Virgilio F. De leon Jr. MD
"Don't touch it..."
"You'd be ok buddy..."
I keep on hearing Arnolds concerned voice. He sounded like he was underwater, I couldnt open my eyes so I had to rely on my other senses. I could smell the vomit that was on me .Feel what I imagined to be blood on my hands.They were moving me , wheeling me in and the moment I smelled the air I knew where I was. It was the antiseptic smell of a hospital , I wasn't sure where but basing on our proximity I could guess where I was. The nearest hospital to Eastwood. The expensive one.
"We're here bro..."
"We called an eye specialist in..."
Arnolds voice could be calming when he wanted to but right now it was echoing like a hammer in my head. An eye specialist? It was that bad huh? I could remember blocking a guy who was about to smash a bottle of beer over my head. I remember kicking his ass. The only problem is that in the heat of battle you tend to forget that this asshole has friends. 2 of them to be exact and Arnold as big as he was was as useful as tissue in a torrential downfall when it comes to a fight. I knew something hit me and I blacked out.And now here I am listening , thinking if I could ever see again.
"Oh no Ollie..."
A familiar voice. A voice I never thought that I would hear again. It was here. It was Katrina.I don't know if it was relief or the realization that she was somewhere in front of me that made me brave.
"You should see the other guy..." I began to say but her voice was stern and serious as she cut me off.
"Mr. Ollie Oliveros..."
"Thats Dr. Oliveros to you!"
"Yes , Dr. Oliveros , you know better than to get into a fight like you were some high school kid.I knew you to be more level headed than this."
Wow! The first time I have heard her voice in almost a decade and here she was scolding me.I didn't know why I suddenly lost the ability to talk back. Katrina still has that effect after all this time. I wanted to ask so many questions but there might be time for that later , if there is a later.
I felt myself beginning to pass out. I must be losing a lot more blood than I calculated. I felt afraid that I might not be able to ask my questions. Damn it. I still have so many questions. Here I am possibly dying and my dying thoughts were. "Where have you been?"
The world was sound.The beeping of monitors. The distant sounds of cars and other peoples voices. It was so normal and it was so cliche. The movies always had the guy in the accident covered in gauze so that he won't be able to see anything and here I was anxious to get these things off so I would be able to know if I was waking up to a nightmare or something else. I wanted to see her. I wanted to see how she looked liked. How age has been kind or unkind to her. If her smile was the still the same.
"I'm here" she whispered softly. It was always like that with her. A soft whisper that seemed to turn into a howl in my mind.
A hand reached out to touch mine. It was cold.
"I am not a ghost if that is what you are thiking. Try being in this airconditioned room for a couple of hours and you'd be cold too."
"Never thought of it"
"I thought you were the coldest phoenix ever though."
Katrina gave a short chuckle. It was a sweet sound compared to the silence that followed.
"So Opthalmologist huh? You always were an eye opener."
"Among other things."
"You know it's really funny , before all this Arnold and I were wondering where you were. For someone who is unforgettable you seem to have kept your life a secret from everyone."
"Well I am not really into facebook or twitter or any of those things. I still prefer seeing people and them seeing me in the flesh. The internet seems so distant and cold."
"I wanted to see you."
"Yeah. When I read the papers and I saw your name I knew that we would bump into each other again.Eventually.It took you quite awhile though."
"You didn't even know what I wanted to get into."
"I knew enough."
There was a kiss on my lips.As light as a feather. As searing as the rays of hottest afternoon sun. It lasted a second.It stretched for an eternity. The kiss of a phoenix.
I was afraid to move. I was afraid to finally find that this was some sort of dream where I was given what I wanted only to be cruelly wrenched away by reality. The kiss did not end though. And I remembered. I remembered that laughing girl in the cadaver room. The one who was blushing and out of breathe.It didn't matter if I could ever see again. I remembered Katrina.