“I’m in love with you… I am. I am in love with you, and I’m not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I’m in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have, and I am in love with you.”*
I kept my eyes closed, just marveling at the sound of his voice, the timbre and fluidity of his voice. I heard the pages of the book rustle, wondering how he knew that I was re-reading John Green’s The Fault in our Stars for the third time.
I liked it when he was singing earlier—I’ve always loved his voice. He was singing Ed Sheeran’s Kiss Me, and I was stopping myself from smiling and waking up because he was really, really making it sound so sensual.
“Hey, hun. Please wake up,” he whispered, and I felt his hand on mine, giving it a squeeze. I do remember feeling the chills last night, and then the headaches, and the fever. I was sick, but he was away, so I was alone. I know I should have just taken myself to the hospital, but it was so much tempting to stay in bed, crawling into it.
Yeah, I’ve been feeling everything | From hate to love, from love to lust, from lust to truth | I guess that’s how I know you | So hold me close | To help you give it up
I opened my eyes slowly, wincing as my eyes adjusted into the bright light in the room. The smell of disinfectant told me I was in the hospital; the light drip, drip of IV connected to my veins interrupting the lulls in the silence of his song. I could feel his thumb as it rubs against the medical tape that covers the IV’s entry point into my skin.
“You’re supposed to be in another continent, if I recall your schedule right,” I said, my voice throaty. He gasped in surprise, and then relief washed his face. He leaned over and kissed me on the forehead. He exhaled in relief.
“I was calling you, but you weren’t picking up. I got worried because you said that you weren’t feeling well already,” he whispered, and I squeezed his hand in mine. “What am I making you miss?” I asked him, trying to jog my memory for his schedule. A couple of very important meetings.
But what he said instead was, “Nothing. I’m here. This is what I actually miss. I miss you.”
I shook my head, and I scooted over so he could lie next to me on the bed. He cradled my head on his shoulder, and then he told me that he found me in my bed, rashes all over, under a couple of blankets because I was really succumbing to my chills. He rushed me to the hospital, and after a couple of tests, the doctor declared that I have dengue fever.
I winced. “How long do I have to stay here?” I asked him, as he was absently running his hand over my hair. “Well, that would be depending on how fast we can get those platelets up. Still low, the last time they checked. They’re considering getting you some blood.”
I shook my head, burying my face in his chest, trying to think of all the nice things his smell brings me. “I’m sorry for making you miss your meetings. Your friends are going to kill me,” I said, my apology muffled by his shirt. I felt his laugh before I heard it, and he said, “Actually they’d hate you more if I was there and all I could ever worry about was how you are.”
I looked up at him, and I kissed his chin. “I wonder if I can get you to record your voice while reading The Fault in our Stars,” I teased him, and he rolled his eyes. “I thought reading a book would wake you up,” he said, and I kissed him again, this time on his neck.
“And we have to talk about your choice of song, mister,” I told him, and he chuckled.
“Ah. That,” he said, and I could hear the mischief in his voice. I held him closer to me, as much as my too frail body could do, and he held me against him.
“You need to get well, hun. I’ll kiss the living daylights out of you once you do,” he said, and I laughed. The nurse came in, saw us on the bed, did a quick turn, mumbling that she’ll just come back.
He looked down on me, and then we started to crack up.
I think I’ll be feeling better sooner than anybody thinks.
*Passage is from The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.