The Sick Wife
Publication date: May 17th 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
I fell in love with my patient’s husband. While she was dying of COVID-19. She was comatose and I comforted him, like a good nurse. We talked for hours, every day. He told me all his secrets. We planned to start a life together.
Only one problem… she didn’t die.
“Camilla!” the doctor shouts at me. “Prepare the ventilator.”
What? But she’s dead. I stand there feeling like a zombie.
“As soon as we get her back, she needs to go on that thing,” the doctor explains. “Immediately.”
Well, that’s optimistic. But I’ve worked with Michael for years, and if he’s optimistic, then maybe I should have some hope. My body moves without my permission to do as he says and assist him. I bring over the breathing machine for a woman who isn’t breathing—her heart isn’t even beating.
And then a beep.
Oh, thank God.
“She’s back,” Doctor Mike says with a sigh as he removes the paddles from her chest. “Welcome back, Yvette.”
The woman is lying there dazed and confused, struggling to breathe. “Quoi…? What happened?”
“You died for a little bit,” one of the other nurses says, squeezing her hand. “But you’re okay. Good job, girl. Keep fighting it.”
Emotion and anxiety floods my chest like pins and needles. That’s usually me, being comforting, being a rock, but right now I somehow feel incapable.
Yvette looks around the room, dizzy with vacant eyes until she sees me. “Camilla,” she says, gasping for air, and lifting her hand. Her eyes fill with tears. “Can you call him?”
I nod and stop what I’m doing to move over to her phone.
“There’s no time,” Doctor Mike says. “Look, Yvette? I’m sorry, but we are going to put you into a medically induced coma right now so that you can go on this ventilator. It’s your only chance of survival.”
“No,” Yvette says tearfully, “please, no.”
“I’m sorry, we have no other options.”
“Can we flip her over on her stomach?” I ask the doctor.
“It’s too late,” he responds. “We’re going to lose her again if we don’t act now. Sedate her.”
“Call my husband!” Yvette begs me, her voice raw and gasping. She uses almost all her oxygen to say his name. “Call Gabriel.”
I press the phone against her thumb to follow this request while the other nurses set up the machine. For a second, my mind is blank. Gabriel? That’s the first time I’ve heard his name. Then I remember.
He’s the Huge Fucking Asshole.
I press that name on the phone to dial him while they put her to sleep.
“Gabe,” she is crying, sobbing, unable to breathe. “Gabe—I’m sorry. Tell him I’m sorry.”
“She’s too excited,” the doctor is saying. “Her heart is going to stop again. Put her under now.”
“Can we just wait one minute so she can hear his voice?” I ask, as the phone is ringing. I stare at the nurse delivering barbiturates into the IV. “Please. It’s important to her.”
“Sorry, Milla. There’s no time. We need to act now.”
I watch the fluid being injected into her veins, feeling helpless. I look over to her dark eyes, and I see the desperation. I see a human being filled with love and need, clinging to life. Fighting for a chance to fix her mistakes. To finish her unfinished business.
And just like that she’s gone. While the phone is still ringing in my hand.
Loretta Lost is a USA Today bestselling author who writes stories about survivors. She is the author of the CLARITY series and Sophie Shields novels. She lives in Toronto, Canada with adorable cats, and she hopes to find a good boyfriend who isn’t fictional before all her hair turns grey.
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Fun fact: The author’s real name is Nadia– she chose her pen name because her sister’s name is Loretta, and her sister is lost.