Chapter 8: One Beat
A few days passed and Sheryl opens her eyes. “Good morning Sunshine!” Jean greeted her. “Jean, my chest feels like its bruised” Sheryl said softly. “That’s because you have a new heart now” the nurse revealed. Sheryl was surprised and could not believe what Jean just said. “So John was not lying, I heard him say he found me a heart. So it’s real I do have a new heart. Where is John I want to see him?” Sheryl said with excitement.
Jean pouted and looked away from her and pretended to fill up the chart. “John is not here now but he will visit you soon. By the way he sends you flowers every day.” Jean said with a shaky voice. “Yup that’s the John that I know, he used to bring me flowers too before. So Jean do you know who owns this heart? You know I can feel its strong compared to the one I used to have” Sheryl elaborated.
Jean tried to compose herself but tears were already falling down her cheeks. She did not want Sheryl to see her crying so moved towards the door and took a deep breath. “That heart…belongs to someone great…so you better take care of it. Do you understand?” Jean said with a strict voice and Sheryl touched her chest. “Yes I will” she answered and Jean nodded and stepped out of the room.
Another week passed and Sheryl was on her feet already. She went out her room and walked around the hall looking for Estella and Jean. She noticed the hall was silent and there was a sense of gloominess in the air. Once she was near the nurses’ station she saw her boss Tommy Thorn. “Sheryl! Wow! You are doing great, so how is the heart doing?” her boss asked. “Good morning sir, I am doing well. It’s a strong heart I really can feel the difference” she replied.
“That’s good to hear” Tommy said. “Are you here to visit your mother?” Sheryl asked. Tommy nodded and smiled “I’ve been coming here daily for two weeks now, my mom got out of the coma already but she still has to be confined they told me” he revealed. Sheryl was surprised and delighted to hear the good news. “Would you like to come and meet my mother?” Tommy asked her. Sheryl smiled and nodded so they proceeded to Mrs. Thorn’s room.
Tommy opened the door and he was surprised to see his mother standing and walking around. “Mom! They said you can’t walk around the room yet!” Tommy angrily said. The old woman turned around and saw his son with a young woman. “Oh so you come to introduce your girlfriend” Mrs. Thorn said. Tommy and Sheryl went inside the room and closed the door. “She is not my girlfriend mom, she is Sheryl, she works for the company and she just had a heart transplant” Tommy stated.
Mrs. Thorn took a good look at Sheryl and asked her to come closer. “Sheryl, I heard that name before” the old lady said. “I came to visit you once with John when you were in a coma” Sheryl softly said. “Yes now I remember, come sit beside me. John told me about you” said the old lady. Sheryl was surprised and looked at Tommy.
“John came here every day telling me stories about many things. He kept telling me jokes and I felt like laughing really” Mrs. Thorn revealed. Tommy and Sheryl were more confused with what the old lady was saying. “You see I was in a coma but I could hear him talking to me. Every day he would tell me about this old man who he races with along the corridor, he even wanted me to meet him. I think he was pairing me up with that man. Then he told me about Jean the nurse who he made a deal with, if she loses a hundred pounds he would give her a car. John is a really good man you know” Mrs. Thorn said and paused.
“One day all his stories were about this blink kid he takes care of. He brought that kid here once but he didn’t say a word to me. Then all the jokes stopped one day and he started telling me that he saw a lady patient, he said it was love at first sight. He brought the lady flowers everyday and he felt sad for her because no one came to visit her. Yes I know he said her name was Sheryl, and that is you am I right?” Mrs. Thorn revealed and Sheryl was speechless.
“Oh, even when you regained consciousness he would come here and tell me stories about you. Before you two went on a vacation he came here to say he will not be coming for a while. Sad thing is that after a long time he came back and said he you were in need of a new heart. The next thing I know I heard him say he found you a new heart. I don’t know if I should tell you this but I heard him crying I don’t know why, he should have been happy. Suddenly after a while he told me he might not be able to come visit me anymore, he said goodbye to me and I felt so sad and I cried inside” said the old lady as tears started to gather on her eyes.
Sheryl was teary-eyed and Tommy just took a deep breath and stood by the window. “Did he say where he was going?” Sheryl asked and the old lady shook her head. “John was a kind man I can tell that even if I never really met him. I remember once he told me that as long as he sees patients getting well and with smiles on their faces each day he feels cured too” Mrs. Thorn added. Sheryl looked at the old lady and asked “What do you mean cured? Was he sick?”
