“Bill? Bill! I’m coming, Bill!”
I jerked awake in the chair beside Grandma’s bed. She was sitting upright, the oxygen tube limp around her neck, a wild glee replacing blankness in her eyes. “Grandma?”
But she didn’t seem to hear me. One more time she called out Grandpa’s name, then collapsed back to the pillow.
I sprang to her side, hollering for the hospice nurse. The heart monitor started beeping. Some alert message popped on the screen. I watched the red line representing her heartbeats, the line now spiking only once every couple of seconds.
Just before the nurse bustled in, the line bobbed once more, like a ripple on a pond; then the pond stilled.
The whole room seemed to sigh and sag. I dropped my gaze, felt the nurse pat my shoulder, whispering words of condolence.
“She saw Grandpa,” I said. “She called out to him.”
The nurse nodded.
I stood and left my vigil, the image of that last red heartbeat replaying through my thoughts.