The breath left Harry’s body when Lynn’s loss washed over him in constant ripple effect, his heart lost its will to function.
Placing his hands on Lynn’s shoulders, he searched her eyes for any sign of fabrication.
Crocodile tears formed in his glassy eyes, his arms lifelessly falling to his side.
“John,” he choked up, the pains shooting through his abdomen relentless.
A long, thick vein formed along the middle of his forehead, gurgling sounds coming from his throat. “Jonathan...! Baby, noooo, sweetheart! Nooooo!” He exploded sadly, pushing past Lynn in blinding rage, hurt, grief...
“Harry, baby where are you going?” Lady called after him, her heart in her stomach.
She ran behind him, grabbing him in an emotional bear hug, trying with all her might to calm him.
Harry pushed her into Lynn. Lynn and Lady toppled to the floor on top of each other. Two bummish, bad excuse of a mother deserved each other.
“Jonathan!” He called out with every particle of his being, weakly running along the hall past the nurse’s station, searching each room for his husband.
He was a train wreck.
Losing his sense of reasoning.
Trapped inside his deceit. It lies in what he never told Jonathan before he said I Do.
And what Jonathan knew before he said I Do in return, during their courthouse wedding that didn’t last fifteen minutes.
Going from room to room, kicking open doors, startling patients and their families, the images came flooding back.
They were both dressed in black suits and white silk ties, a local stranger they met on the street acting as their witness. He didn’t even believe in gay marriage, but Jonathan bribed him with two hundred dollars.
Money talked, bullshit walked.
Harry knew he wasn’t in love with Jonathan, yet led him on out of fear of growing old alone. Something was better than nothing, even though Harry suffered the pain of being raised without a mother.
And Jonathan reminded him of a mother he never got to know. They were both afraid of standing up to their oppressors.
Lady was too weak to contest Dime’s overbearingly aggressive demand to take him from his her without her permission or rebuttal, and Jonathan was too afraid to stand up to his hypocrite mother.
Nine years of lies has reshaped his future. Unfortunately, his husband wasn’t going to be in it.
Jonathan looked into Harry’s eyes, repeating after the facilitator.
He was dashing in his black suit. Handsomely barbered. “I promise to love you...for better or for worse.”
Emotionally, Harry held his hands, looking deep in his softened eyes.
Jonathan thought back to the night before their marriage.
They drove to Maryland, applied for their marriage license online, paid the fee and scheduled their nuptials a few days later.
Harry was fast asleep after they settled in their hotel room after a day of exploring Gaithersburg.
Taking off Harry’s shoes and tucking him in, Jonathan kissed his cheek and snapped a photo of him for memories. He hadn’t realized he accidentally made a phone call when he set the cell phone on the nightstand.
He turned out the lights so he could go to sleep as well.
“I don’t love you, baby,” Harry said.
Jonathan froze just as he was getting in the bed behind Harry, to hold him close and drift off into wet dreams.
The light was turned back on.
Harry was talking in his sleep.
“I don’t love you because I never loved myself. I was raised by a heartless dope dealer turned crooked cop that took me from my mother. A man that shot and killed my boyfriend during my football game. I died that night, Jonathan,” Harry continued. “I ceased to live! My teammates nearly stomped us to death.”
Harry was crying, softly.
Jonathan lay beside him and kisses his lips.
“You’ll learn to love me, baby,” said Jonathan. “And then I won’t be alone in love. I’m not going to make you choose between me or the bittersweet memories of your first love. I refuse to rob you of that. Maybe one day you’ll tell me your truth while you are conscious,” Jonathan whispered, trying his best not to break into tears.
So looking into Harry’s eyes during their nuptials and making a vow to love him forever was out of a need of never telling him what he said in his sleep, keeping the secret and never telling him that he knew his sacred vow, to love Jonathan forever, was compromised by the love he still had for his deceased boyfriend, Lou.
Tripping on the floor, Harry was brought back to the present.
Checking the last room on the floor, Lynn and Lady were behind him.
He slumped to his knees, covering his face. He couldn’t breathe, his body rocked from the pain of loss and the introduction into a life of hell without him.
Lynn and Lady got on their knees, and held him while he mourned his loss.
It was such a sad occasion that there was not a dry eye on the floor.
Every patient, family member, employee and nurse heard Harry’s thunderous wail of devastating loss.
They silently cried with him.
“I need you, baby, please come back and love me...I can’t do this alone! Why, why is this happening?” He shouted, falling back onto the floor in the comfort of his mother’s arms.
Lynn was against the wall, destroyed.