The sound of a pained and exhausted inhale rang in his ears and he closed his eyes. The male nurse in the room lowered his face and stepped back, disappearing behind the opposite cloth barrier.
“Eu . . . gene . . . ?” a weak voice muttered.
He toppled forward, his face pressing against the speckled linoleum tiles on the floor, gasping for air in insufficient quantities.
“Eu . . .” the voice trailed off, being replaced by the sound of the respirator; the pump exhaled into her again, “gene . . . ?”
He squirmed and writhed about on the floor, wailing; “We were supposed to have another year!” he shouted, twisting onto his back to stare at the ceiling, “A blasted year! Not two hours!”
The nurse knelt beside him and put a hand on his shoulder, somehow helping him regain his composure. Agonizingly, he rose to his feet and straightened his face.
“Eu—” the voice was cut off and sent into a fit of coughing and wheezing, “Eugene?”
The constitution of his face faltered momentarily, but was quickly reaffirmed. He took a long step forward and into her view. She never turned to focus on him.
“Terr?” he beckoned quietly.
Her face turned slightly in his direction and he saw her once-brown irises, now coated in a silver film, flutter back and forth, searching for him, “Gene?” she whispered back.
He turned to the trash bin and fell to his knees, emptying the contents of his stomach. He began slamming his forehead into the cabinet. The nurse urged him to stop, but didn't force him to until a trickle of blood began to stream down from his hairline.
He shoved her back and stood again, taking his wife's hand in his own, fingering her ring, and pulling it to his lips. He pressed a couple fingers to her temple and caressed the height of her face, down to her jaw.