Waking Up in Hospital

Slowly opening his eyes, Evans looked around the dark room. Where was he? Pain shot down his side when he attempted to sit up. He swore.

“Ughhh…” A somewhat familiar voice spoke up, “You’re up Sergeant?”

Rolling his head to face the voice, he recognized Howe, “Private?”

“Yes Sergeant. We’re roommates for the moment.”

“Why?” He paused, “Why aren’t you off in a room with a bunch of lower ranks? No offense.”

“You Sergeant. According to what the nurses told me, you brought me to the aid station, gave my name, and collapsed. Your rank warranted you a room with one other person. They didn’t know who you were and since I appeared to know you, they put me in your room so I could identify you… Your wounds were much worse than mine… And once I woke up, they didn’t have enough space to bring me back to the lower enlisted room.”

“Oh God. So they thought I was… Did they… Anna, my wife… Did they tell her I was killed or anything… Again?”

“I was only unconscious for a few days. And they sent a telegram to her.” Howe pointed to the nightstand next to Evans’ bed, “You’ve got some letters next to your bed.”

“And any word on the Duchess Medway?”

“Wounded in the retreat. Very badly from the rumors I’ve heard.”

“And the battle? Did we hold?”

“We held.”

His eyes started to feel heavy and the world went black again.

 

His right hand was warm. His bed was tilting to the side. Someone was stroking his hair. His eyes slowly opened, “Anna?”

The blurry figure above him smiled. He heard a confused “Yes” to his right followed by a quick, “Oh, right… Your wife…”

Anna laughed, “I’m here James.”

“The kids?”

“At home. In Medway. Someone’s taking care of them. They’re too young to travel that distance.”

“I love you Anna.”

“I love you too James,” Anna smiled, “Get better soon so we can work on the fourth kid.”

“Ewww… No married talk,” Howe paused, “Sergeant.”

Anna giggled.

“My leg hurts pretty bad and I’d rather not try anything. Plus with Private Howe in the room.”

“Yes. with me in the room Sergeant.”

Anna turned to Howe, “So do you have anyone in your life Miss Howe?”

“No Mrs. Sergeant Evans.  Still waiting for my knight in shining armor,” She laughed, “Really, anyone who I haven’t seen covered in mud or blood.”

Evans looked at Howe, “How long was I out?”

“Ten days the first time. One week this time. And before you ask, No news on Duchess Medway. They’re keeping that locked up pretty tight.”

“Thank you Private. Now, could you give my wife and I some privacy?”

There was a pause before Howe responded, “Not really. Sergeant. I did get shot after all.”

“Right,” Evans turned back to Anna and shrugged, “Well I guess you can’t say anything private.”

“That’s alright,” Anna bent down and kissed him, “We can talk about the kids.”

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