Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Quarantine of Love

They say love doesn’t come to you. You are the one who has to go out and search for your love.

I would like to think otherwise.

Love is actually with us; even if we are alone, trapped within four walls. It will stay with us until our last breath.

My name is Sally. My age is a middle age; twenty five, thirty five or maybe forty five. Maybe I am younger and maybe I am older. Does age really matter when it comes to love? I don’t think so. I lived a life of an orphan even though I came from a big family. However, since my childhood, I’ve always been alone. As if destiny is giving me the indications that even your end will remain the same.

I used to play with my dolls and I used to have conversations with them. They also used to talk to me and keep me in company. I had my own world that I did not need anybody from the real world to interact with. Yes, my parents were concerned about me. I’ve been sent to different physiologists, but their sessions haven’t changed anything about my life. I did not care about what they used to tell my parents. I am happy the way I am; so, why should I bother.

My school days did not change me. Despite my loneliness, I was clever in school. I used to get a high grade in every subject and I used to get awards every year. These awards were like morphine shots to my parents. They slowly started to forget about my loneliness, hoping that I am changing slowly and they never bothered after awhile.

After I finished school, it was time to look for a job and with all these awards; it was easy to find a job. I found an average office work which allowed me to move out and to complete my loneliness. At work, my speech was limited to work related conversations. No other type of communication with my co-workers was possible, no friendships. It was a total isolation.

Even though I used to over-hear the gossip about me at work, I used to ignore them. There were many rumors about me. However, the most common one was that I spent most of my life in the psychiatric unit at one of the hospitals in town. Of course, that was not true. These rumors did not affect my work, because all my bosses were pleased with my hard effort. So, let the rumors go to hell.

My life remained the same until one day when the ambulance picked me up from my apartment. I was missing for three days and one of my bosses called the police to find out what happened to me since I was not been at work lately, and they did not have any information about me. The police found me down on the floor beside my sofa after they broke my apartment’s door. I do not remember what happened exactly and when did I fall down, but the police found me bleeding through my nose and my ears. Therefore, paramedics took me to the nearest hospital.

I was half-conscious when the nurse placed the IV on my arm and the oxygen mask on my face. Another nurse was using my other arm to take blood samples. I have realized where I was the moment I started to become aware of what is happening around me, however; I did not know why I was there. There were so many voices around me and blurry faces. I was very dizzy to understand what they were saying but the only word I managed to catch was “Quarantine”.

I woke up to find myself on a bed inside a room that contains the bed that I am on, a desk, a small TV and a table. The TV was hanging down from the ceiling. The desk had a notepad and a pen on top. There was a phone attached to the wall and there was a small chair under. I raised my upper body to realize that I am still attached to the IV. The room had a glass window which I could see the nurse desk and the hallway through it.

The nurse had noticed me in the room, so she wore a mask and came inside the room. She greeted me with compassionate voice saying, “Hello, my name is Elisa, and I am your nurse. I know it may feel a bit weird to be in this room alone. It is just the doctors have some concerns about your health status and they want to make sure everything is ok. Doctors are suspecting there is some kind of virus in your body that caused the bleeding. Doctors haven’t given any information about what kind of a virus, but I will let you informed. So, you will be here for awhile. Is there anything you want to ask me?”

I had so many questions in my mind. I had so many thoughts, but again. I was not feeling like talking to anybody. Even though I did not believe what the nurse said about “some kind of virus”, however; I didn’t bother to talk. All I said was, “I want books!” The nurse looked at me in wonder. Then, she nodded, saying, “Sure, what kind of books?” I answered, “Non-fiction, fiction, novels, science, or history, anything…” The nurse smiled and said, “I’ll be back with those books.” She left the room and came back after half an hour. She brought one book along with her. The book was “The Other Boleyn Girl” by Philippa Gregory. I read this book, and I liked it so much. As I was reading this novel I imagined myself as Mary Boleyn. I do not know why I felt like I knew this historical figure.

The nurse said, “Did you read this book? Sorry, this is all I found, but I promise I’ll bring more… You can watch TV for the main time.” I looked at her, and then I moved my gaze to the small TV. I never watched TV in my life. It just did not attract me. I have always been attracted to books and only books. “Thank you!” I said in a sharp voice. The nurse left me, and I could see her through the glass window talking to the other nurse over the desk. They both were looking at me.

