being so jittery and nervous lately. I unexpectedly broke down. I cried so hard my shoulders shook and it became hard to breathe. Why was this happening to me?
“I’m so sorry…” Dr. Waters began.
“I never knew…” I said in between sobs. A tiny hand caressed my shoulder softly.
“It’s okay.” She mumbled. Suddenly Danielle’s monitor started rapidly beeping. The doctor and I both jolted our heads toward the bed. Danielle’s body was jerking up and down, saliva oozed from the side of her mouth, her teeth were clenched together , and she made loud noises of discomfort. I could see veins trailing down her neck as her face turned blue. The sight of my wife having a seizure was horrifying. Dr Waters ran straight toward her but I shuddered and turned away. I blocked out all of my surroundings. I couldn’t watch.
In the waiting room everything was freezing. The loud silence filled my ears. It had been four hours since Danielle’s seizure, and all I had was time on my hands. I wanted to escape my thoughts. They were nothing but terrifying. I just wanted Danielle with me. I want her in my arms right now, giggling. I want to hear her voice. Then there was my baby. Why had she never told me? I wouldn’t have been upset. I wonder if it was a boy or girl. Whatever it was I bet it would have been beautiful. It would have it’s mothers gorgeous eyes, my nose, and her smile. The door opened, interrupting my thoughts, and the doctor walked in.
“If you want…you can see her.” She said stepping aside for me to walk into the hall.
Danielle was asleep. It seemed like tons of tubes and monitors were hooked into her. “I’ll give you some time.” Dr. Waters announced then left. “I’m so sorry.” I mumbled. My face had to be permanently tear streaked. “I should have never let you go.”
“Niall, babe!” Danielle said. A serious tone was set to her voice. I looked up at her. “Yeah.” She looked so worried. There was something lurking in her eyes. Fear? I moved over on the couch so she could sit down. “I-I…” She started. “how do you feel about kids?”
“They’re okay babe. What’s wrong?” I wrapped my arm protectively around her.
“Yeah...I just…” She was shaking. I watched as she turned a deep red and took slow breathes in and out.
“You okay?” I asked again, seriously concerned.
“I’m fine…I think I have a fever. I’m just gonna…take a nap.” She mumbled standing up and striding out of the room.
“Princess, please don’t leave me!” I cried into her hand. “I need you more than anything else in this world! Please hold on! Fucking open your eyes! Please! Please!” I cried louder. I heard a faint mumble. My head snapped up to look at her. She slowly moved her toward me.
“Niall?” I could barely make out.
“Niall, I’m sorry.” She said then winced.
“It’s not your fault. None of this is your fault. Are you pain? Do you want a nurse?” she nodded. I smiled while buzzing for a nurse, all too happy to have her awake.
Within three days Danielle was able to sit up and talk normally again. She was healing surpass the doctor’s expectations. “Why…didn’t you tell me you were pregnant?” I asked feeding Danielle some apple sauce. She stopped swallowing and looked at me. “You know? How do you know?”
“It died.” I said tears swelling in my eyes. Danielle broke into tears, which was the last thing I wanted. I carefully caressed her back. “I thought-I thought you would be angry.” She said in-between cries.
“Why would I be angry?”
“I don’t know!” She said calming down.
“Baby, you know that I will always love you! I would never be mad if we had a baby!”
“Niall?” She said looking down.
“I love you. I can’t wait until I’m out of here.”
“When I am…we can try again. Maybe for a girl?” She laughed.
“Girl!” She said playfully hitting my arm.
“Fine! Whatever you want, princess.”
It has been two years now since the accident. They never found out who hit Danielle. Five months later we found out Danielle was pregnant again, and we now have a beautiful baby girl. She is so beautiful. She has her mother’s eyes, my nose, and her mothers smile. It took me almost losing my wife to realize how much I truly loved her. Now whenever she asks me to wash the dishes, I don’t hesitate.