The haematology department was getting empty, there were no more visitors and the doctors were leaving. The nurses station was almost empty too, only nurse Roberts and Maria were still there when Guy appeared.
“Good evening, Mr. Pearce, what are you doing here?” said nurse Roberts.
He looked nervous. “Uhm, could I talk to Maria?”
Nurse Roberts looked over her shoulder, Maria gave her a look which was a mixture of surprise and fear.
“What is this about?” asked nurse Roberts.
“Maria, did you get my flowers?”
“Yes, Guy,” said Maria, “That was really nice of you.”
“I wanted to talk to you. Please, you know I won’t hurt you. I just wanted to talk to you.”
“Okay,” said Maria and they stepped into the hallway.
“I wanted to thank you for taking care of me so well,” said Guy.
“It’s just my job, Guy.”
“I know, but there is more. You are a great person, Maria. You are wonderful. Please, could I have just one kiss from you?”
“What? No,” Maria protested quietly.
“Please, just one kiss and I will leave. One kiss and I will never come here again. Unless you want me to.”
“But I am married, Guy. I have two boys.”
“I know, I am married too, remember? But this is different.”
She looked around, as if trying to make sure nobody was looking, then faced Guy. Her dark eyes were so full of life, wisdom, but also pain. She was probably much more mature than he was, even though she looked younger. She did not dare smile, nor frown, nor express any emotion when she spoke the next words.
“No, Guy. Leave and forget about me.”
He wanted to grab her and kiss her anyway, but he knew it would not be the kiss he was hoping for. So he nodded, and walked out.
In the parking lot, his arms began to tremble and tears started flowing down his cheeks.