The Ghouls' Review Spring 2015 - Page 10

devastated her in the past, that a good man was nearly impossible to find, she said she believed in him, she said her father would love him, she said it was so cool how they were both Italian, she said they should figure how to combine their names, she said that loving support was his new normal, she asked him to marry her. ___ The flatline had begun. “Immediate heparin and nitro push! Increasing voltage. Clear!” The shock produced nothing but more nothing. ___ He knew something was wrong the day they stopped for ice cream at the Jolly Cow Drive-In on 9W. The way Michelle looked at him when that Russian lady embraced him. The lady’s son and his daughter had gone to kindergarten together, and they hadn’t seen each other in years. Never mind that there hadn’t ever been anything remotely romantic between them, just two parents of two kids. But the lady was beautiful, and Michelle didn’t like anyone touching her man. And she liked it even less that he didn’t seem to mind being hugged, as though her hugs weren’t enough, as though he needed anything other than what Michelle had to offer. None of these things ever crossed his mind, because he actually didn’t need or want anything other than what they were building together. But a chill ran through him that night, and vaguely he began to realize he had been convicted of a crime he didn’t commit. ___ The cardiac team was running out of options. ___ A few days later, Michelle asked to grab a bite to eat because her stomach was hurting, and they ducked into a diner. She asked him some questions about his ex-wife. Afterward, they drove up Abeel, passed the Armadillo, and she pointed out an old building, a former synagogue with a for-sale sign on it. She suggested they should just figure out a way to buy it. It would be a great place to start their home and musical space together. He most heartily agreed. ___ “OK. All interventions stop. I’m calling it. Time of death, 1:11AM. Cause of death, total heart failure.” ___ That night, she said goodbye. She never spoke to him again. 10 The Ghouls’ Review