It was late. I was trying to sleep. My heart beat faster. I couldn’t breathe. My heart wouldn’t stop pounding. Breath exercises didn’t help. I kept telling my heart to slow down, to stop pounding. Take a breath! Now! Do it!
I couldn’t will myself to breathe, to live. I needed help. My heart felt like it was leaping out of my chest.
I texted my beloved, in the next room. The text was garbled, a series of meaningless letters and symbols. rj3u92/, perhaps. Texting didn’t work.
I called to him. Surely he would hear me. I called and called. HELP, I said, as loud as I could. It sounded like hehhhhhhhh. I couldn’t talk. Calling to him didn’t work.
I don’t know how I did this, but I got up out of my bed and went to the wall between my bedroom and my beloved’s. I pounded on the wall as hard as I could, with the strength of a gnat. He heard me.
Call 911, my eyes said, between gasps. I told myself to breathe, even though I couldn’t.
When the ambulance came, everything would be all right. They would help me breathe again, instantly. My heart would stay in its chest. I would be okay.
The ambulance men came, with their shoes in our shoe-free house, right into my bedroom. I didn’t let myself care. I wanted to breathe again. I wanted to live.
They put an oxygen mask over my mouth and nose. I still couldn’t breathe. Why wasn’t this thing working?
The Emergency Room was like a movie. A blue-smocked nurse strode by our little cubicle from right to left, repeatedly, like a duck in a carnival shooting gallery.
I left my body and entered a land of bright golden light where loving people awaited me. I wanted to stay there forever. I felt at peace and completely at home.
I came back.
This is what I told my beloved:
We’ve had a good run, haven’t we? But it’s going to be way more fun here with you. We’ve been together a thousand years, and I choose to be here with you.
After awhile, we went home. I could breathe again and my heart had stopped pounding.