Growing up in a world where different was feared, they were proof that different was good. That different could work, with enough love and perseverance. They were stubborn when it came to each other. That stubbornness was what made them, although it threatened to break them at some point as well.
55 year later, they were all old and crinkled up, but they were still together. They still had each other. Matthew had had a series of heart attacks in the last 24 hours. He wouldn’t let himself think about what had just happened. He just focused on breathing, so he doesn’t end up in a hospital bed too. A long 24 hours it had been for him and nothing reminds a 79 year old man that he is no longer young than waking up with terrible body pain from sleeping on a chair. But he refused to leave his wife’s side. He wanted to be there when she woke up. Yes, not if but when she woke up. She was only 76 years old. She promised to not give up on life before him. He remembered the day so well. He was in hospital. His heart had been giving him problems again. The first person he saw when he woke up was his Catherine, his first love.
Matthew: Oh good, you’re here! Knowing you, I was worried you’d be lying on the hospital bed right next to mine.
Catherine: And not be here to give you an earful about how you’re not allowed to leave me?? Not a chance!
Matthew chuckled, and coughed at the same time. She brought him water. He sat up and looked at her. They shared of moment of silence, as they took each other in with their eyes. She had aged 10 years in the two days he’d been sick. Although she looked exhausted, she looked happy just sitting there, looking at him. She was his centre, like gravity, for as long as he could remember. And he had spent the last 55 years crafting his world around this delicate woman.
Matthew: Catherine Althea Jones,
Matthew: You have to outlive me.
Catherine: I am the younger one here, of course I will outlive you. By a day.
Matthew: By a day?
Catherine: Why would I want to live more than a day without you?! I was not made to be single!!
He snapped back to reality at the movement of Catherine’s hand in his. “Catherine?”
She stirred, blinking, taking in the white ceiling and white walls. She turned her head to where the voice was coming from. It was Matthew. She closed her eyes and smiled.
“What happened?” she said at last.
“I thought you were dead. I thought you had left me!”, he replied with tears in his eyes, as he lifted her hand to his lips.
She tightened her grip in his hand.
“Catherine Althea Jones, I swear to God, if you ever do that to me again, I will kill you myself. And dance on your grave every first day of Spring!”