She’d barely opened her eyes when she spotted him. It was clear from my bed across the room exactly who he was to her just by the way he took her hand.
She struggled to crack a smile as he brushed the hair off her forehead then slid the fingertips down her cheeks.
“Are you awake Ms. Patel?” Shouted the nurse.
She grumbled back so lowly I couldn’t hear her response.
“Would you like apple or cranberry juice?”
Once again, I could only see her lips move but I knew she had asked for apple just by noting which drawer the nurse opened.
“I brought you apple juice and some water,” the nurse said loudly. “When you are up to it, try to drink as much as you can.”
The nurse say both containers on the rolling tray tanks and walked away; that’s when he reached over, opened one and stuck in a stray.
He slowly pushed a button raising the head of her bed until it was at a height comfortable enough got her to drink without straining. She leaned forward slightly and sucked up the fluid. A few drops dripped out of the corner of her mouth. He didn’t hesitate to grab a Kleenex from the box and wipe her face clean.
When she was done drinking, he placed his work briefcase on the floor and say down in the chair across from her. He extended his arm out, taking her IV covered hand again in his and caressed the top with his fingertips. He stayed on that exact position while she slept for the next half hour. When she awoke, he pulled the curtain shut, helped her dressed then out his arm around her waist as they walked out. He smiles briefly, relishing his role as caregiver.