Vignette:Spring Again

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Spring Again
Universitetssjukhuset Borgsund, Elleholm, Kingdom of Ostboland
April 12th, 2018

he flowers are in bloom today.

The hospital grounds are lined with trees of varying lineages. Their branches are flush with vibrant green leaves that shadow the benches below them. The spring breeze has found its way into the courtyard; his unkempt hair shuffles around and a gentle wind billows his jacket backward as he pushes Carina’s wheelchair towards the shade of a particularly bulky tree.

“How is Ann-Sofie doing?” She struggles to contort her body to talk directly to him.

“She’s going to be discharged next week after she’s done her final checkup.”

She gives up trying to talk to him face-to-face, sighing as she resigns herself to looking straight ahead. “That’s good to hear.”

“I haven’t checked up on you recently. Has your wound healed much?”

“For someone that was impaled not too long ago, the doctors are saying I’m healing surprisingly fast.”

A light snort escapes him as he tries to stifle his response. “I’m just glad you’re okay.”

His mouth seals itself shut with a tight smile. There isn’t much to talk about; his troubled history with her weighs heavily on his mind, and he doesn’t plan on making it any heavier. The only reason he’s here right now is that he was the first person by her bedside; nothing more, nothing less. It doesn’t change the fact that she still probably hates his guts after all those years. She must be feeling anxious, annoyed, and irritated now that he’s still here; all she has to do is get better to get him out of her sight.

The wheelchair eventually comes to a halt beside a worn bench underneath the shade of an old oak tree. Lars catches a glimpse of the plaque installed at the base of it; from what he can gather from a quick glance, it was a donation from a particularly wealthy patron some hundred years ago, when it was just a sapling. He can read the rest of its story at another time; for now, he has Carina to take care of. Until she’s of sound health, of course.

He makes himself comfortable and plants himself on the bench beside Carina. It’s nice, just watching the leaves sway in the wind as patients take in the fresh air. The songbirds are back in force; their orchestra of chirps and caws fills the afternoon with their ambience. He can just barely hear the hustle and bustle of the city just outside the courtyard walls; it’s relaxing not hearing car horns constantly and feeling the unceasing rumble of his car engine as he’s stuck in rush hour traffic.

Something light lands on his hand. Then something else glances off his shoulder. Something wet splashes off of his cheek. Before the two know it, the sky sends down a downpour, beating down and rustling plenty of leaves in the process. In his mind, he goes through the motions of taking off his jacket and covering her head with it as he rushes her back into the comfort of the hospital. His body won’t move, though. For the briefest of moments, it’s just him, Carina, the cold rain against young leaves, and the dancing rays of sunlight peeking through already fragmenting storm clouds again.

"This wasn't in the forecast," she jokes to herself.

"It's pretty, though." He can't tell if he's talking about her or the weather.

Her hand is warm.

He can breathe.

It feels nice to see her smile again.

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