There’s a man in my bed, I used to love him

His kisses used to take my breath away

Here I sit, beside you, in this hospital room. I hold your hand gently as you breath in and out, your lungs rasping and groaning with the effort. Nurses pass by and check your vital signs, tucking in sheets that haven’t moved, speaking softly to me as if not wanting to wake you.

But we know that you won’t wake. That this is the final stretch.

You used to say to me that there was no shame in living an ordinary life. It took me a long time to understand what you meant. I can see now that I pushed against such things, wanting more than what everyone else had. You would give me that look, a smile in your eyes, and tell me that we were rich beyond measure, just by knowing and loving each other.

Even when I left, you made sure that I knew that my home was always with you. It made me go further than I’d thought possible, before it brought me back here. Back to you.

It seems now that my restless energy was a quest of sorts. I wanted to find myself, but seemed to lose you in the process. It took me a long time to realise that you were right. Bright lights and big dreams felt hollow after a while. I was searching for an authenticity that was here all along.

In this last slow dance together, I hold your hand and feel your pulse. The ebbing warmth of your love for me is a song that has sustained me across the decades and made me luckier than I deserve to be.

Written with He Fades Away by June Tabor in mind, a song that has haunted me for a long time.

Inspired by Discover Prompts – April writing prompts