I continued to stare at the computer screen blankly. For the past 30 minutes I had typed only two words: Samuel Davis. My name. I'd been given clear instructions about what to write about but still I had little clue how to spin a story around the dangers of mouthwash. Maybe the fact that mouthwash tends to contain a greater alcohol content than most wines and beers may surprise some, but who really cares? Clearly my boss thought the story was of some importance; however, it wasn't my idea of 'breaking news.'
Journalism had always been a field of work that intrigued me. The opportunity of chasing an untold story and interviewing witnesses were further motivations. Growing up in the small city of Portage provided one with little excitement and who knew I would still be here years later. My original plan was to get out of Portage as soon as I graduated and I had managed that. I'd studied at McGill University but here I was - back in my hometown.
CRASH! I nearly fell out of my chair at the sound of glass exploding from the other room.
"Leslie! Are you okay?" I shouted frantically as I sprinted out of my study. I rushed into the kitchen greeted by the sight of my wife bent over sweeping shards together with her bare hands.
"I'm so stupid... just dropping it like" she mumbled under her breath averting her eyes from me.
"Hey, it's okay," I replied soothingly. "Just do one thing for me." Leslie peered quizzically at me. "Use a broom. I don't need to wait four hours at the hospital for a doctor to stitch up your hands." Her face broke into a smile and she snorted in laughter. I loved that laugh.
"Whatever you say," she said winking at me ad began sweeping up the mess. "I don't know what's been happening lately. I've been such a klutz."
"You were always a klutz" I told her jokingly, only to receive a swat from the broom.
"You deserved that," Leslie said, stopping my protests. I grinned in return. Many friends told us that we still acted like newlyweds, even though we were already approaching our fifth year anniversary. These memories that I'd gathered in these past few years burned stronger than anything before. Life before marriage seemed so far away at this point. I couldn't see myself living any other way than with Leslie.
I leaned against the door frame and simply watched her as she continued to mull about the kitchen humming to herself. I felt a sudden urge and took her hand, spinning her around. Another smile spilled across Leslie's face as we waltzed across the tiled floor, slipping in our socks. We spun in circles and watched as the world became a blur. All of a sudden we were both laughing uncontrollably on the floor, gasping for air. Between snorts and coughs I cupped Leslie's chin in my hands and gave her a quick kiss.
"What was that for?" she asked, still snorting.
"I was trying to shut you up but apparently that didn't work," I replied chuckling at her pout.
"Hey, you even admitted that my laugh was what convinced you to marry me."
"Hmm, I guess you're right," I reasoned, picking myself off the floor just as the door bell rang.
"I'll get it," Leslie called over her shoulder as she headed out of the room. I was left alone humming to myself. Absentmindedly, I picked up the broom, twirling it around like my previous dance partner before putting it away. I began taking dishes out of the dish washer but stopped. I could hear Leslie arguing in the entrance. I wondered what the salesman was trying to rip us off with today. Putting the mug I was holding on the counter, I followed the voices into the hallway to see Leslie confronting a smartly dressed man. He looked straight off the show Law & Order.
"Um, is there a problem here?" I said and the man turned to face me.
"I assume you are Mr. Samuel Davis?" he asked in response.
"Yes, that's me," I eyed the man skeptically and shot Leslie a questioning glance. She simply shrugged in return.
"My name is Curtis Burgon and I come representing Susan Langan. I assume you know this person?" My eyes grew wide at the mention of a name I had not heard in almost a decade.
"Um, yes, I do know her. Is she alright?" I asked. Leslie stared at me.
"Who is Sus - " she began but was interrupted by Mr. Burgon.
"As a matter of fact, she was in a vehicle accident this past week which left her in a coma and the business of her health care proxy brings me to you. I do not know what relation you are to her but she stated that you are to be her Health Care Power of Attorney."
I stood rooted to the spot as his words sunk in.
"What is he talking about? What does that mean, Sam?" Leslie hissed, gripping my arm tightly.
"It means," I said, almost speaking more to myself than to her, "that any decisions regarding Susan's life or death are left to me." My voice was hardly audible as I finished this realization. I looked up into the pale face of my wife - an expression of utter bewilderment which I'm sure matched my own.