"Where‘s the nurse?"

Cloaked in black, the nurse hurried forward and swept in between the curtains. "Yes Doctor?"

The doctor reached out and wrapped his fingers around her arm. "I need someone to sit with this young man."

“I have been.” She looked away from the doctor’s prying eyes.

“That’s good, very good-” He sighed as the man laid out in the bed cried out in pain. "It won't be long now."

"But he’s in so much pain-" she’d blurted it out before she could stop herself.

The older man patted her arm reassuringly, "You should know what it looks like by now."

She shook her head and quietly admitted, "I've only been here a few days."

"Well now,” he looked at her with sage knowledge in his eyes, “just consider this a learning experience. Before the war is over, you'll see many young men like this one." The doctor stood and offered her the chair beside the bed.

As the doctor walked on the nurse whispered “I hope not.” She sat down with hardly an effort, her gaze filled with the young soldier's face. He cringed at the gentle movement and she breathed a silent apology. Gently, she took his hand in hers. The heat of his skin nearly caused her to drop his hand in shock.

Resolve and sympathy took over and she grasped his hand firmly stroking her fingertips over the palm of his upturned hand. Quietly, she began to talk to him, telling him of the strangely beautiful day outside the window.

She could see it plainly through the window and it calmed her to talk about the gently swaying leaves visible through the small portal. It seemed like she sat there for hours describing the trees quietly swaying in the sunlight, the branches bending the birds building their nests... families beginning. Life starting over - she stood, ready to run.

"Don't go… don't go… stay." His fingers closed over hers and pressed painfully into the back of her hand.

She leaned over him, trying to find his eyes under the shock of brown hair covering his forehead. She brushed back his hair and looked into his searching eyes, "I'm not going anywhere."

"Please. I need to get home."

‘Home.’ She smiled, his plea tearing into her heart, "I wish I could take you there, but..” she searched for the way to tell him, “the doctors'.."

"The doctors' say I'm dyin'." His tone was flat with understanding.

She nodded, "I know."

"So what does it matter if I die here or there?“ He coughed, a violent hacking motion that raked his lungs in pain. "Even.. even if I died on the way home.. at least.. at least.. I'd be closer.. closer to her."

Tears, hold back the tears - "She wants you home too."

He pulled his eyes open, the early morning sunlight nearly blinded him but he stared out at the world. His eyes fell on his angel of mercy and he whispered, "Come closer." She leaned in dutifully and he tried to make sense of the woman sitting beside him. Her hair was golden, fairly glowing with light. He tried to reach out and touch it, but the fine strands danced out of reach with every feeble breeze through the window. "Your hair-”

"Yes?"

'It's the wrong color,' he thought to himself . "Never mind."




Blessed sleep ended too soon. Dreams that had held him in their comforting grasp faded away with the waking mist that surrounded him. Soft sounds of water and the tender feel of a gentle cloth against his skin, drew him back into the pain filled day. "Is that you?"

"Me?" He could hear the smile in her voice.

He grimaced as his eyes struggled to focus. Burnished red hair, the color of a rich copper patina filled the outer edges of his vision. "No.. the woman that was here before."

Soft laughter mixed with the trickle of water coming from the twisting cloth, "Silly - you're seein' things. It's just me."

"You… you.. maybe it was you in my dreams last night."

"Dream?"

"It was the strangest dream, almost golden and brown.. rich leather brown-“

She swept the wrung out cloth across his forehead, feeling the heat through the cloth. "That sounds nice."

"You were there," his voice became ethereal, as if he was already back inside his own mind, "Fields and flowers, horses and riders-"

The doctor whispered something in her ear and she quickly waved him off, eager to hear the rest.

"I remembered it like it was yesterday… all of us."

"All? How many?"

He ignored her question and swept on with the story, "You asked me… gave me the choice. One wish… one final wish…" A cool cloth stroked across his chest, causing him to draw in a deep labored breath, "I almost didn't know what to ask for." His parched lips peeled back in a smile as his eyes drew half closed, "Almost lost my chance, but then I knew what I wanted more than anything else."

"To go back home?"

"More than that." He took in another breath and she could almost see him filling with his own visions. "One more day… with her."

Tears gathered in her eyes, "That's all?"

"All?" There was an air of his boyish grin visible in his tired face, "That's all that matters. I can see that… now."

