He stood in the doorway and looked upon his friend.
She had aged slowly these past few years, staying as beautiful as she had always been. Her skin glowed softly in the morning sun. Her chestnut hair framed her slender face in a cascade of messy hair. And as they had been for the past four years, her eyes were closed.
The hospital bed she lay in was standard. There were the usual counters and medical equipment, a single broad window, two chairs for visitors, and a single wilted rose in a vase.
The man stepped quietly into the room and replaced the rose with a fresh one. Then he turned to her.
”I’m sorry I couldn’t make it yesterday, love,” he whispered.
He kneeled at her bedside.
He sniffed quietly, choking on his words. “I miss you.”
The man fought his tears as they fell from his face to her sheets.
She remained quiet and stonily still.
”I miss you,” he repeated, louder. “I miss your voice and I miss your stupid cheesy jokes. I miss hugging and kissing you and holding you in my arms as we slept. I can’t remember the last time I heard you tell me you loved me, but miss that too.”
He brushed his arm across his face to clear his eyes. He looked up to her face again.
”I miss looking into your eyes.”
He placed his hand over hers, and didn’t move, wondering what it would be like for her hand to come to life and grasp his again.
He took a moment to compose himself and stood again.
”I love you. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
He set a note beside the rose with the pile of hundreds of others he had written her over the years.
He turned back, bent over, kissed her gingerly on the cheek, and left.