This morning, I posted an excerpt on the NaNoWriMo site from my WIP so decided to also post it here:
Jake sat by the hospital bed and clasped the hand of the man he’d loved for over fifty years. The only sound in the room was the rhythmic pump of the ventilator as it forced air in and out of Dave’s lungs.
The nurse laid a hand on Jake’s shoulder. “Mr. Williams?”
Jake turned. “Just a few more minutes. Our kids are on their way.”
The door opened and Chrissy entered the room. Streaks formed by mascara-blackened tears ran down her cheeks. Her voice quivered. “Daddy?”
“Come on in, Baby.” Jake reached his empty arm out to her.
“What happened, Daddy? Will Papa be okay?”
Jake shook his head. “No, Baby. He had a bad stroke.” He paused. “His brain wouldn’t stop swelling. The doctor said a few minutes ago there is no brain activity. The ventilator is breathing for him and that’s all that’s keeping his heart beating. I wanted to wait for you to say goodbye before they shut it off.”
Isaac and Mary walked into the room in time to hear what Jake said. Isaac placed his hand on Jake’s shoulder. “Are you okay, Dad?”
“I’m fine, son.”
“Do you think he knows we’re here?” Chrissy asked as fresh tears followed the black streaks down her cheeks. She wiped them with the back of her hand.
The nurse handed her a tissue.
“I’m sure he does,” Jake answered. “He may not know it in his body, but his spirit knows. That’s still alive and watching us.”
Chrissy leaned over and kissed the forehead of the man in the bed. “Goodbye, Papa.” She straightened up and leaned into Jake’s embrace. “Daddy, Brad and the kids are outside. Should they come in?”
“I don’t think Papa would want the kids to see him like this. Let them remember him the way he was at Tony’s birthday party last Saturday when Papa teased him about his girlfriend. You go on and wait outside with Brad and the kids. I’ll be out in a few minutes.”
Chrissy kissed Jake’s cheek and walked to the door.
Jake watched as she stepped into the arms of her husband.
Isaac patted Dave’s shoulder. “I love you, Papa. I say a prayer of thanks everyday for you and Dad. Who knows what would have happened to me if you hadn’t found me.” He, too, left the room. “I’ll be outside, Dad.”
Mary laid her head beside Dave’s. “I love you, Papa. Thank you for being who you are. Thank you for helping three kids stay together and making us a family.”
After the kids left, Jake spoke to the man in the bed. “I’m just sorry Ben couldn’t get here. He and Miguel are in London for a concert. We did a good job, Babe. We raised four wonderful kids. Who would have thought all those years ago where pizza would lead?”
He turned to the nurse and nodded. The ventilator stilled. The peaks of the line the line on the heart monitor became more irregular until it finally turned into a straight line. Jake stood up and brushed a stray hair from Dave’s forehead. Hair that once was so luxurious and black was now snow-white and thin. He leaned over and kissed him. “Goodnight, my love. I’ll see you in the morning.” His shoulders drooped as he walked out of the room.