“Where am I? Who are you? Where is she?” Quick give him the anesthesia, we’ve got to calm him down. “Ah aah …………” Get the woman in the ICU hurry up fellas, we have lives at stake.We were a match made in heaven perhaps heaven on earth. We were dating for 2 years. We knew each other since high school, only 2 years back I built courage went upto him. The All star Ball game, Busch Stadium; Barack Obama threw the first pitch. I still remember as it was yesterday. I bought 2 tickets for the ball game in the box. David Wright was struck out, I stood up to her, took out the ring and said “It needs 3 strikes to get out. It took only One for you to strike me out. I love you, will you marry me”, she was in tears and said yes. That yes, that one yes made my life. My joy knew no bounds. We booked a trip to the Everglades for our honey moon.
It was sunny morning in the everglades, we teed off to the swamps just by the river to watch the alligators. It was and still is a big time alligator territory one wrong move, you wouldn’t return in one piece. It was mid- day, that was when the Alligators were least active, so we went off to check other wildlife.
As we were walking through the swamps, Claire felt a bite. I found a snake, I took a look at the stripes and it were red and black. The saying was lingering in my mind “Red and yellow kill a fellow; red and black friend jack” in our case friend of Mike and Claire. I picked the Scarlet King and showed it to Claire, like the bravest man in the world. I knew it had no venom in it.
The sun was setting, that’s when i realized we were heading to the east and the dry land was to the west. Everglades was a very spooky place and nights were even spookier. So we decided to camp there for the night. Unfortunately we lost everything while watching the gators. All we had was a knife, my cigarette lighter and some water. We had to eat something. Fortunately or unfortunately that something means frogs which are in abundance and are not poisonous. I gathered some dead barks, leaves and I also found a tin. I carved the stick and went to hunt the frogs. Claire was looking seemingly in discomfort as the scarlet king had bitten her. Though it wasn’t poisonous the wound with the cocktail of mud is a recipe for disaster, hence she couldn’t walk properly. So i used the only available clean water to clean her wound. We then barbecued the frogs and ate them at one go. There is only one word to describe it, pathetic with a capital P. That night went on as we cuddled each other watching the canopy and we feeling each other’s breathe.
…………Increase the oxygen his breathe is slowing down, get a new one right away. Pulse is slowin down, hurry up fellas. Aye aye doc.“It was a new dawn, a new day. We started our journey to the west. The Swamp was so unforgiving and was sapping every bit of the fluid in our body. To make it worse the sword grass were wearing and tearing us down. We took our stick held it horizontally and navigated through the grass. Finally after hours of struggle we made it to Seminoles territory. We could eat the bitter yet life saving oranges grown by them. Thank God! Seminoles lived here.
Flo-rida’s “you spin my head right round” was what i was humming. The reason was, here i am searching round and round for frogs in Florida, how ironical. Suddenly Lady Luck smiled on us, I found a gopher tortoise, Jackpot! Gopher tortoise with lime juice over it Yummy! I thought i would never say this even in weirdest of my dreams. Claire suggested steaming the tortoise with its shell in the fire. To be honest it tasted alright. I filtered the water through my T shirt into the tin we found, boiled and filled our bottles. We ate the tortoise for dinner, pinch me. Without wasting a second she pinched me, sheesh! If only she had shown this swiftness we would have been home now.
We took an early start, the next day and reached near the canal; adjacent to it were a road and our way out of there. It seemed barely a mile from there. We were walking through the swamp waters, that’s when i found myself in a sink hole. The more you struggle the more you get into it. I was perturbed and my heart was beating fast.
……………… The heart beat is slowing down charge it and give him a shock, one more and one more.Claire was terrified and was in no position to help me. Her leg was badly injured; I don’t know how she managed to walk. She had heavy fever thanks to the mosquitoes, swamp water and tortoise she ate. She was lying down and telling to me go with the flow and we can make it. She told me to lean on my chest, pull myself up and monkey crawl out of there. That’s where my survival instinct kicked on, I came out of the hole with whole of my pants and half of my T-shirt covered in mud. I carried Claire with the muddy pants and reached near the canal and then lights off i had nothing left in me and i fainted.
……………. Doc he is opening his eyes. Where am i? Son you’re in the hospital we found you and the other woman nearby the canal. Where is she?“I am sorry to say this, she is no more. She had succumbed to dengue” said the doctor. My whole world went crashing down after hearing the doc say that. She meant a lot in my life. Why us? Why? Life is such a bitch.There were so many beaches in Florida, why a swamp? But then honey moons never last forever. In our case, it ended in our ‘so called honey moon’.
After a few weeks i was up and kicking out of the hospital. I started my vehicle and headed towards the Everglades hearing “The Backstreet Boys”
“never gone, never far, in my heart is where you are, always close, every day, every step along the way”
How meaningful can a song be to me than this one? Everglades here i come to pay tribute to the love of my life.
P.S: Put off by the sad ending you see the problem with true love is, “True love never has happy endings, because true love never ends”