Well, one day, she started getting sick. I didn’t worry too much at first, because everybody gets sick sometimes. But the doctors seemed to think it was something we should worry about. Well brother, they were right. She asked me if I would marry anyone else if she died. She worried about it. she couldn’t imagine me being with another woman. I told her I could never have a second queen. But ya know what? She didn’t believe me! That girl looked me in the eyes and said ‘I know you better than that! You’re the kind of man who needs a woman by his side. You couldn’t be happy alone!’
I looked her straight back in those big brown eyes and I said ‘sugar, I don’t need no woman in my life, I need you. You’re the only one for me.’
Well, after a year of fighting it, a lot had changed. There wasn’t no more dinner on the table when I came home. Instead, I would work 12 hours a day, and I would come home. I would carry my wife out of bed and bring her to the table. I would cook dinner with her sitting there watching me, and we would just talk like nothing ever changed.
Sometimes, we would sit and eat together and smile and just be happy that we could look at each other. On the bad days, I would feed her and she would cry and apologize, but I told her it was what I was there for. She was so sick, man. She was just so sick. She couldn’t hardly do nothing. And she had to take medicine all the time, it was every 4 hours. So once we ate, I’d carry her back to bed and lay her down, and I would crawl in bed beside her and hold her just like I used to, and everything was ok. Just like I said before, it didn’t matter what was going on, as long as I could hold her in my arms. But I could only lay with her for 4 hours at a time, because then I’d have to get up and bring her that medicine. But those 4 hours in between when I got to just be there beside her….man I wouldn’t have traded that for nothing!”
There was a long silence, a profound peace which none of us eavesdroppers dared disturb with our poorly disguised sniffles.