Myself, I did not mind rereading The Other Boleyn Girl. It is a book that contains both fictional and historical events. Nothing is tastier than mixing the truth with fiction. It keeps the person thinking, whether if it really happened or not. I always liked to think and debunk the mystery by my own.

I was reading the book for three days. I usually don’t read that slow, but the occasional naps that I used to have because of the medication kept me away from finishing the book so fast. On the third day, I was about to finish the book, when he entered my room wearing the white mask. He was tall and middle-aged. Even though the mask was covering half of his face, but I could see the smile. He greeted me with a mannish voice saying, “Good day, Sally! I am Romeo, and I am in training nurse. You will be seeing me hear quite often. I hope I’ll be a good guest of yours.”

I looked at him with a smile, and that was the first time I give a smile to a man. It was also the first time in my whole life to start a conversation. I actually opened my mouth saying, “Romeo? As in Romeo and Juliet? By Shakespeare?” He started to laugh and said, “Yes, my mother was possessed with this story. She named me Romeo and named my younger sister Juliet!” I smiled again and said, “Your mother must be romantic.” He said while nodding, “I guess so, I don’t really know about this part.” Then, he grabbed my wrist in order to check my heart beat. He was wearing a glove in his hand but I could feel the softness of his skin even from behind the latex. He kept looking at his watch for awhile. Then, he said, “Your heart is beating fast. It is a good sign. You may be in love too.” He laughed. “I was joking about this part.”, he said in a whisper.

What happened to me? I never felt the same. I have met many men through out my life. I have talked to many men. I never felt the same. Why do I feel my heart throbbing? Why does my gaze follow his actions? I haven’t even seen his face. All I saw was a middle aged man, a tall man, dark eyes and dirty blond hair. I do not know! I do not care! I do care about this man is beside me right now.

“Oh, you are reading The Other Boleyn Girl? It is a good book. Have you watched the movie?” I came back from my dreamful moment and I said, “Is there a movie about this book?” He said with a voice a full of energy, “Oh, it is one of the best movies I ever watched. I mean if you like the novel, you should defiantly watch the movie. It is a must watch!” I said with wonder, “Really? May be I should rent it when I leave here.” He said, “You know what? Next time I come and visit you, I’ll bring it with me. I would like to hear your opinion. You also like to read, right? I learned that from the nurse. I will bring you some books too. I kind of have an idea now what kind of books you like.” I was looking at him and following his hand motion as if he was checking the IV. I just don’t know what happened to me. He looked at me saying, “Listen, I’ll keep you in mind, but I have to go now and check other patients. So, you take care and I’ll see you!” He grabbed my hand to shake it. Then, he left the room.

I put my head back on the pillow and I whispered with an amazed voice, “Oh my God!” Then, I left my upper body up and looked through the glass window. The two nurses were there looking at me. I do not care why they are looking, and I do not care what they are saying. All I care about is Romeo! This man who knocked off my feet and made me feel weird for the first time of my life. Did I get a crush on him? Did I like him? Did I love him? I really don’t know!

Three days have passed and I was waiting for Romeo to come and bring the movie and the books. Well, I did not really care about the movie or the books. I didn’t even finish the book I have since I saw Romeo. All I cared about was Romeo. Each time the door opened, I thought it was him. Each time I hear a knock, I thought it was him. One afternoon, he opened the door as he was saying, “Hey, Sally! Turn on the TV! The movie Channel has The Other Boleyn Girl on!” I opened my eyes widely, “Oh, really! Sure! now!” I grabbed the remote and I turned on the TV. I started to look through the channels. I have never bothered to look through the channels because simply, I do not watch TV. I did not know why I was doing this, but I was doing it. “Here, Stop!” He said. “This is the movie channel. The movie just started, five minutes ago. So we can set together and watch it.” I looked at his face with a big smile. He looked back at me and said, “Does it bother you to watch the movie with you?” I opened my eyes and said with an energetic voice, “Not at all. Grab the chair and set beside my bed. So, you can see clearly!” “Yes!” He Said, “Good idea!”

