Conan sneaks into the hospital on a Sunday. He never did like Sundays which makes this whole thing particularly fitting. Slinging a leg over the window sill, he pulls himself in with a lot of flailing involved. Conan tumbles to the floor before quickly scrambling to his feet.
“Couldn’t come through the front entrance?” a voice asks.
He spins around and finds himself facing a figure swathed in blankets, propped up on a cot. She raises an eyebrow and Conan sharply inhales as he finds familiar features within the wrinkled face.
“Hello, Conan. Or do you not go by that anymore?”
The man clears his throat. “Of course I do. Well, I had to change it a few decades back to avoid suspicion but I’m back to being Conan.”
“I wasn’t sure if I would ever see you again,” Marnie says, fiddling with her blanket.
After a moment of indecision, he sits in the chair by her bedside and takes her hand in his. Marnie sniffles, brushing aside the tears in her eyes.
“Look at me, acting as if I’m some school girl and not an eighty-year old woman.” She laughs softly.
“Don’t say that,” Conan starts, in mock sternness, “you’re in the prime of your life.”
“Maybe compared to you.”
Marnie gazes at his face, taking in the slope of his nose and the ridge of his brow. “You really haven’t aged a day.”
“I told you I wouldn’t.”
“I know, but to actually see the proof of it… it’s something else.”
She shakes her head in wonder and Conan shifts uncomfortably. His immortality has always been a sore subject for him. It only leads to situations like this—a friend growing old while he can only watch.
“Have you had a good life?” he blurts out, unable to help himself.
He needs to be sure that he made the right choice all those years ago when he had left her behind so she could have the life she rightfully deserved.
Marnie smiles. “A great one.”
Ramona Gore was born in Iowa and has lived in Virginia, New York, and Arizona. She is currently a Cinema and History major at Binghamton University, minoring in Asian and Asian American Studies. Her work has been published in Duck Duck Mongoose Magazine, Idle Ink, and Roi Fainéant Press. Twitter: @ramonavegagore | Website/portfolio: https://ramonavegagore.weebly.com