Something in My Eye [Backwards Challenge]

“Paul? Paul, is that you?”

“Yeah, it’s me.” Paul said. He reached up and angrily wiped away his tears.

“Paul, are you crying?” The man on the bed shook his head, faint wisps of white hair falling into his bleary eyes. “Paul, why are you crying?”

Paul swallowed hard and shook his head once. “I’m not crying, Pa. I just got something in my eye.” He squeezed his dad’s hand, and the other man squeezed back, feather-light. So weak.

The door opened. Paul looked up at the nurse, silently mouthed five minutes. The nurse nodded and backed out, her eyes sympathetic.

“So much like your mother,” his dad said, his mouth twisting in what might have been either a smile or a grimace. “So like your mother…Paul? Paul?”

“Yeah, Pa?”

“Paul? There you are, boy. Where’s your mother?”

Paul closed his eyes and took a deep, shuddering breath.

“Ma’s coming, Pa. She’ll be here soon.”

His dad lapsed into silence, his breathing slowing as he drifted back into sleep. Paul stayed for another three minutes, then got up and left.

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