We were watching the movie with complete silence. This was the first time for me to set with someone and watch a movie. In every kissing scene, Romeo used to look at me to see my reaction. I used to look back at him and smile. I don’t know what he was thinking, but I was thinking if this could actually happen to me. Even though I haven’t seen Romeo’s complete face yet, but I do not mind to be lip to lip with him. Oh my goodness, I must have had lost my mind. What made me think of Romeo like this? I really don’t know!

After the movie was over, Romeo looked at me with eyes full of energy and shine. He said in his mannish voice, “Did you like the movie?” I looked back into his eyes and said, “It was amazing! I actually liked it better than the book. It is good to see the novel in motion.” He smiled at me and grabbed my hand saying, “You look lonely, Sally. Why is that?” I was amazed how I became an open book out of sudden in front of Romeo. I answered him in a soft voice, “I do not know! Through out my life, I enjoyed the company of myself. I have tried to break the walls but I couldn’t. It seems like nobody think like me and nobody will understand me if I start to say what I think.” “What do you think?” He said in a whispering tone. “I am afraid to express my feelings. Since I was a child and I have the fear of expression.”

He looked at me while he was putting more pressure on my palm. He said in a comforting tone, “There is nothing to be afraid of. You are a smart lady and I am sure there are many things in life you will like to express your feelings about.” I looked at him with silence. He tapped over my hand and stood up. “I have to go now.” He said. “I will see you soon though. I will bring you books and in case I get busy, I will ask one of the nurses to deliver them to you.” “Thank you!” I said in a soft voice. He left the room without looking back. I looked through the glass. Again, the two nurses were looking at me.

I had a good night sleep. The day after, I turned on the TV and I watched the news. I skimmed through the channels and I watched a black and white movie. It was something to kill the time with. I did not understand the movie much, because I was thinking of Romeo. I was still feeling the pressure of his fingers on my palm. I can still hear the whisper of his mannish voice. I can still see the shinning eyes looking back at me. This moment was cut by the nurse entry to the room. “Good afternoon, Sally! How are you today?” “Good!” I answered with one solid word. “I brought you some books. They are a special request for you!” “Are they from Romeo?” I asked with wonder. The nurse looked at me with smiley eyes. She left the books on the table and went out.

I grabbed the books with curiously. They were both historical fiction. One was The Duchess by Amanda foremen. The Second book was also by Philippa Gregory, Called: The Virgin’s Lover. I opened the first book, The Duchess, and I started to read the first page, when I looked up to the glass window. I saw Romeo walking by without glancing at my room. I threw the book and I ran to the glass window. The IV fell on the floor and my arm started to bleed. I ignored the blood and I start banging both hands against the glass screaming, “Romeo! Romeo!” The nurse ran toward the glass yelling, “What’s wrong?” I ran toward the door and I tried to open it. It was locked, so; I started to bang against the door screaming, “Let me out of here. Why do you keep me here? What’s wrong with me? I was in my apartment few days ago!” The two nurses opened the door and I fell down on the floor. I was bleeding from my arm. One of the nurses put gauze on my arm, while the second one pulled an injection. I yelled, “I am not taking any medicine. Nothing wrong with me! Leave me alone!” The nurse put me down and started to inject me on my upper arm. I slowly went on a deep sleep.

I woke up on a soft motion over my hand. It reminded me of my childhood when I used to make the ladybug run around my hand. I opened my eyes slowly to see Romeo sitting on the chair in front of the bed, holding my hand and moving his fingers slowly around my hand. “Did I wake you up?” He said in his whispering tone. “I was looking for you. I saw you passing by my room. You didn’t look at me.” I said in a sad voice. He looked at me for a second then he removed the mask with his other hand. I saw his face for the first time. He had a sharp nose and a small round mouth. I could see his features even though the room was dark. He said to me, “Why you created a chaos?” I looked at him saying, “Because I want to thank you!” He opened his eyes widely with a smile and said, “You created a chaos in order to thank me? Well, you are welcome…” I felt embarrassed for a moment, so I opened my mouth saying, “Actually, I wanted to see you! When you passed by my room and you didn’t glance at me, I felt very bad that I jumped off the bed and I started the chaos, as you claim.”

