Adrianne’s fingers curled around Travis’s hand, tighter and tighter. He was strong compared to her, especially now, yet she was still hurting him. Not necessarily by brute force, but through her pain she was unintentionally destroying him. Every passing second faded the light of the day along with the light of his future. If she had known what this was doing to him, she would have let him go in a heartbeat. She even would have told him to leave. But she wanted him there, and that overpowered her sense to think of what he would benefit from. She was doing everything in her power just to get closer to him.
That’s all she wanted, to be near to him. There was this unspoken connection between them and it drew her soul to collide with his. Where souls intertwine, bodies follow. Her gaze traced his jaw line and nose, then sunk into his. With all the effort he could manage, he smiled weakly.
I love you. No words were spoken, but they didn’t need to be. They both knew. They had a simple love that didn’t need to be restricted by language. So they continued to sit there, hand in hand and heart in heart. The only thing that separated them was the doctor leaning over Adrianne’s limp being. But he didn’t seem to mind her armed extending to reach Travis’s.
The sirens of the ambulance were still blaring, but no E.M.T.’s were taking Adrianne away. They all seemed to be busy helping the other victims. All of those people were in the middle of the street, where the bus had turned over. They didn’t see Adrianne on the side of the road, where the impact of the bus had shoved her little car. She was lying on top of a pile of shattered glass that used to be the window that she went flying through.
The knees of Travis’s jeans began to get soaked through with blood. He didn’t mind the stain that was forming; he would give anything to spend Adrianne’s last moments with her. The doctor looked at Travis, forcing him to rip his eyes from the beautiful ones he was staring into. If ever he could read an expression, it was now. There was nothing more the doctor could do. So they both turned back to Adrianne, who’s eyes were slowly closing. “How can I make you more comfortable, sweetie?” the doctor asked with a sad tone.
Adrianne tried to answer, but she was too weak. The steady flow of red pouring from her nose obscured her words, and only mumbles came out. Her eyebrows knitted together and her nose scrunched up; she was frustrated that she was unable to communicate. Travis grinned because this was just like her. He was instantly brought back to a time about a year back. He was over at Adrianne’s house because her parents were at work and she was terribly sick. Travis made her chicken noodle soup in a heart-shaped bowl and cleaned out the bucket next to her whenever she threw up. He loved that day to the ends of the earth, because he knew that for once she really needed him. That was one of the only days that they were together that he didn’t doubt that. For an entire three days because of her illness, she had lost her voice and couldn’t talk. Every so often, she forgot about this and attempted to say something. Whenever her vocal chords refused to work, she got the exact same look on her face. Her eyebrows pushed together and her nose scrunched up.
Later that day, the two of them assigned songs to every emotion that Adrianne could be feeling, then put it all on a playlist on her laptop. Every time she felt the need to communicate, she just reached out and played the appropriate song. The song that played the most that day was Perfect Two by Auburn, which was assigned to the emotion “please come closer to me, I miss you even though you’re only sitting a couple feet away.”
Now, lying on the ground, being permanently tucked in by Mother Moon, Adrianne started humming the tune of Perfect Two. Travis knew what she meant and carefully crawled closer. The doctor knew his boundaries and stepped back, only to regret leaving her and kneeled back down. He let Travis be near to her head, but he stayed close by her legs. Travis gently leaned himself down and touched his lips to her forehead. As he raised back up, the final touch of air escaped from her lips. Her chest deflated and the ghost of her soul broke free from the bondage of life.
Silent tears skated down Travis’s face. The doctor next to him crumpled in defeat. The two of them failed to tear their eyes away from Adrianne’s bloody, lifeless, still stunning face.
Travis slipped his hand into his coat pocket and fondled the little, velvet box that had found its home there for too long. He had never built up enough courage, and nothing for the rest of his life could fill him with more regret. He pulled it out and removed the ring from its place, turning to the doctor. “Would you have given me permission?” Travis asked.
“Of course,” the doctor responded, who’s face was already dripping with tears. With that, Travis slid the diamond onto Adrianne’s finger, where it would stay forever. “She would’ve been the most beautiful bride ever. And I would’ve been the luckiest dad. You should have asked her sooner. I would have loved to walk her down the aisle.”
In silence, the doctor and Travis stayed next to Adrianne until finally the police came to pick her up. They needed to ask no questions, because they could see all the answers on their faces. They took her away. Travis and the doctor stood and together, they said goodbye. One to a daughter, and one to a wife.