"A whole day, with just...a girl"

A passing nurse clucked and shook her head, the young man was so far gone. "Bless you for listenin‘." She touched her fellow nurse on her shoulder and drew back a puzzled look on her face. The younger nurse hung on his every word.

"No, not just my girl... my wife. That's all I want." He looked over to the side, staring at the blank white wall beside him. "We'd go for a swim. Take a ride into the mountains… ride so far away that no one, not even the best scouts in the world could find us."

"How far is that?"

"I don't care.. we wouldn't even have to go anywhere, as long as she was…" He took one of her hands in his...fingers shaking with strain, "Right here for every second."




Daylight and hope are short on days like this.

The nurse held onto his hand as he slept and somewhere within that hour his fevered moans had become more of a sigh. His labored breathing slowed with an ominous promise.

The Doctor had come while the young soldier slept. Bending over the boy’s chest he listened with a practiced ear. She refused to acknowledge his pained smile. Another nurse came in to draw the curtain across the window, but a hushed word stayed her hand. “Please.”

The soldier awoke as dusk settled into the bushes just outside the window. His eyes opened to find a new woman sitting beside him, her hair like a raven’s wing in the dying light. “Where did she go?”

Leaning closer the nurse looked down into his face, “I’m here.”

“Closer.”

Hesitating a moment she pulled her chair closer. He reached out and grabbed her hand and held it to his chest. “It’s all just a cruel joke isn’t it. I left her..and you” his grasp on her hand tightened, “you and the others ...you keep leaving me..”

“I never left-”

His voice was steely quiet, “It doesn’t matter now.”

The finality of his statement broke her heart, “It does.. it does matter.”

“Not if I’ve wasted my last day.”

Tears clouded her vision, “You haven’t.. I’ve been here the whole time... you and me, just like you wished for.”

He placed her hand against his rough cheek and traced his lips along the curve of her palm, “It’s not ..truly you.. but in my heart it was. If only you could find her.. tell her-”

“She knows.. she knows-” She turned his face so she could look into his eyes, “I know.”

His eyes widened at her words, “I’m losin’ my mind.”

“No... no.”

He smiled, “and I don’t care.”

She choked off a laugh, “I’ll be here, until - until the end.”

He pulled her hand and laid it over his heart. “Then you’re just in time.”

Her eyes filled with the sight of him, “no... not now.”

The waning light was cooling on his skin and he wanted to shiver. Instead, he reached up to her face, tracing the tears with his finger, “now.”

It was only the moment his hand fell back down against his chest that she knew it had happened, for his eyes never left hers.

Just like his heart had never left.




His passing was not discovered until light of the moon raised itself from darkness and shone into the room.

The doctor shook her awake and clucked over the tearstained face and swollen eyes, “My dear.. my poor dear, you really mustn’t let this affect you so... this will happen again and again until this war is over. Really miss..” He handed her his kerchief and watched as she dutifully dried her face, “miss...” he chuckled, “You know, I never did ask you for your name.”

She stood and held out her hand, nearly weeping when the doctor took it in his, “Louise.”

One More Day

performed by Diamond Rio


LAST NIGHT I HAD A CRAZY DREAM

A WISH WAS GRANTED JUST FOR ME,

IT COULD BE FOR ANYTHING

[ ]

I SIMPLY WISHED, FOR ONE MORE DAY WITH YOU


ONE MORE DAY

ONE MORE TIME

ONE MORE SUNSET, MAYBE I'D BE SATISFIED

BUT THEN AGAIN

I KNOW WHAT IT WOULD DO

LEAVE ME WISHING STILL, FOR ONE MORE DAY WITH YOU


FIRST THING I'D DO, IS PRAY FOR TIME TO CRAWL

[]

I'D HOLD YOU EVERY SECOND

SAY A MILLION I LOVE YOU'S

THAT'S WHAT I'D DO. WITH ONE MORE DAY WITH YOU


ONE MORE DAY

ONE MORE TIME

ONE MORE SUNSET, MAYBE I'D BE SATISFIED

BUT THEN AGAIN

I KNOW WHAT IT WOULD DO

LEAVE ME WISHING STILL, FOR ONE MORE DAY WITH YOU


LEAVE ME WISHING STILL FOR ONE MORE DAY

LEAVE ME WISHING STILL FOR ONE MORE DAY

Email Miss Raye

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