TITLE: Waiting For
Last night, I dreamed I was dying. I lay beneath a bright, cloudless sky in a lavish garden, surrounded by pink jasmine and white gardenias. Dandelions peeked above the blades of grass at the edge of my blanket and I reached for one, plucking it gently from the earth so as not to dislodge its fragile seeds. Clutching its stem, I closed my eyes to make a wish. With my last breath, I blew the seeds into the wind and watched them float through the air and out of sight.
Perhaps I realized, deep within my subconscious mind, wishes come true only in our dreams--yet for me, there would be no more dreams. Exactly four minutes ago, with my friend at my bedside, my life ended.
The dismal Portland weather seemed rather appropriate for a day like today. Silence echoed through the room, and several minutes passed before Valene lifted her head and let go of my hand. After drying her tears with the coverlet, she pushed the hair back from her face. Her eyes, red and swollen, made her appear much older than her thirty-eight years, and I realized at that moment I should never have allowed her to accompany me here this morning. I could only hope she would, in time, be able to put today’s emotional anguish behind her.
She stared at my face for a long moment, her hands folded neatly in her lap. Finally, she reached for the call button to summon the doctor.