We were supposed to have coffee. What were you doing in the hospital?
But you were there and I found out at 5 in the morning and I almost fell apart.
It took a while before I finally found sleep and when I woke up, I felt normal for a few seconds until the early morning’s news hit me like a fucking truck.
I texted you, you didn’t reply.
Hours later, I texted you again and told you how much I loved you and you texted me and told me you loved me too. I cried when I saw your name on my phone.
The next day, as I got ready to visit you, I kept trying to think of what food I should bring. Not fruits, that’s lame. Not sushi, your doctors will kick my ass. I couldn’t think of anything. And it hit me that while I knew a lot of things about you – from the music you love to some of your heartbreaks – I didn’t know what you liked to eat. Which is strange because we’ve eaten together a lot of times. And I found that very disconcerting.
So I went out and bought you croissants. All kinds of croissants. I don’t know why, we’ve never eaten French anything together except for fries, but I just did.
And then I bought juice. All kinds of juice. When in reality, what I wanted to do was have a beer with you.
I went to the hospital and being alone in those old halls scared me. The elevator that wouldn’t close scared me. The crazy looking girl who tried to help me find the way scared me. The padlocked doors scared me. The thought of accidentally walking into the morgue scared me. The possibility of ghosts scared me. Knowing I might not be able to stop myself from crying when I saw you scared me. But what scared me the most was the thought of losing you.
One of our friends texted me earlier that day, “I can’t imagine the world without him.” Him, meaning you. And yes, I can’t imagine the world without you.
But I didn’t cry. At least not in your hospital room.
741. I knocked on your door and your mom opened the door to greet me. She was almost cheerful, as cheerful as you can be under the circumstances.
I walked in and it was funny that it took you a while to recognize me because a mask was covering my face.
We all had to wear masks, we had to protect you from our germs.
You had other friends visiting and I sat quietly so I can wait for my turn to talk to you but you stretched out your right arm in an attempt to reach out to me. I sprang up from my seat so I can hug you. It felt so good to hug you.
Your friends had a lot of stories to tell and you kept sending me little apologetic signals to show me you were sorry for making me wait. I didn’t mind, not at all, because I had the chance to talk with your mom. I didn’t mind, not at all, because the truth is I would have waited for hours.
When they left, we spent a bit of time talking. About your condition, about TV shows, about how bored you get in the hospital, about our friends, about random things, the kind of things we talk about even when you’re not in a hospital bed.
You’re a little thin but you still look and sound like the person we all love, you had that same crazy grin, brandished the same dry wit.
I told myself my visit wouldn’t be complete if you didn’t tell me the two words I often hear from you – “Leche ka!” I’m proud to say I heard those words – when I told you I actually considered bringing you coloring books to keep you entertained at the hospital.
You were getting a little tired, I noticed, so I said I would leave. The truth is I didn’t want to.
I walked away from the hospital feeling more hopeful than I was walking in. And that’s a very good sign.
You have to get better. You have to get better. You have to get better.
Because I love you, I really do, and I want all the time in the world to be able to show you that.