The machine hooked to her skeletal body beeped softly. The bright green line resembled mountain peaks. Her heartbeat was erratic.
The boy closed his eyes and prepared to spend yet another night in the hospital room. It had been a year since the accident.
He could still remember the phone call from his girlfriend’s mom; how he had raced to the hospital; how he saw her family’s tears; how the doctor broke the news: she was never to wake again. The doctor had declared her brain-dead.
The boy looked around at the the plain white walls that had become so familiar to him. Harsh fluorescent lights that made everything look bleak. He had become accustomed to the sounds of nurses scurrying outside the door, attending to their patients; the steady drip of the IV; the static of the TV at three in the morning.
This had been his home for twelve months. He had dropped out of school. He went home only to get more clothes. He had ignored all arguments and tears from his parents, who were begging for him to get his life back in order.
He had abandoned everything just to be with her. Just to watch over the empty shell of the love of his life.
“We’re taking her off life support.”
The boy could not believe it. How could her family do this? She was still alive! Unable to move or speak, yes, but alive and breathing.
How was he supposed to survive without her? His life had shrunk down to the frail figure lying on the bed, connected to countless machines, wires twisting around her body like snakes.
The boy knew it was not his decision to make. Beaten down with disillusionment and grief, he stood helplessly as the plug was pulled.
The machine hooked to her skeletal body emitted a long, high-pitched tone . The green line, once crooked with the rhythm of life, became straight.
Her heartbeat was no more.