At this moment, he took my hand close to his mouth and kissed it. He looked at me and said, “I do want to see you too. Why do you think I spent over an hour watching a movie with you? Is it part of my job? I do not think so. It something inside me that made me feels this way toward you.” I gave him a big smile and said, “You know, this is the first time I feel like this. I spent all of my life lonely. This is the first time I express my feelings with somebody. I feel like I want to go ahead and start changing my life, but I can’t since I am under quarantine.” He looked at me with a serious face. Then he grabbed my hand again and kissed it. He smiled and said, “You will experience the new life soon. You will experience it along with me. I want to be with you, Sally!” I said in a complaining tone, “I want to go out!” “Shshshshhsh…let’s not talk about this now, OK! Why don’t you try to go back to sleep?” “I don’t want to.” I said, “I don’t want to sleep while you are here beside me!” “I will always remain beside you.” He said in a whispering voice.

He grabbed my hand again and kissed it. Then, he smiled while saying “You know this moment reminds me of a song. “A song?” I wondered. “Yes!” He replied. “A song by Aerosmith called, I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing!” “Is it a good song?” I asked. “Otherwise I won’t be remembering it right now!” he said. “Will you sing it?” He opened his eyes widely and opened his mouth for a moment before he said, “Well, I am not a good singer, but I’ll try!” “Please do try!” I said with a smile. He started to hum. Then, he sung in a deep voice:

“I could stay awake just to hear you breathing
Watch you smile while you are sleeping
while you’re far away dreaming
I could spend my life in this sweet surrender
I could stay lost in this moment forever
every moment spent with you is a moment I treasure

Don’t want to close my eyes….”

At this moment, I jumped at him and I hugged him very tight. Then I looked at his face and I tried to get my lips close to his. He suddenly, placed the mask over his mouth and put his fingers over my lips. “I am sorry, but you have to get well.” He said in sad tone. “I understand!” I said it while, I was getting back to my pillow. We were both in complete silence, until I went into a deep sleep.

I woke up suddenly with a harsh pain in my head. I screamed so loud that three nurses came at the same time. I was moving around my bed yelling “Pain! Pain! I am in pain!” “It is going to be OK”, Elisa, the nurse said. At this time, three doctors came and started to examine me. I was bleeding through my nose and my ears. The blood was flowing continually. I was losing my blood, and the more blood I lost, the more the headache became. A few instruments were installed over my body. One was the heart monitor. I started to hear that breaking noise. I was my heart, but I didn’t care because I was in extreme pain. “Help me!” I screamed. The doctors were doing something, but I didn’t know what it was.

At this moment, Romeo entered the room and held my hand. “You will be fine.” He said in a cautious voice. “Do not leave me! Stay by me!” I yelled. “I will never leave you!” He said. “You don’t leave me. OK!” he continued. “I want to show you a lot of things in this life that you haven’t seen.” In a breaking voice; he said, “I want to kiss you. I want to hug you. I want to sleep with you. I want to wake up every morning and see you lying down beside me. I want to…” “Me too Romeo…” I interrupted, “I want to live the rest of my life with you. You can call me crazy for loving you in short period of time, but I love you…” At this moment, I heard the third nurse asking Elisa, “Who is she talking to?” I heard Elisa replying in a whisper, “She has always been talking to herself. Since the day she came to the hospital.” I forgot the pain for a second and I moved my gaze away from Romeo and I looked at Elisa. Then, in a weak motion I moved my gaze back to Romeo. There was nobody. The strength of his hand holding mine started to fade slowly, as my soul was leaving my body. I moaned in a sad voice, as the tears were falling down off my eyes. I wasn’t crying because I am dying. I was crying because Elisa woke me up from this wonderful dream. A dream that did give my lonely life a taste, while it was ending. A dream that made me love life and try to fight the past for a better future.

I closed my eyes to rest in peace. I took with me the true love to the unknown. To a journey that I do not know where it is going to end and when it is going to end. Again, who said you have to go and look for love? Love is already with us, even among the four walls…


  1. yet another heart wrenching story..

  2. Thank you for your comment...yes, this story has a special place in my heart...I consider it one on my favourite writings.