Both of them were speechless. They both knew what the other was thinking.
They started at the same time and stopped. Atlas pointed at the rocks that were next to the waterfall for them to sit. Midori just nodded and without saying anything else she sat down. When she did, they stayed in silence for a few more seconds. Midori’s head was a mess, she didn’t even know what to think. She was sure the voice she heard was Atlas’. And by the way he was acting, she knew Atlas was feeling awkward too.
— And… How are y-
Atlas raised his head and looked at Midori.
— It was you, in the hospital, right?
Midori’s eyes opened in surprise.
— It was you who called me…
— I knew it. —Atlas hit his leg with a fist— I knew that this wasn’t normal.
— You mean these… “dreams”?
— Yes. But… you had bandages over your eyes…
— I had an accident, that’s why I’m there. I’m blind. And you… do you really have cancer?
— Yes. That’s why I was admitted to the hospital.
— So… what is this? —she asked nervously—.
— I don’t know. I have an idea but I’m not sure. —Atlas turned back to her—. Don’t worry, Midori. I’ll look into it.
He got closer to her, giving her a warm hug, and whispered “I’ll go to see you soon, wait for me”. Midori smiled. Behind that smile was hidden a certain sadness. She couldn’t see Atlas in the real world. She only had her dreams to see him. Atlas took Midori’s face delicately between his hands and gave her a soft kiss on the forehead.
She woke up once again in the hospital bed. She felt less anxious since she knew she wasn’t going crazy. Atlas was real. She placed her hand over her heart and smiled. But only a few seconds were enough to make that smile disappear. She touched the bandages over her eyes.
Now more than ever she wanted to get rid of them. She wanted to see Atlas with her own eyes. Starting from that moment, it was only a matter of time before Atlas visited her room. Hours went by and she didn’t hear the door opening up. A few minutes more passed before it happened. She heard the door opening, it made her stomach fill with butterflies, but the scent in her room told her it wasn’t who she was hoping to see.
It was the nurse who was bringing her lunch. Midori clicked her tongue and went back to lay down on her bed, turning on her back. The nurse just left the food and promptly exited the food without saying anything. Midori felt her stomach growl, so she sat up and started to eat. In truth, she just wanted to see Atlas, but she couldn’t do it on an empty stomach. After eating, she left the tray on the side and lay down, patiently waiting for him.
More and more hours went by, and nobody else went to her room. She waited some more but nothing happened. She was starting to feel sad, lowering down her head she thought “What if everything was a dream after all?”. She was starting to question if Atlas truly existed. Without noticing, she fell asleep.
Midori woke up in the same tree she woke up on the first time. She stood up quickly and ran to the waterfall, Atlas was there. She approached him.
— I’m sorry, Midori. My nurse is being really cautious of me. Since that day that I called you out she knows that I’m trying to do something… But. —he got closer to her and rearranges a lock of hair behind her ear— I’ll find a way, I promise you.
Midori placed her hand over his, resting her cheek on it.
The days went by and Atlas still hasn’t visited her room. Likewise, it had been some time since the last time they saw each other at the oasis. Every time she went there, she looked everywhere but Atlas wasn’t there. Midori was starting feeling sad. She almost had no energy to wake up. She wanted to escape reality but not even in her oasis was the person she wanted to be with.
The nurse entered her room.
— Can… can I go out? —she asked with no energy left—.
There wasn’t an answer, she just heard the door closing again, this time with a lock. She clenched her teeth and punched the bed. Fury was starting to consume her.
The day passed and the night arrived. She was laying down, her front to the window. She heard once again how the door opened up, this time slowly. She didn’t have hopes anymore, but she smelt a different scent. A familiar scent, and it wasn’t the nurse. She turned around and immediately sat up, facing the door.
TO BE CONTINUED.