The Sound of His Heart
The most beautiful sound in the world is the thumps of his beating heart. Comforting. Steady. Especially since I, for a short terrible while, thought I would never hear it again.
Two years ago, the second week of December, the first snow fell. At first, it was big, beautiful flakes floating down from the sky, melting immediately when they hit the ground, but after a while, it morphed into a blizzard. Turned treacherous.
On his way from work, he crept along at ten miles per hour so he wouldn’t slide off the road, careful as ever. Never taking unnecessary risks. Unfortunately, that didn’t help as another car came hurtling toward him. Lost control. Crashed into him.
I will never forget the look on my boss’s face when he interrupted the meeting I was in. There’s a call for you, Seth. You…you need to take it. Now.
I will never forget the look on my boss’s face…but for the life of me, I can’t remember more than fragments from the following conversation.
Car crash. Critical. Hurry.
He was alive when I got to the emergency room and they agreed to let me see him for a little while. His face was bruised. He had a tube down his throat. The heart-monitor beeped.
Until it didn’t.
He crashed fast. The sound grew irregular and before I knew what happened, it turned into a long, continuous beep.
People came running. They said things, but it was as if they were talking in slow motion and I couldn’t make out the words. I stared at his unmoving chest and I wanted to scream. Rise, dammit. Breathe.
Someone ushered me out of the room and I stood outside with my palm pressed to the window and my terrified heart in my throat. I wouldn’t want it to keep beating if his didn’t.
“Please, please, please,” I whispered. My vision grew blurry and I had to force my feet to keep still and not run into his room and climb on top of him and hug him and shake him and beg him to come back to me and shower his poor battered face with kisses.
And then. A miracle.
His brave heart, his steady, wonderful heart decided not to give up on life. On us.
Two years later, he’s all healed up except for a slight limp when he grows tired and a scar at the corner of his left eye that he tries to hide behind a curtain of hair, but that I kiss every chance I get.
“Wear it with pride,” I always say and kiss it. Kiss him. Then, I rest my ear on his chest and listen for his heartbeat. Making sure it’s still there. So far it hasn’t let me down.
That’s where I lay one cold fall evening a month ago when he combed his fingers through my hair and asked in a breathless voice, “How about we get married, Seth?”
I think it was my heart that stopped beating then, if only for a nanosecond. Then it jumped with joy as I sat and stared into his warm brown eyes that no one except me ever seemed to notice. “You mean it?” I asked.
“Of course, silly.” And just like that, we were engaged.
“But I don’t want a ring,” I said.
“I want something even more beautiful. Something permanent.”
He cried when I told him my wish. Cried and kissed me and whispered a million I love you’s in my ear.
This morning, the second week of December, we exchange I do’s. This morning I become Mr. Seth Jones-McIntyre, proud husband of Abe McIntyre. The entire time in front of the justice of the peace, my thumb sweeps over the inside of his sensitive wrist with the new tattoo. After he says his vows, he kisses my matching one, and I can’t hold back my tears.
His soft lips against his own heartbeat immortalized on my body is the most beautiful sight I’ve ever seen.
And my heartbeat etched on his skin makes my love swell and grow so big I can’t contain it within me.
“You may now kiss,” says the JP.
And we do. I don’t plan to ever stop.