A Love Story Too Late

This is one rather sad love story that I heard. John and Alice (fake names) worked in a ministry. John was very much educated, a young promising director in his late 30s. Alice was a slim lady in her early 30s, rather average looking but with shoulder length hair. She worked in Finance as a Manager. Both worked in the same ministry but different department.

They were colleagues but they located at different floor, in different department. It was a usual monthly meeting chaired by a big boss. John was supposed to give a presentation. While rushing his way to the meeting room, he accidentally knocked on Alice coming from the other direction. He dropped his folders and his loosely proposal. He grabbed whatever he saw and went straight to the meeting room. He was late.

meeting

The meeting went well and he only realized the missing pages when he was summon to his boss office. The last page with the director signature was missing. It was the most important piece. John panicked and he recalled hard but could not remember where he dropped it. He was scolded by his boss.

John traced all the way back but he just could not find it. Asking the director to re-sign the last page was not good. Feeling miserable, he went downstairs for coffee. He saw Alice on the lift lobby.

John greeted, "Hi, saw you at the walkway. John" He introduced himself.

"Alice" she returned with a smile and a handshake.

Both took the lift. He headed to ground floor while she went to 4th floor.

A week later, they met again at the staff canteen. He was queuing behind her. "Hey, you again. Alone? " he asked.

She nodded and both lunched at the same table. He shared his story. It was then, Alice realized, the missing page belonged to him. "I shredded your document. No name just a signature. Didn't know it was yours." she shrugged and apologized.

"Well, it's over. I am fine." He replied. The conversation went well and chemistry struck. 1 month later, they started dating. While everything seemed smoothly, storm and thunder came.

hand in hand

Alice was much in love for his honesty and his diligence in work. Most often, she stayed back late just for him to complete his report and presentation deck. Quite a few times, John skipped his meal and his health deteriorated. On one regular checkup, the doctor diagnosed he suffered from leukemia with life span not exceeding 6 months.

His family knew and sent him for treatment in various hospitals. He was already in terminal stage. It was a blow to her. John frequent the hospital for short medical treatment, Alice accompanied him every night at the hospital. Then, marriage was impossible. She just wanted him well. Her work performance was affected. She had little rest. She lost focus at work. One night, he was admitted to Changi Hospital for virus contamination and a possibly lapse.

"Go for other men. I won't live long'" he told Alice repeatedly when he was hospitalized.

"You will live long. I insist." she replied stubbornly. Her eyes were flooded with tears but she contained it. Back home, she went online for solution to cure leukemia. She asked friends for doctor's referrals. She made herbal drink. She did everything but none worked. Feeling helpless, she visited him daily, just to be with him at the hospital ward.

Every single day was precious. When dawn came, she prayed it froze just for him to live a few more hours. Gradually, he used up the saving for his medical bills. He sold away his car with some spare cash for remaining treatment. Luck was not by his side. His conditions worsen day by day. He vomited every time he ate. He grew weaker and his voice got softer.

hospital bed

Regularly during visiting hours, Alice appeared even if it rained heavily. She fed him with fish porridge, chatted with him, till the visiting hour ended. They message each other late in the night, often with encouraging words and the gossip happening in office.

"Get me a pen and paper." John asked the nurse one night where all patients were sleeping. He wrote a few words and instructed the nurse to keep it until he died. "Only give it to Alice when I am gone."

Like any usual day, Alice visited him in the hospital, only to find an empty bed. "Where is John?" she alerted the nurse. A doctor came and told Alice. "He passed away at mid-night, after you left. He left you with a note. The patient has requested not to alert you."

The handwritten note said, "I never left you all my life, just watching you from above."

2 weeks later, she planted a kiss and hugged his tombstone. "Dear, I never left you too, watching you from below." She remained single for her life, just to believe she was already part of him from heaven.