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“I’m so sorry Mrs. Morales, but the series of tests conducted to your daughter show that Kathleen has serious heart disease with her left ventricle very weak and unable to pump properly. There is no way out except a heart transplant which is just prohibitive in cost and not feasible. I do not think she will live long. She must stop working and have absolute rest at home”, Dr. Fortun uttered, almost in a poignant whisper. “She may have been born with a weak heart, but this has manifested only at this late stage of her life,” the doctor further confirmed his findings.
Kathleen, a few months back, suddenly felt getting easily tired, suffered shortness of breath even after slight exertion in home or office. If she did strenuous work like chores at home for mom, she would start panting and trying hard to catch her breath as if she was drowning. She found it difficult to climb the stairs at the office to reach her desk on the 3rd floor as there was no facility of an elevator. She would need to rest for almost an hour in her desk before resuming work.
“You have changed quite a lot honey,” Fernan, her fiancé told her once, while taking a stroll in the beach. Of late, Fernan observed Kathleen to be very cold. She was no longer the bubbly woman Fernan had fallen in love with. She no longer wished to take the long walks in the beach as they often did earlier to watch the sunrise or sunset. “I think you no longer love me with the same intensity. I find you distant and cold. Do you have anyone else in view? You can be frank with me,” he asked.
“Silly, do not assume wrong things. I am just feeling weak and I am not able to strain myself much,” she casually answered back, but her voice sounded feeble instead of the usual buoyant and loving tone.
That night when her mom indicated the seriousness of her condition and asked her to send her resignation letter, Kathleen became aware of her real condition and the dim prospects of her becoming normal again. She wondered at the wisdom of keeping the information from Fernan. But he was such a chivalrous and loving man he would not leave her at any cost. She decided to take the bull by the horns. She knew that her friend Sophia was very friendly with Fernan and the latter too liked her. It was only after Kathleen came into the picture that Fernan gravitated to her.
Kathleen’s next visit to the doctor confirmed her worst fears when the doctor was frank in his assessment of her condition. It was then Kathleen decided that she must move away from Fernan for his own benefit and not keep him with her for her comfort. When Fernan rang up, she asked her mom to tell him that she did not want talk to him and request him not to bother her anymore. Fernan would not take a no answer easily. He repeatedly rang up and even called at the house but he was not allowed to contact her. Fernan sent many sms messages imploring her to meet him just once and how much he loved her. She turned her heart to stone as she deleted the messages with tears in her eyes. Fernan was heartbroken when her office told him she no longer worked with them. It was then he turned to Sophia for solace. This is the denouement that Kathleen wished for.
A few days later, her condition became serious when she started to gasp for breath. She was rushed to the hospital. The doctors decided to put her on ventilator. It was then she called her mom and dictated a message for Fernan.
“Honey, you might think I was rude and insensitive to you. The fact is otherwise. My love for you is unbounded. I was not myself knowing the seriousness of my health till I came to know a couple of months back. I had not many days to live. If I had told you the truth you would not have left me. Sophia is a good girl and loves you. I know you also liked her. Forgive me, my dear, by the time this text message reaches you, I may not be there anymore. Do not take me amiss. I love you and wish you well. Goodbye. Kathleen…..