A Storyby Mary Taugher
“Tell me you love me,” she said. “Tell me I was right that we’d get back together. We could renew our wedding vows.”
“We’ll see,” I said. A better man would have agreed. She was lying in a hospital bed, tubes in her nose, a pacemaker and a dialysis port implanted in her chest, so many wires attached to her body that she looked like an experiment gone bad.
She’d walked out on me twelve years ago for a firefighter she’d met at the beach. The boys were in their early teens, and I stayed to raise them. When she left, she told me that she had a feeling, so strong it was like a prophecy, that we’d reunite when we were older and had experienced all we’d missed out on by marrying so crazy young. She moved up to horse country with the firefighter, and three years later she begged to come back, insisting she’d made the biggest mistake of her life. But I wasn’t walking over those hot coals twice.
It turned out her intuition was dead-on. She’d moved back in with me a year ago, two weeks after her forty-seventh birthday, when she became too sick to keep working and could no longer afford to pay rent on her apartment.