The Phone Call
It’s the phone call everyone dreads. The one that says your loved one is in the hospital. No information. No knowledge if they’re alive or dead. Just a simple statement. We need to you to come down here.
Ray couldn’t remember when he’d been more scared. He knew he should have sprung into action as soon as the call was disconnected, but somehow he couldn’t move. His husband was in the hospital. Car accident. No other news. Just that.
Fear spiked through Ray’s gut. This wasn’t supposed to happen. Bart was the love of his life. His rock. He didn’t know how he could go on if something happened to his man. They had been together for ten years now, ever since law school.
Ray and Bart had been study partners that first year. Bart was a genius, with a knack for remembering all kinds of important cases. Ray, not so much. It didn’t take long for Ray and Bart to fall in love and even less time for Ray to realize that Bart was his savior.
For ten years, Bart acted as Ray’s rock. Supporting him through the tough times, letting Ray cry on his shoulder. But now…
Ray felt tears pour down his face as he rushed to his SUV. Memories of their life together flashed through Ray’s mind as he drove as fast as he could to the one he loved.
Ray didn’t even remember the drive as he pulled up to the hospital. He just jumped out and threw his keys to the valet. The teen looked a little startled but he was probably used to it. Ray didn’t care.
He ran inside as fast as his legs could carry him, heading straight for the receptionist desk.
“Bart Wilkinson. Where is he?”
The old woman looked up at Ray, concern in her eyes. She consulted her computer, but it wasn’t fast enough for Ray, who just wanted to push her out of the way.
“He’s still being tended to down in the ER.”
The receptionist looked like she was going to say more, but Ray just started running. He’d never been in this hospital before, but the signs made it easy enough to find.
Ray raced down hall after hall before arriving in a large waiting room, people of all ages scattered around the space. Ray only noticed them in passing as he headed straight for the triage desk. The nurse manning the desk gave him no trouble about seeing his husband, which was good because Ray couldn’t have waited any longer.
Ray held his breath as he walked down the hall behind the nurse. No one had told him much of anything so he wasn’t sure what he would find at the end of the long hallway. Would he find Bart in a coma? On a ventilator? Worse?
Soon the nurse stopped in front of an open door and motioned for him to go inside. But Ray paused. He had moved at lightning speed to get here, and now that he was, his legs were like stone.
But as scared as he was, Ray knew that he had to know what lay inside. Taking a deep breath, Ray walked inside.
“Baby. Damn, you got here fast.”
Ray smiled at the sound of his husband’s voice. Relief coursed through every cell in his body. Bart was sitting up in bed with a smile on his face. Ray saw a couple of bruises on his husband’s scruffy face, but otherwise he looked okay. No casts, ventilators, or anything else.
“Ray, baby. What’s wrong? You’re crying.”
Ray reached a hand up and found that Bart was right. He was crying. Without a word, Ray crossed the space separating them and fell onto the bed, into his husband’s waiting arms.
“Shh, baby. I’m okay.”
“I didn’t know. They didn’t tell me anything. I thought you were in a coma or something.”
“What, no! Ray, I’m okay. The doctors think I have a concussion so they want to keep me for some tests. And I sprained my wrist,” Bart said as he held up his wrist, which was now sporting a black brace. “But, otherwise, I just have some bruises. Nothing major. The doctor said I’ll be able to go home tomorrow.”
“Of course I’m sure. I can’t let anything happen to me. Who would take care of you if you didn’t have me?”
“No one,” Ray whispered in his man’s chest.
“You got that right. Although, I think that it’s going to be you who has to take care of me for awhile. At least until the brace comes off.”
Ray looked up into his husband’s eyes. “I can do that. It’s about time I take care of you.”
“You’ve always taken care of me, babe. In sickness and in health.”
Ray smiled as he gazed into his husband’s blue eyes. “In sickness and in health.”