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Sickness And In Health

Updated on January 9, 2015

The Doctor approached the house. He felt like his knees were going to collapse. He felt guilty because he was out drinking and fooling around with other women knowing that his wife was bed-ridden. He steadied himself, and as he reached for the doorknob, he felt the alcohol in his stomach gargle. He felt like a school-boy late for class as he guiltily turned the knob and stepped inside. The whirring sounds of his wife’s life-support system filled the air. Guilt made his insides curdle. The system just kept banging away at his eardrum. Reminding him of his responsibility.

Behind him, a portrait hanging above the fireplace of his wife. His beautiful and loving wife. A woman he adored and wanted always to be with. If he lost her, how could he ever love again? He often blamed himself, somehow, for the car accident that brought about his wife’s fate. It was a punishment for something he did, perhaps in a past life.

He walked into the bedroom and saw his wife just laying there before him. She was still the most beautiful woman he had ever met. He loved her, but at times wanted to forget that he was married to her.

He took hold of his wife’s hand. All the memories they shared rushed back and recaptured his heart. He felt it raiding his emotions. It was a wonderful feeling.

Reality would then set in. He gently caressed her face. How lifeless her skin felt. Cold to the touch. Tears blossomed as he continued touching her face. He looked over at the pillow and wickedness crossed his mind. Evil began playing its monotonous and repetitive symphony. He walked slowly away toward the liquor cabinet releasing his wife’s hand all in one motion. He then poured himself two shots of Johnnie Walker Black, and returned to his wife’s bedside.

He looked at her face and then toward the pillow and back to her face. It was the same face that stared at him lovingly through the years.

In sickness and in health.

A tiny voice kept whispering that in his ear. He grimaced and then gulped down his scotch. His heart pounded in his chest and evil thoughts were greeted with silence.

He leaned in and planted a gentle kiss on his wife’s lips. How could he think about ending her life? How could he trample on his wedding vows? He looked at her half expecting her to sit upright and scold him for even thinking the evil thoughts.

He opened the drawer to her night table and reached for a firearm he bought her years ago for protection while he worked late at the hospital. She had no use for it, and she never touched it. The gun was exactly where he put it. Never touched, cleaned or dusted.

Then the voice came back....In sickness and in health.

© 2011 Frank Atanacio


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    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      thanks Marlin I actually based this short story off one of my poems.. I think it worked..yeah?

    • Marlin 55 profile image

      Marlin 55 6 years ago from USA

      Great story Frank. It kept me going from beginning to the end.