Sarah Sophia Yannishe wakes up at six, soft — breath warm and smelly, oh god that’s rancid.
the bed is only hers now, covers gritty from not being washed, dry fabric on dry skin.
the call comes at six twenty four. it’s a little early isn’t it?
the message is given. oh, thanks for telling me.
ex-boyfriend number four, the most recent — comatose. motorcycle accident. the one she’d ridden on for two years.
fuck she realizes, she didn’t take note of who called. an anonymous voice, sterile. maybe a nurse.
she wonders if she’s still in his phone with a heart emoji. maybe that’s why they had called her. that’s gotta be it. she smiles.
dressing for the hospital, she thinks too long about an outfit. well what if he wakes up? decides on vintage levi’s and a form-fitting turtleneck.
in the car ride over, ABBA blasts. she ponders putting something more somber on. he always hated them. she ignores the pondering, turns up waterloo.
cedars sinai at seven ten am is quiet but fluorescent. maybe the bright lights help offset the pre-determined feeling of death.
hi, i received a call, i’m here to see_______.
the nurse checks her in. room 420. she giggles. the nurse isn’t pleased.
the door is ajar, no one there except _______. he has tubes and nodes all over him, gauze on his head, a bandaged arm, dark red scratches against his coarse cheeks.
she walks close to his body and puts her hand on his arm. it’s warm, pulsing.
she examines him closely and recalls all the times their bodies were close.
her fingers graze his lips, slightly parted for a feeding tube. they are soft, like she remembers.
you look really good in a hospital bed, she thinks. calm, restful.
why did we break up again? maybe when you wake up we can get back together. we had a good thing. a really good thing.
the door opens once more and _______’s family walks in: mother, father, sister. confused, almost annoyed. they ask what she’s doing there.
they called me to come.
_______’s mother sighs, exasperated, flags down a nurse and asks them to call JESS not TESS.
who the fuck is jess? she thinks to herself.
the room is tense. _______’s sister, always kind of a brat, suggests that she leave now.
okay, she clutches her jaw and exits the room, her fingers still slightly wet from touching his mouth.
she walks back to the nurses station. when jess arrives please tell her that i gave him the best head of his life! the nurse is clearly appalled.
she turns around and leaves cedars sinai before a response can be given.
the morning air hits her skin, cool.
her car whirs to life and she drives out of the lot, blasting super trouper.