Continued from “On the run (2)”
Had Turi died that night, I would’ve blamed it on her thoughts. Even she had thought enough times that the constant thinking would be the end of her. Her brain was always at work. She was always thinking about her life, the people around her and as part of her job description, she had to constantly come up with solutions for the smooth running of her organization. It was not different that night, and one would not need to be told what was on her mind as she stood outside Lowry’s hospital ward. Though she was used to worrying about too many things at once, it was clear that Lowry’s situation had greatly weighed her down. The paleness her face displayed spoke millions about her worries and the thoughts and questions that flooded her mind. It is said that the eyes are a window to the heart and the mind and Turi’s eyes did more than affirm that saying. She wanted to cry and let it all out; relieve herself of the pain that was weighing her down but her tears just weren’t ready to grant her that satisfaction yet. Besides, she had a thing against crying. She felt it was a sign of weakness, something that was unnatural for her to exhibit, especially due to the positions of leadership fate put her in. She had always been the one to be strong for the rest that cried; the one that consoled the hurting and told them all would be fine. This time tables had turned and she longed so much for someone to promise that everything would be fine. Even when it was ok for her to shed those tears, a part of her restrained the tear glands. The part of her that believed that she was not allowed to be weak.
Turi had always been a time conscious person. She was very specific about having things done when they were meant to be done. It was something that had helped her career progression and personality development and she felt less of herself without it. She didn’t know what made this night different. That she’d only checked on her watch once was unfathomable. She lost track of time and her brain would only let her live with that if she convinced it that it was ok to lose track of time sometimes, which she did.
She was in a world of her own and oblivious of the movements of people and the activity around her that resulted from several emergency cases that had been reported that night.
For the umpteenth time she tried to peer through the translucent glass door of Lowry’s ward. She leaned in in an attempt to catch a glimpse of what was happening but it only earned her a warning from the nurse on duty.
The last conversation they’d had kept ringing through her mind. She tried to think of any signs that she might have overlooked that would explain why Lowry felt he was nearly dying. She wanted to call Dr Chris (a doctor who would’ve been their family doctor in their Palace setting) but her phone’s battery chose that moment for the ‘battery too low’ alert and her phone shut down. Dr Chris had been Lowry’s doctor for a long time and she figured that maybe she’d get answers from Lowry’s medical history. She remembered the nose bleed and thought about Ebola. Or a cancer of some sort, like leukemia. Or sickle cell anaemia. She walked away for a minute in an attempt to take those thoughts away. She feared that she was right about one of those diseases and didn’t want to encourage that train of thoughts. All she could do was hope and pray that she and her prince were wrong and that he’d survive.
She hoped that the doctors would get to control the bleeding soon enough and that once Dr Chris reported to work, he’d help them diagnose Lowry’s condition before it was too late.
Tony, the waiter from the Palace, joined her at the ward’s window. They couldn’t see much but the staring gave them a consolation of sorts. Turi felt like she’d get their spirits to converse. She thought of how the conversation would go but when it was Lowry’s turn to answer, she didn’t get any of the answers she sought. But she held onto thoughts of him in the hope that they’d at the very least keep him alive.
Tony could somewhat feel her pain. He knew their story well enough to write extensively about it. He felt like a part of them, especially since Lowry had confided in him about his plans to marry her. Lowry knew that Turi would appreciate it the more if the Palace was a part of the proposal, so he’d enlisted the help of the waiter. It would take a while to get a unique way of doing it all since Lowry wanted to steer clear of the cliche restaurant proposals.
Tony wasn’t sure what to say and he didn’t want to risk saying anything to hurt her the more. He gave her that warm embrace that she’d been longing for all evening. He said those words that she wanted to hear, that it was going to be okay, even though she wasn’t sure that was true.
They both looked at Lowry’s ward, while having in mind their different mental pictures of Lowry.
“You know he loves you, right? “, he half asked as he looked into her eyes, “FYI, plans for your proposal are underway”.
She let out a shy smile, blushed rather, then she withdrew eye contact. He hadn’t planned to mention the proposal since Turi wasn’t meant to know about it but he remembered the state Lowry was in and he felt it would be for the best if she knew; just in case the worst happened. At least he’d gotten her to smile.
“Would you marry him?”, Tony continued, “If his final wish was that he died having married the love of his life, would you honour it; say yes to him?”
It was Tony’s polite way of asking if having married her prince would be enough consolation for being a widow all her life. Part of him knew that it wasn’t the right time for such a question but he had asked it anyway. For some reason he wanted to know.
She felt a tear flow down her cheek. The reality that there was a possibility that Lowry would die hit her real hard. She thought about his possible death, and life without him and another tear flowed. It was the first time she had teared in a long time and she feared that it would be the start of many more.
If she declined Lowry’s proposal and he lived, how would she live with herself for giving up on them? Was she ready to accept and then have to bury her fiancé if the worst happened?