Leslie was sitting at the dinner table waiting for her fiancé, Liam, to get home from work. Leslie works during the night at the Reykjavik Airport. She waited an hour or so, just sitting. Just waiting for him to get home. She was sure that if he was going to be late he would’ve called her. She decides she will wait a little bit longer, hoping to see his car pull up the driveway. She calls his work and sits at the dinner table while the phone rings. Each ring sounds like forever to her. Finally, Christian, Liam’s best friend, picks up. He recognizes Leslie’s voice in a heartbeat. “Hi. Um- i was wondering if Liam was still working? Its Leslie.” He senses the anxiousness in her voice as he replies, “Hi Leslie. He left work about 2 hours ago.” Leslie tenses up as she hears him. “Oh. Um. Okay. Thank you.” Christian says “you’re welcome” as he hangs up the phone. Leslie gets up from her chair and starts pacing the dining room. She walks toward the window to stare out toward the mountains. The beautiful mountain called Hvannadalshnúkur. “It’s such a marvelous view”, she thinks to herself. Her mind starts to wander off when suddenly the phone rings and she jumps out of her daydream. When Leslie picks up the phone she hears a voice, “Hello. Is this Leslie Johnson?” This voice now has Leslie’s full attention. “Speaking”, she replies. “Hello. I am Katherine and I am a nurse at Western Isles Hospital. Your name was listed as an Emergency Contact for Liam Richardson. Is this correct?”, the voice says. Leslie hesitates while replying, hesitant to know the answer, “Yes. Um- pardon. Is Liam alright?” “He was in a car accident and his status is critical. Please come to Western Isles Hospital right away,” she quickly states and hangs up the phone. Leslie runs upstairs and throws on shoes. She pets Dutchess, Charlie Tango, and Mia. She tells Mia and Charlie, “protect the house. I’ll be back.” Charlie curls up into a ball on the couch and Mia sits at the door. Leslie jumps into her BMW and floors it.
Leslie swerves into a parking stall. She removes the keys from the ignition and starts walking towards the entrance. Her mind wanders off to when Liam proposed on December. She remembered when he dropped down to one knee when she was facing the other way. When Leslie turned around he said, ” I want you forever, forever and always. Through the good and the bad and the ugly. We’ll grow old together. Forever and always. My Kitty Kat Leslie, will you marry me?
Leslie comes back to her right mind by the time she reaches the front desk. “I’m here for Liam. My name is Leslie Johnson.” Katherine comes striding down the hall. “I’ll take you to Liam.” Katherine turns tail while Leslie lunges to keep catch up and slows down when she does. Right, left, up the elevator, and all the way to the end of the hall to the last door.. Her eyes start watering as she enters the room. Seeing Liam with an iv coming out of his right arm. His eyes slowly open, glossy yet bright. He makes eye contact with Leslie and he tries smiling. Leslie steps forward and sits in the closest chair, reaching to hold his hand. “One day”, Liam says, “I want kids. Two little boys that can grown up with the kids we have now.” Leslie tears up hearing up, “Yes darling. Anything for you.” She starts scratching the base of his neck, while his eyes close in pleasure. Katherine walks back into the room quietly, “may i speak with you Ms. Johnson? Leslie stands and follows Katherine outside. “Liam is in critical condition,” she begins. “He may not make it through the night.” Leslie wipes the tears from her eyes and forces herself to look at Katherine. She nods her head and walks back to a sleeping Liam and cries. Not the normal crying. The crying where you’re forcing yourself to be silent to not wake anyone.
A woman walks down the hallway and notices Leslie crying. She silently enters and whispers, “Um- Pardon. Are you alright?” Leslie looks directly into her eyes and whispers back, “he’s going to die and we didn’t get to have or wedding yet.” “I am Carly. My husband is Kirk. He is currently getting his chemotherapy done for his cancer. He only has 2 months left.”, she says. “I’m so sorry. Liam,” Leslie looks at Liam, “is not supposed to survive past the night. He proposed to me two months ago.” Carly looks at her ring. “Would you like to get married?” Leslie looks at her with a confused expression. “I can let you borrow our rings. We can call in a chaplain and some nurses.” Leslie’s eyes light up with joy. “Yes. I’d love that and I’m sure Liam would too.”
Carly steps outside and calls in the priest from her church asking for an urgent favor. Leslie wakes Liam and asks if he’d be okay with getting married now? He smiles softly and says, “Yes. Anything for you, My Kitty Kat.” She kisses his forehead and steps out to searches for Katherine. After finding her, she explains the wedding. Katherine is fond of the idea and calls other nurses to be there.
Carly heads downstairs and waits for Father Daniel. The chaplain enters and looks for Carly. They make eye contact and walk toward each other. “Thank you for coming on such short notice.” “Your circumstances needed me,” he replied. She leads him to the room Liam and Leslie are in. “This is Father Daniel.” Father Daniel reaches his hand out to shake Leslie’s. Leslie shakes his hand and looks back at Liam. She mouths, “I love you” and he mouths it in return. She leaves the room to borrow a wedding dress from one of the nurses.
Father Daniel walks to the window and nods at Liam. Leslie walks through the doorway with Katherine’s arm entwined with hers. Another nurse plays A Thousand Years by The Piano Guys(Originally by Christina Perri) while she walks. Liam attempts to sit up and succeeds with the help of Julio. Liam smiles at Leslie, the love of his life. He couldn’t wait to marry her even with the short time he has left with her. Leslie stops next to Liam’s bed and turns to face him. She smiles her warm, loving smile and tilts her head to the right. She begins, “I want you forever, forever and always. Through the good and the bad and the ugly. We’ll grow old together, and always remember. Whether happy or sad or whatever. We’ll still love each other, forever and always.” Liam smiles back at her and speaks softly, “I love you forever, forever and always. Please just remember even if I’m not there. I’ll always love you, forever and always.” Leslie reaches for his hand and holds it softly. Father Daniel glances at both, and begins, “When you commenced this wedding ceremony, you stood before all assembled here as best friends and partners. Through the poignant exchange of wedding vows, you are sealed together in bond of holy wedlock as wife and husband. You may have kissed many times before, but now your kiss is a demonstration of your perpetual love and commitment to each other. Your kiss is also a promise to stand together during the happy times and during times of adversity. May you experience great love, joy and happiness as you walk through life together. May you also have the strength and perseverance to weather the storms that life may bring your way. In celebration of your love and commitment to one another, you may now kiss the bride.”
Leslie bends down and kisses Liam, barely touching his lips. A very light and airy kiss. She places her palm on his cheek and strokes his cheek with her thumb. Liam presses his cheek to her palm and smiles. He closes his eyes slowly and lowers his head. The room goes silent. Beeeeeeeep. Is all they hear. In an instant Leslie is pulled out of the room while Julio and Katherine attempt to revive him.
It takes a minute until Leslie realizes what’s happening. Julio comes out with an expressionless face. “I’m sorry Mrs. Johnson. Liam did not make it.” Leslie sits down against the wall. She tries to keep herself together but she breaks down. Balling her eyes out. Carly comes out and sits next to her. She grabs her hand and squeezes gently. “He is still with you,” she says. “And he will always love you. Forever and Always. Like he said.” Leslie stands up, wiping the tears from her eyes and walks into Liam’s room. She pulls a chair near his bed and sits. She nuzzles her face into the palm of his hand and softly whimpers.