This is an excerpt from one of the short stories I wrote in class. The short story is actually just a small piece of a novel I want to eventually start writing. Just tell me what you think, if you'd be able to do what my character Shane does, and whether or not you think Kathryn did the right thing by telling Matthew the truth.Kathryn knew she didn’t want to have to let him go, not again, but she also knew there was nothing she could do to help him. She slipped back into the room, knowing she’d have to deliver the message no one ever wanted to give a patient, especially when there was a connection like this one.
“Matthew,” she said quietly, her eyes closed as she took his hand in a comforting manner. She couldn’t deny the sparks she felt when she touched him. Maybe that was part of the reason she didn’t want to have to tell him that he wasn’t going to make it. She knew he was staring at her, probably questioning the tears that were beginning to flow down her face.
“I’m not going to make it, am I?” He asked, his voice calm. She hated how he seemed to be so alright with what was going on in his life. Years ago, he would have begged her to keep him alive, so that he could hold her and keep her safe. She kept this thought strong as Amanda walked in, the one person she needed at that moment.
“Matthew…” Kat couldn’t think, and it all just spewed out, mixed with tears and emotions. “No, Matt, you aren’t going to make it. You only have a few more days with the care we can give, and there’s so much more to it than that… I have a story for you, but you need to listen carefully.”
Accepting his fate, Matthew nodded, and Kathryn began to tell her tale.
“Years ago, I was dating a guy going off to basic training. I got scared. I wrote him letters all the time, but there was nothing I could do to keep myself from needing him around. Then he got shipped off for nine-eleven, and I couldn’t handle it anymore. That was it, I just had to leave. And I did. I ended things with him through a letter, the words I wrote haunting me up until this day.”Kathryn stopped for a momentary breath and then continued. “Matthew, I’ve always loved you. I never wanted to leave but I was scared and I didn’t think you would be able to ever come home. How could I have lived knowing you lost your life long before I got to see you again? So I gave up, and wrote you that letter telling you I couldn’t do it anymore. And I’ve regretted it since. I love my boyfriend, but you were my first love and always will be the person my heart truly belongs to… Oh, Matt… I wish I could’ve told you sooner.”
Tears dripped from Matthew’s eyes. Amanda stood, shocked at the fact that Kathryn finally came out with the truth that had been eating at her since Matthew and Damien were admitted.
“Kathryn… My Kathryn…” Matthew let the words play off his tongue and then pulled her into his arms. He kissed her over and over again, even through the physical weakness he got from his wounds. Kathryn finally pulled away, knowing that should Shane walk in, her entire world could plummet. But she was too late.
Shane stood in the doorway, opening his arms for Kathryn to run over to him. But she didn’t. She stayed with Matt, her arms around him in the frantic embrace of lovers that know their time has come. Just then, the heart monitor that Matthew was hooked up to began to emit one long beep, and Kat held him closer, their hands clasped over her heart.
“The last moments of Matthew’s life were spent with the one he loves,” Shane said, pulling Kathryn into his arms, away from her deceased first love. Kathryn looked up at him in confusion. “I love you, Kat, you know I do, but I would never have taken you away from that.”
“Oh, Shane, I’m so sorry…”
“Don’t be, love. When we admitted him, I knew this would happen. And that’s why I let you hold him while he passed. I know you love him, but you love me, too. And that’s why you’re here with me,” Shane told her calmly as he stroked her hair. “What you just did with him is something I would never have been able to do with you. You lost your first love and we both know saying goodbye is the hardest part.”