It’s only been a couple of days since we got the news. It seemed like months, years. I was surprised at how lightly I took it all. The very foundations of the life we’d built together were crumbling. And I didn’t care. Had I gone numb?
“Kev,” I said to him, reaching out to grab his hand. He just sat there in front of the computer. He didn’t even flinch. He was like that ever since that day. I gave up. I stood up and approached the window. A flock of birds was making its way across the vilely crimson sunset. Couples walking along the beach, neighbors tending to their barbecues beyond my rose garden, waving their hands in a futile attempt to disperse the thick clouds of mosquitoes. The air was heavy, moist. Warm. Why did it feel so cold, then? “What are we going to tell the kids?”
No response. Only his incessant clicking. That damned mouse wouldn’t stop clicking. I had half a mind to just leave and curl up in a corner. But I couldn’t. Not now. There was too much to lose. Every moment was precious. Why couldn’t he see it?
I’ll make him see. I turned his seat around, so that now he was facing me. “Look at me,” I told him. It took a while, but at long last, he turned his bespectacled gaze toward me. I gazed deep into his green eyes and placed my hand on his cheek. I could feel it prickle. I didn’t even notice when I teared up. But his gaze remained empty, cold. “Why are you doing this? Where are you?”
“I’m already gone,” he whispered after what seemed like an eternity. “I’m dying, Gina.”
“So what if you are?”
“What the hell did you just say?” He pushed my hand away. Finally, a reaction!
“I asked you a question,” I told him. “You are dying. Yes. I know that. You think it’s easy for me to take?”
“Well, ever since the results came in, you acted as if nothing happened. It makes me wonder, you know?”
“If you even care. At all.”
“I don’t care?” I asked him, drawing my face closer to his. I did not notice when he stood up. “All you do now is sit at your computer all day and solve those stupid puzzles while I do my best to make things work around here and not go mad from it all. And you say I’m the one who doesn’t care?”
“I’m sorry,” he told me as he turned his gaze away. For the first time in the last couple of days, I thought I saw something change in his eyes. He felt that. I could see his hands shaking. I grabbed them. “What will we tell the kids? What are we going to do?” His voice was shaking. I kissed him. I could feel warm again. For a moment I lost myself in the warmth. Then came the embraces, and then I whispered into his ear:
“We’ll be fine.”
That night, for the first time in forever, I felt safe, at ease, as if we were two halves of the same whole again. I didn’t know how long it would last – I didn’t care. I was there for him, he was there with me. And at that moment I knew, no matter what may come our way, we had found something eternal. We were swimming in a shard of eternity.