Tansy Undercrypt
Author, Illustrator, Purveyor of Doom & Whimsy


July 23rd 2015 in Blather, Microfiction

Greg was surprised to find Mina awake and alert, sitting up in bed, and alone. “Hey!” he said, reaching for her hand. “Hey, yourself!” she said, taking it and holding on. Greg sat down and started talking, trying so hard to remember everything that he’d rehearsed in the car and failing. “Goodbyes are hard,” Mina whispered, “but don’t concern yourself with that just now.” He started to cry (after promising himself that he wouldn’t).  She talked to him, told him what a force of good he’d been in her life, shared her fears of going on without everybody, but also the growing feeling that it would all be okay. “Quit smoking, though,” she said suddenly, looking into Greg’s eyes and squeezing his hand. “No excuses.” Mina spent the next hour giving him encouragement mixed with the odd warning that brought the hairs on his neck up. “God, I’m tired,” she said at last. “I should go,” he replied. “I’ll just quick use the bathroom and be off.” “I love you,” Mina said then. “Remember that.” Greg closed the door to steady himself, calling out a shaky, “I love you, too” that echoed slightly. When he emerged, there was no one in the bed, and the sheets were tight against the mattress as if there had never been. There was no equipment. There was no Mina. Greg surprised a nurse who arrived to prep the room. “Oh, I’m sorry,” he said, not knowing what was happening. “Are you trying to find a certain room?” she asked.  “Mina Felton’s, but …,” his voice trailed off. “I’m so sorry,” she said tenderly. “Mina Felton died very peacefully last night.” Greg just stood there and the nurse took his arm. “Let’s have you sit down in the lounge for a bit; it’s really tough when you don’t get a chance to say goodbye.” “I wouldn’t know,” Greg said without thinking, feeling grateful and frightened at the same time.

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