“Step on it, man, he’s crashing!”
“ER, we’ve got an unresponsive white male, 45-50 years of age, code blue. CPR in progress, has been intubated, cardiac drugs administered. The monitor is showing asystole. We’re inbound to your location, approximately two minutes out…”
Michelle told him it was his confidence that drew her in. The way he took her hand without asking, without hesitance. How he waited until his finger drew up against that most sensitive part of her wrist, where he could feel her pulse quicken as he looked in her eyes and said, “I know this, I am certain. We’re going to be together…”
They slammed the gurney onto its wheels and ran full speed into the ER; the IV bag waved on its hook like a semaphore alerting to the emergency. The attending and her team leapt into action, a well-choreographed ballet of orders, actions, protocols. There was little doubt he was in very good hands.
There was little doubt he was in very good hands. Their first real date, at the Armadillo Bar & Grille up on Abeel Street, was supposed to be just lunch and a get-to-know-ya chat. Instead, it turned into hours of confidential talk, devastatingly hot flirting and the kind of intimate entwine of hands and eyes that told them both this was something rare, something to be cherished. When they discovered their matching dreams; each wanted to buy an old church and convert it into a living space combined with a music hall, a place where musicians could be encouraged as they deserved to be. The first seeds as two lives began to grow into one.
The monitors all screamed as one.
“He’s gone into Vfib!” one of the nurses yelled.
“ACLS protocols in place. Prepare for defibrillation! Clear!”
The voltage ripped through his chest as his body flopped like a fish out of water.
Hairs on his chest burned in pungent fetor.
Michelle wrote him 100 poems. The sex was otherworldly. The day she made dinner at his house, he looked at her, hair piled high and thought, “I have found my Madonna, my angel, my whore, my abbatissa, my goddess…” She said she would never mess this up, how cheating had devastated her in the past, that a good man was nearly impossible to find, she said she believed in him, she said her father would love him, she said it was so cool how they were both Italian, she said they should figure how to combine their names, she said that loving support was his new normal, she asked him to marry her.
The flatline had begun.
“Immediate heparin and nitro push! Increasing voltage. Clear!”
The shock produced nothing but more nothing.
He knew something was wrong the day they stopped for ice cream at the Jolly Cow Drive-In on 9W. The way Michelle looked at him when that Russian lady embraced him. The lady’s son and his daughter had gone to kindergarten together, and they hadn’t seen each other in years. Never mind that there hadn’t ever been anything remotely romantic between them, just two parents of two kids. But the lady was beautiful, and Michelle didn’t like anyone touching her man. And she liked it even less that he didn’t seem to mind being hugged, as though her hugs weren’t enough, as though he needed anything other than what Michelle had to offer. None of these things ever crossed his mind, because he actually didn’t need or want anything other than what they were building together. But a chill ran through him that night, and vaguely he began to realize he had been convicted of a crime he didn’t commit.
The cardiac team was running out of options.
A few days later, Michelle asked to grab a bite to eat because her stomach was hurting, and they ducked into a diner. She asked him some questions about his ex-wife. Afterward, they drove up Abeel, passed the Armadillo, and she pointed out an old building, a former synagogue with a for-sale sign on it. She suggested they should just figure out a way to buy it. It would be a great place to start their home and musical space together. He most heartily agreed.
“OK. All interventions stop. I’m calling it. Time of death, 1:11AM. Cause of death, total heart failure.”
That night, she said goodbye. She never spoke to him again.
Grammar Ghoul Press’ Mutant 750, #20!
The word prompt is Crash (as a verb).
The media prompt can be seen here.
Writing submissions may be enjoyed at http://www.grammarghoulpress.com/gg-writing-challenge-20/