Monday, March 17, 2008

'The Man' Tales - 7 Days = An Eternity of Memories

At the airport gate I leaned wearily against the wall, still not fully recovered. My legs felt like jelly and so did my heart. It quivered with the excitement of seeing D one more time. Our eyes met when he came through the doors and I batted weakly against the tide as I tried to make my way to him. When we got close enough he dropped his knapsack and reached for me with his long arms and wrapped me tightly inside them. The world fell away and I forgot about my illness as I listened to his heart as it hammered beneath my ear. His face was blurry as I looked up and let the tears stream down my face, and when his lips met mine – I sighed.

We let the work at the store wait for the rest of that day. Instead, we unplugged the telephones and locked the doors and pulled the drapes – safe inside our own little world. There was time enough for work another day.

D’s concern over my unexplained illness was just what I needed and I started to feel better immediately. I recounted the event and told him how the doctors and my family had called my girlfriend and grilled her on every move we had made. He was intrigued the specialist had ordered a vial of my blood be kept frozen at the hospital in case I became ill again. As I cuddled up against him I could feel my strength returning with every breath he took.

We spent the next week undoing all the sleep I had gained while I was in the hospital. We worked 16-hour days in the store as we endeavored to get a system up and running that would keep both locations organized and connected. Most of the other 8 hours left in the day we spent exploring each other once more. As the clock ticked down the final days I was overwhelmed once more with my impending loss and inevitable loneliness. I tried to hide it from him, but it became obvious that he was feeling the same way. Sometimes we just stood holding on to each other, my head pressed against his chest and his arms holding me tight. I tried to memorize the color of his eyes and the sound of his voice. As he slept I listened to his breathing filling the room and watched his eyelids flicker. I tried to imprint it all on my brain so I would always be able to draw on the memory when I needed it.

With the computer problems solved and behind us, we stood once more at the security gate. Our pain was written across our faces in letters so huge that people who glanced in our direction, quickly looked away again – unwilling to witness it. Our fingertips searched for each other’s, grasping at the fading memories those hands had created. I wanted each second to be an eternity before he was whisked away again – out of my reach. We didn’t know when we might see each other again or if we ever would – and that knowledge burned at our hearts. He had two more years of university that would take up all his time. I had our memories.

When the phone rang and I heard his voice coming to me from 4000kms away – I cried. Our last kiss lingered on my lips like a scorch mark and I licked them, trying to taste him once more. His fatigue from the flight cut our conversation short, but at least we had the phone and the computer to keep in touch. University started in a couple of days and he had to catch up on the preparations he had put aside during his week with me. At least he had moved into Ottawa and was no longer living at home. He could walk to the university from his lodgings and was close to all that interested him. Except for me.

Every day his emails detailed his life at school and his love for me. They also were full of his fatigue and headaches that had plagued him since his return. As the weeks went by I could see that his health was deteriorating quickly and I encouraged him to see the doctor at the university. The doctor believed he had been subjected to something on the plane and in that confined space it would have been easy to be infected by anything contagious.

Blood tests revealed he had Mononucleosis.



(Just a note here - As I can see by the comments that are already being made - I just want to clarify that the doctors tested me for this as well as everything else they could think of. It was never resolved. I could have that blood sample tested now for West Nile Virus - but as one doctor told me quite bluntly - 'Why bother? Once you have had WNV you can never get it again. Testing would only be a waste of time and money.')

16 comments:

Living the Dream said...

Oh my goodness, that sounds, horrid and serious, I just dont know what it is??

Anonymous said...

I've been lurking for a couple days now. Went back, i think, to the beginning and read forward. Great writing. Anyway, was just wondering if what "D" had was what you had been sick with?
Margie

Breezy said...

I don't know if I like where this is going I hope I am just being over anxious

dND said...

I had to look it up on Wikipedia - I know it by it's common name.

I hope D recovered quickly. Time dilation is strange, sometimes, 2 years passes before you know it, other times it can take an eternity.

Like Margie, wondering if this was what you had.

CrazyCath said...

Came here from your previous post recommended by David at authorblog. I just felt compelled to read on.

You write so well. It is hard to remember this is your life. I'll be back to see what happened and how you are now. I hope you found / find some tranquility and contentment.

aims said...

I should have put this note at the beginning of the comments.

The doctors tested me for that and everything else as well..

So 'NO' - what I had was not Mono...

aims said...

Hazel - go back - I've put a link to it..sorry - I should have done that to begin with..

Margie - Thank you for your comments and welcome aboard!

Breey - And you're doing so well..you've lasted this long...

DnD - I'm really sorry for not including the link - I didn't realize that Mono is not that well known everywhere.

Crazycath - I'm so glad you followed David's link...he is such a gem isn't he? If you are interested - this whole story is under the label 'truth' on the sidebar...it's getting to be a long tale now so you would have to make some time for it...

softinthehead said...

Oooh I'm worrying again, when you titled a recent post - The End - I got excited - I'm no so sure now.

dawn said...

When I was in University, I got tested for Mono and Epstein bar. I didn't have either, but it was pretty bad for awhile. I ended up going to the doctor when my BioChem teacher picked me out of 300 students and asked it I was okay. I had quit writing notes and glazed over and didn't respond to him right away. I ended up okay, just went home sick after going to the doctor, and slept a lot, and kept on going, so I definitely didn't have anything too serious. Mono can be pretty bad. My great nephew died of complications from it last April at 16.

Sweet Irene said...

Oh, mu poor hart is aching for you two. Now I worry about D, getting sick, don't you let him die on us or something! I would be so devastated! Well, I suppose you would be doubly so, if that had happened! This must turn out right!!!

I Beatrice said...

Just when I thought everything was going along perfectly at last, you go and spring this on us! Well, you didn't spring it personally of course, and it must have been very much worse for you than it is for us - but OMG, what next, is pretty much all I can say at the moment!

I was puzzled by mononucleosis - but think it must be what we call over here glandular fever....? Long-standing and unpleasant - but not generally thought to be life-threatening TG!

My own very delightful present preoccupation is finding a villa for us in Tuscany this August - so I am rather far-away just at present I fear...

Daryl E said...

Mono .. ah the plague (almost literally) of students .. REST is the best and only real cure ..hope he is feeling better soon .. and that you in your own weakened state dont get it.

Canadian flake said...

OMG I can't wait to hear what happened next. I had mono when I was young and it just about did me in....

Hope D wasn't sick too long.

Jules~ said...

Oh my goodness, Aims, you write with such passion. It leaves me breathless.

lisa marie said...

You kissed him to sickness. :) What a good way to get ill.

Popkins said...

skipped a head did I, but I know your life like my own....again your love astounds me....now we have to figure out who's gonna play D in the movie, ya know....gosh, what y'all went through, Aims.....but you can tell he is such a man of integrity and strength....