“I think I remember him telling me he was. I think he said he was not a medical worker but a sick patient like me on the first day he introduced himself. Of course I wanted to ask him but I was in a coma” recalled the old lady. Sheryl stood up and rushed out of the room and headed towards the nurses’ station.
Sheryl saw Estella and immediately confronted her. “Tell me was John sick?!!!” she shouted. Estella was shocked and speechless; Jean came to her rescue and held back Sheryl. “Jean tell me was John sick?!!!” she asked again. Estella and Jean nodded at each other and escorted Sheryl towards Doctor Cartwright’s office. “Where are we going?!!! Why can’t you answer my question?!!!” Sheryl angrily said but the two were silent.
As soon as they entered the doctor’s office Jean closed the door. “What are we doing here? I don’t need to see my doctor; I am fine I just need answers!” Sheryl continued. “Sheryl please sit down” doctor Cartwright told her. Sheryl sat down and Estella sat beside her. Sheryl noticed the uneasiness on their faces so she began to worry. “I want the truth now, where is John?!!!” she yelled.
“I guess its time for you to learn the truth. John has been suffering from cancer for a long time. He did not want to get treatment at first but when he met you he came to me but it was a bit too late” the doctor revealed and Sheryl was speechless. Jean and Sheryl were already in tears but comforting Sheryl and watching her closely.
“He left you a letter and he instructed me to give it to you once you have recovered. I think this will clarify things for you” doctor Cartwright told her and handed over the letter.
Sheryl tore the envelope and quickly read the letter.
By the time you are reading this I guess your operation went well. I hope you got the flowers that I told them to give you daily. It’s hard for me to explain everything so I just made a poem so I do hope you can understand.
The moment I saw you my heart skipped and beat faster
Alone in this world I shall never be any longer
He may have left you because of your weak heart
A dire condition as stated in your medical chart
We are just the same, I too am suffering
I’m not curable and so my time is ticking
To prove my love I would do one amazing fete
When it’s done we would have one beat.
No second thoughts and one final decision
My heart is yours, be healthy and live on
I may be gone but I made you complete
Together we are one heart and one beat
Well I guess that says it all. Take care of yourself and I love you very much. Sorry I was ashamed to tell you that before but I hope it’s not too late.
Be well and live life to the fullest. Take care of our heart.
Sheryl’s jaw dropped and she slowly looked at her doctor. She placed her hand on her chest and the doctor nodded. Tears started flowing down her cheeks and she sat back on the chair. The room was silent for a moment and Sheryl stood up and walked towards the door. She turned towards the doctor and her lips were trembling, “He gave me his heart…he made me live…one beat…” she said and then she fainted.
“Is she alright?” Doctor Cartwright asked Estella who was first to rush to the aid of Sheryl. “Yes doctor she just fainted. Her heart is beating fine” the nurse replied. “Good, Estella, Jean please keep her company for a while then. I know John’s heart can take it but her will might not” the doctor ordered. “Yes doctor” Jean replied as they both carry Sheryl out of the office.
A few days later Doctor Cartwright, Estella and Doctor Mathews were walking cautiously to restricted section of the hospital. They enter a room and turn on the lights; a constant beeping sound was heard in the room. “Estella is that you?” John asked in a weak voice. John was in bed, several wires and tubes were attached to his body. “Hello John, how are you today?” Jeff asked him. “Jeff did you take it all out?” John asked his doctor. “Yes I was able to take out everything but you still need to undergo chemotherapy after you get a new heart” the doctor said.
“How is she? Does she know already?” John asked. “Yes she knows” Estella answered. “So how did she take it?” he added. “She fainted at first and remained silent for days. Your heart did well I should say. She is fine now, she will be discharged later and as you requested Jean will be transferring to your apartment to watch over her” Estella said.
“That’s good to hear. So she is going home now, that’s good to hear. Thank you guys, and you know she really has a weak heart” John whispered and closed his eyes. A few seconds later the constant beeping sound became a monotonous unending tone, John went flat line.
“Jesus Christ! Estella quickly charge it to 300!” Doctor Cartwright screamed. “I know I know!” Estella panicked. “Jeff go get everyone you can, prepare the operating room and ask Jean to call….damnit! We need the heart as soon as possible!!!” the doctor added.
“John don’t you die on me!!! John!!!