The gentle scent of Neroli, Lavender and rose drifted through the house.
The sound of running water met him at the door.
As he approached the bathroom, he found blood. Blood on the door jam, droplets of blood on the floor. As he slowly pushed the bathroom door open, the pungent odor of marijuana mingled with citrus assaulted his senses. The room was filled with steam and the air clung to his skin.
There was a trail of blood droplets starting at the base of the commode and meandering across the floor and up the side of the bathtub. A candle glowed and flickered creating twisted and obscure shadows that danced along the walls and across the ceiling. As he glanced up at the dancing ghosts, he realized why the air was so still. She had turned off the light and fan – making the only sound the running water.
He stepped into the room quietly. Her eyes were closed. She was so still. He couldn’t tell if she was breathing. He watched closely for one… two… three heart beats… the water made a barely discernable ripple just below her left breast. she was alive, maybe asleep, or God willing, unconscious. For the moment, she was at peace. He could actually see the woman he fell in love with. The woman he risked his life for. The woman who meant everything to him. Even with her incredible green eyes closed she was strikingly beautiful. He could caress her with his eyes at his leisure when she was sleeping. Those were the times her body was all his and his alone.
It made her uncomfortable that he stared at her, drinking in her beauty like a parched man in the desert drinks water from an oasis. When her eyes were closed in sleep, she didn’t squirm under his gaze. He decided to make the most of this precious moment. Her legs were crossed, one heel resting on the water faucet. Her calves curved enticingly to her knees, only one was visible. the aromatherapy bubbles she used with every bath these days distorted his view of the thighs he adored. He could see the shape of her upper thigh. There was a hint of dark hair sprinkled among the bubbles where her thighs met. Her right breast was covered with bubbles so only the smallest hint of her nipple was exposed. Her left breast was his to devour with his eyes. He head was tilted to one side and her hair was pulled up off her shoulders with some sort of clip.
He realized he had been coveting her body for quite a few minutes and she hadn’t stirred. He wondered how long she had been in this state. Judging from the Vicodine pills scattered on the counter at her elbow, not very long. He sniffed the air again and watched the steam wafting through the air. He realized it wasn’t only steam. She needed at least another 15 minutes before the Vicodine kicked in.
He quietly stepped back and out of the bathroom, closing the door as he moved. He went to the master bedroom and opened the “medicine box”. He counted the cigarettes. When he left for the office this morning, there were six joints, now there were two. This was definitely a bad day. It was only 3:30 in the afternoon and she had called him at nine this morning when she woke up. Four joints in six hours was very unlike her. It was only recently that he had found her immobilized by the pain, writhing in agony.
Fuck it, he thought to himself. He picked up a cigarette and walked back to the bathroom. As he opened the door he saw the blood again. Jesus, he cursed, no wonder she smoked for much marijuana today.
She was still motionless, but she had changed the position of her body. She was on her side, her back to him and the side of the tub. Her knees were drawn up in a semi-fetal position. One arm was draped across her thighs. Now he could see her beautiful ass. He felt a brief pang of guilt. Here he was lusting after his wife while she was obviously in so much pain. But she was so beautiful.
It was plain to see the Vicodine was not effective. He cleared his throat and she stirred.
“Honey?” he whispered.
Slowly she turned her head towards the sound of his voice, keeping her eyes closed.
“Sweetie?” we said quietly, his voice a little above a whisper.
She opened her eyes to look at him. they were beautiful and instantly his knees went weak. The sparkle that caused is stomach to dive down to his ankles was replaced with a dull sheen. The pain of the disease pinched the corners of her eyes and caused a crease in her beautiful brow. She brought the lid down on the sparkling emeralds and grimaced….
“Hi,” she whispered. Her voice was choked, the effort of speaking caused a visible spasm of pain.
“How many pills did you take?” he asked her in a quiet voice.
She lifted the hand draped on her thigh and held up two fingers. As she lowered her arm, she turned her body so she was lying on her back, with her head resting on the bath pillow. He picked up a pill and the bottle of water off the counter.
“Here,” he said
She slowly opened her eyes and looked up at him with a question.
“But I already took two pills,” she protested.
“So what? Take another.”
Obediently she popped the pill into her mouth and took the water from his outstretched hand. He waited for her to swallow before he took the water bottle from her. He picked up the lighter and light the joint. Normally he would change out of his office clothes, but today was an exception. He needed to see the sparkle in her eyes – and he knew just how to replace the dull sheen with a brilliant sparkle. He took a hit and put the thin cigarette on a clip. He hated using the damn clip on a perfectly good size joint, but her hands were wet and she was accident prone when she was high. He handed her the joint and watched her take a long deep drag on the cigarette.
As they passed the joint back and forth, he slowly began to see her body relax. It was only a slight change at first, but as the marijuana entered her blood stream, it became more gradual. Soon the Vicodine would also enter her blood stream and she would find a few more hours of relief, free from the enormous pain she endured. She looked up at him from her prone position and smiled.
“Thank you,” she sighed.
His heart leaped! There it was! The sparkle lit up the room. He caught his breath at the sight of her. He wanted to enjoy these precious moments with her.
“Finish this,” he said as he handed her the joint. “Relax for a few minutes, enjoy the high. I’m going to change.”
He bent down and kissed her on the forehead. As he pulled away, she reached up and grabbed him by the tie. She pulled him back down to her and planted a kiss on his lips. Her tongue licked his lips and flitted into his mouth.
“I love you,” she said as she released him.
He turned and walked out of the bathroom and into his den. He quickly changed from work clothes to house clothes. He had to get her to bed before the Vicodine took effect. He made her take over 2200mg of narcotic, not to mention the marijuana. She would pass out very soon. He estimated that he may have 10, possibly 15 minutes with her before she lost consciousness and he wanted to make the most of it. He hated seeing her in pain, it drove him to terrifying heights of fury. Modern medicine was doing it’s best at failing his wife when she needed it the most. These precious moments he had with her when the pain was suppressed by the heavy narcotics was what he lived for these days. Fifteen minutes of her smile made an entire day of watching her writhe in agony worth the helplessness he felt. He walked back to the bathroom with two towels.
“Come on,” he said. “Time for bed.”
He reached down released the water from the tub. She slowly got to her feet, swaying back and forth precariously. He steadied her with one arm. She took the towel from him and began drying herself in slow motion. He quickly dried her back, legs, arms and chest. He helped her into a big cotton shirt and steadied her as she wobbled the few steps to the bedroom.