Sushma was wheeled into the trauma pit, the confusion and chaos were palpable across the hall. Visitors, nurses, doctors everyone hurriedly looking at the bride who is just rushed to the ER on her wedding day in the wedding dress with rugged breathing and unconscious.
Pastel lavender is her color, she is looking incredibly beautiful in the wedding gown, which is now falling down from the stretcher as she lies unconscious. Doctors pushed everyone aside and took her inside the examination room.
Mark is pacing nearby, he is as clueless as everyone else, but somehow he is supposed to be the one answering their prying eyes. Before he could gather himself to say anything, an on-call doctor cut him in to ask about the patient’s medical history.
‘She was fit as a fiddle, no diseases or illnesses as far as I know her’, stammered Mark.
‘And how long is that be… Sir’? quizzed the doctor.
Four years two months and twenty-eight days, his brain spluttered out, ‘around four years, and she never called in sick, not even once’ he replied.
‘Alright, any history of diabetes, cancer, or heart disease in the family’? the doctor rechecked.
The question created a small zizz among the waiting relatives, doctor gestured for them to leave the area. ‘Only kin of patient allowed, everyone else please leave. You can visit during visiting hours.’
‘I don’t know that, okay! She has no one else, but me. What is wrong with her, she was absolutely healthy and happy, then out of a sudden, she collapsed in the middle of our wedding, breathless and sweaty. Is that a heart attack, please tell me what is wrong with Sushma?’ Mark was desperate to get some answers.
The doctor handed him a glass of water and said, ‘she is not responding to the anti-anxiety kit or CPR her vitals are under control but we can’t find any nerve activity, as yet. Her MRI, ECG, and CT report are awaited, we will be able to update you once we have our answers. Hang in there!’
Mark felt as if he is shot in the chest, they waited for this day for seven months. They had planned each and every aspect of the wedding day to the specifics. From flowers, food, decoration, invitations, and dresses, to jewelry, her signature style perfection was all over the place, keeping tabs on everything impeccably. She hired the best baker for their wedding cake, the best wine, celebrity make-up, and the hairstylist. Everything was in place until she collapsed.
Sushma and Mark had known each other for over four years, he was her Boss and an interesting person to meet for drinks after office hours. Being a hardcore professional, Sushma had a ‘No-Dating the Boss Rule’, but Mark wasn’t just a fling. So, she shifted her job and moved into a real relationship with him. For the first time in her life, she felt genuinely loved by someone, not because of her looks, model-like body, or career choices, but pure love.
They had a very smooth-sailing in-partner relationship, a high graph of careers, good money in the bank, luxuries, holidays together, lots of sex, and no responsibilities until Mark went down on the knee. He knew she was waiting for this day, her eyes gleamed with joy when Mark asked her hand for marriage. Finally, she will have a family, her own little space of personal happiness, something she missed her entire life being brought up in a foster home.
‘Sir, are you with us’, quizzed the doctors bringing Mark back from his thought trail.
He whirled back to the present day in the hospital, awaiting Sushma’s medical update. A team of three doctors in white coats ready to tell their diagnosis, ‘Your fiance’s reports are with us, we have analyzed them along with the patient’s responses. She happens to be suffering from an aggressive stage of Cardiac Sarcoma. It’s rare but not uncommon, right now we are trying to identify the root of the tumor but as it is located deep inside her heart, it may take a few days and numerous procedures to identify it.’
After a few awkward moments of numbness, another doctor said, ‘we think at this point in time, you should call back at the wedding hall and tell everyone to leave. We are in this with you, Sir, but as doctors, we can’t give you any false hopes. You should prepare yourself for the worst.’
His world came crashing down to his shoulders and suddenly he felt too heavy to stand all by himself, strutting backward he fell on the chair. Speechless, thoughtless, and emotionless he sat in that chair motionless while the entire world swirled around his eyes. He didn’t realize how the whole day whizzed by, the nurse came to call him, Sushma is conscious and this is his best chance to meet her before doctors sedate her for biopsy procedures.
Each step felt like a million tonnes of weight, he cannot do this, not now, not ever. Somehow, he was standing in front of door 4228 (irony huh) when the nurse opened the door, everything felt like a haze until his eyes found what he seeks the most – Her! she smiled back at Mark, her eyes were shining gold thanks to the sunlight seeping in from the windows. Angelic, she looked like an angel.
Mark sat next to the bed, he held her hand and gently said – ‘everything is gonna be alright, we will be back home soon. Doctors will conduct a few more tests, and then we will be free to go home.’
She said nothing, just smiled as if she knows! Her smile was kind of reassuring, the warmth it was emanating melted his heart but also broke it into million pieces. She whispered slowly, ‘We wrote our woes to be together forever in the highs and lows, health and sickness, in good or bad, Mark.’
‘It just doesn’t matter if the “forever” is four damn years or a whole lifetime. What matters is, we had the best time of our lives together. True, we had very little time for love, but that’s the only time I want to remember for whatever time I am left with. This will be our ‘happy ending’, Mark.
Disclaimer – The story, all names, characters, and incidents portrayed in this story are fictitious. No identification with actual persons (living or deceased), places, buildings, and products is intended or should be inferred.
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