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Double Mint

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Barba sat next to Carisi. He knew that there were people moving around around them. He could hear people talking. He could hear that people sipping coffee. He heard someone shrieking in the from a room. Screaming about that the doctor was lying.  Barba glanced at the clock. It had been three hours. Three hours since she had arrived by ambulance. He could hear his heart beating in his ear drums. That, at least, had to be a good sign. Barba stood on lead legs as he looked around, registering the fact that Amanda had showed up. As well as Chief Dodds.

He rubbed his eyes before he looked at the vending machines against the wall. He could feel his body begging for him to feet it, but at the same time, he knew that anything he stuck in his mouth was just going to come back up. Still, he walked to the vending machine, raking his eyes over all the options. He felt his hand go into his pocket and next thing he knew, he was pulling out the pack of gum.

He stared at the label, reading doublemint over and over and over again. He hated this flavor.  Barba pulled out his phone, looking at the time. He swore an hour had passed, but instead, now it was only three hours and ten minutes. Still, he hadn’t heard anything from the doctor.  He stared at the wall as before he looked at Carisi. He could see that he was talking, but couldn’t understand him.

“Barba?” He said again, grabbing his shoulder.

“Huh? What?” He answered slowly.

“The doctor. He is out of surgery.” Carisi stated before he turned him slightly.

“Barba stared at the guy. He looked his exhausted and his eyes were heavy. He placed the pack of gum in his hand before he started to walk across the room. He could feel the his legs wanting to give out, but somehow he was still moving forward.

Barba stood in front of the doctor. He noticed some blood on his face mask before he pulled it all the way off his neck. He briefly wondered if the doctor had noticed that. Barba could see his mouth moving, but couldn’t hear the words. He felt as though everything was under water.

“Excuse me?” Barba questioned as he shook his head, trying to remove some of the fog from his head.

“We did everything we could…I am sorry, but the vein in the aorta was too damaged when the bullet ricocheted in her body. I am so sorry to tell you that your wife, Olivia, is dead.”

He felt the doctor’s hand on his shoulder before he walked away. He looked at the clock on the wall. It was 11:18 at night. He looked at everyone standing or sitting. He could feel his legs carrying him towards them, as their faces started to blur in front of his eyes. He could feel his mouth opening and closing.

This was the first time he could remember not being able to talk, feeling as though everything inside of him was just broken. He cleared his throat, trying to swallow the lump that had formed in his throat. He took a deep breath, but still felt as though his lungs were a set of stones and not human flesh that could expand. At least his could still expand.

“Olivia…she…” He felt his throat seal as he felt his fingernails digging hard into the palm of his hand, “She’s dead.” He croaked.  All of a sudden, everything felt so real.  He realized that he would never hear her laugh again. That he would never kiss her. That he would never hug her. He felt his body fall into a chair. He felt him head droop.

He would never hear her groans of ecstacy. He would never hear her laughter when he told a bad joke or how she would greet Noah as her sweet boy. He felt his tears falling onto his arms. How was he going to tell Noah that from here on out, it was just the two of them.  He felt as though his heart was ripped out of his chest. He could feel his heart physically ache. He felt someone squeezing his shoulders.

All the words that were surrounding him sounded mashed together. He struggled to breathe as he finally stood, “Just get the fuck away from me!” He snapped before he headed towards the doors.