The Dying Woman Who Looked Smaller and Older Than My Wife
By Michael Kimball - Jul 17, 2018
The following is an excerpt from the novel Us by Michael Kimball, available from Tyrant Books here.
I waited in the hospital lobby until I heard them call my name over the hospital intercom. They called my name again and it sounded as if my wife were calling me from another room from somewhere inside our house. Her voice was sort of fuzzy and distorted, but she was calling me back up into the hospital. I went back up to the floor and to the desk that I thought she said and the woman there said that they had a woman there who might be my wife.
She walked me down a hallway and into a hospital room. She took me past an empty hospital bed, behind a curtain, and past a bank of machines. They had most of her body covered up with sheets and blankets and she seemed to be too small to be my wife. Her head was propped up with a pillow and they had laid her hair out on it, but her hair looked too thin and too gray to be my wife’s hair. Her arms were laid out outside the sheets and the blankets and her skin seemed to be colored with the colored lights from the machines that seemed to be keeping her alive. Her eyes were closed and another part of her face was covered up with an oxygen mask. She didn’t look like my wife like that, but I had never seen my wife dying before before that night and I didn’t know what it was going to look like.