A Story of Eternal Love
The rain came down outside, not the fast pounding rain of a thunder storm but the slow steady rain of a summer shower. It was one of those storms where the sky was light and sunny yet a few overachieving clouds persist on dumping their moist payload to the earth. Sides of the street begin to fill with water as the storm drains, long clogged with leaves and fast food sandwich wrappers cannot handle the steady flow of water. What looks like small rivers begin to flow down the slight incline of the road, carrying away cigarette butts like small boats lost in a storm. There is a slight breeze in the air, while unable to cut through the thick August heat it is enough to send the occasional small tickle up one's back. The shoes hanging for the lamp post sway as if enjoying a nice nap in a Hammock while on a vacation somewhere much more pleasant then here. The tobacco riddled boats complete their journey in glorious fashion by crashing into a make shift dam composed of condom packages and losing lotto tickets. Fresh graffiti begins to run ever so slightly in the rain, desperate in it's attempt to remain at it's assigned location on the side of the mini mart. As the wind increases a small plastic shopping bag takes to the air like an ultralight aircraft fighting against a tsunami. This is a place most have forgotten, a desolate place where the lost members of society gather.
A hunched old woman makes her way slowly up the street, fighting to stay upright as her legs don't work they way they once did. Passersby give short quick glances at her as she struggles, quickly averting their eyes while continuing on their journeys. Despite the deplorable conditions out side the woman continues her valiant efforts to beat mother nature and arrive at her destination. The car passes her at a speed far in excess of what would be recommended for the conditions. The driver unaware or uncaring of the tidal wave of dirty rain water the tires send onto the woman. With a slight grimace the lady rubs her hands down her dress in a fruitless effort to wipe some of the moisture off, shaking her head she continues. Traffic lights sway lazily back and forth as the woman approaches the intersection, the large hospital looming in front of her. She waits patiently for the small neon man to appear and tell her it is her time to cross the road. The rain begins to taper off as the signal changes, with a quick look left and right the woman begins the final leg of her journey.
The amount of machinery in the room gives it the appearance of a factory more so than that of a hospital. Somewhere amongst the cables, sensors, and alarms there sits a bed, and on that bed lays a man. Eyes shut and chest shallow, every breath appears to be an inconvenience but yet fog appears and dissipates on the oxygen mask as the man inhales and exhales. No doctor nor nurse is present, the TV is off and there is a looming sense of despair throughout the entire room as one enters. This is not the room of a person awaiting release from the institute, but rather relief from the burden of life. The quite loneliness of the room is shattered by the sound of tires squealing from the streets below. With the vigor of a nineteen year old football star the man bolts upright in the bed he has called his home for the last year.
“I love you” He mutters, the first words spoken by this feeble husk of a human in months.
Red and blue lights can be seen flashing in the distance as people gather around a small area of the intersection. High above the scene of so much commotion a lone dove circles the crowd looking down to see what they see. In the middle of what has now become a huddled mass of bystanders a woman lies motionless in the worn markings of the crosswalk. Paramedics rush to the crowd ignoring the few stubborn drops of rain still falling from the sky. The first paramedic on the scene places his had on the wrist of the victim, after a short time the look on his face causes the remaining medical personal to slow their pace as they approach. A call is made and it is not long before an ominous black car works its way through the traffic and the dissipating crowd. The rain has given up and a rainbow has formed on the horizon shedding some beauty on the ugly scene, in the equally ugly city.
In the small hospital room above the calm silence of death has been replaced with doctors, nurses, and crash carts. There is a sense of tension in the air as if the doctors are not sure how to act when attempting to save the life of someone with a death sentence. Despite this every effort is made to ensure the man can live on another day in his half machine, half human state. Orders are barked at assistants while the machinery lets loose with various wails as they to attempt to restore life. Slowly things begin to calm down and the doctor looks at his watch, mutters a few words and the sheet is pulled up and over their visitor's face.
In the sky above the street the dove continues to circle the unkempt road below, the woman is gone now and life appears to be back to normal for all but one of the pedestrians who are attempting to cross the intersection. From behind the hospital a second dove approaches at a rapid pace like someone running to greet a person they have not seen for ages. As the second bird approaches the first they appear to hover beak to beak, if only for a moment. Slowly as if they have all the time in the world the birds turn towards the rainbow in the distance and begin to fly, never once glancing back at the slums disappearing behind them.