"You can’t leave me!" He was somewhere between a shout and a sob, and his voice cracked wildly. "You can’t! You can’t, because I love you! I was afraid to say it before, but I’m not now! I love you! You can’t leave me! Please, don’t leave me alone again!"
"I’ll be with you," the man whose hand he was holding whispered, tapping his own chest, just above his heart. "I’ll never leave you. You’re never going to be alone. I said that already, remember?"
A frantic nod was the response. “I remember,” he said “I remember.” Tears were flowing freely down his cheeks.
Fingers calloused from long years of work brushed the tears away. “Don’t cry. I’m so happy you’re here… God is calling me. I can’t keep Him waiting,” the monitor beside the hospital bed flat-lined and a calm peaceful breath left the lips of John Gallows; the last one he would ever breathe.
Timmothy Ridge cried freely as the doctor that had been standing idly by, watching the scene between the two, called the time of death.
John’s car had been hit head-on by a drunk driver and they both were rushed to Jordan Hospital’s ER, where Timmothy Ridge was an intern. He was on staff when John and his drunken assailant were rushed in. The driver of the other car walked away with a concussion and a fractured hand, but John was without hope.
At age 23, carpenter John Gallows died by the side of the only man he had ever really loved, 22-year-old Timmothy Ridge.
It took a very long time, but eventually, Timmothy recovered. He eventually got married. His name was Paul Jones. They adopted a little girl named Ariana whose parents had, coincidentally, also died in a drunk driving accident. She grew up happy. Timmothy loved his husband and daughter very, very much, but could never forget the first man he had ever loved.