I laid there on the bed stroking Hana’s sleeping form. My eye was sore from crying all day, not something I did unless I was in extreme pain. I was in extreme pain today. More than I ever thought possible. When the doctor said Hana had cancer, I never knew that kind of pain, nor did I ever want to live that kind of pain. What the hell was I going to do? How could this happened? Why did this have to happen? We were supposed to grow old—really old—together and die well into our hundreds, or at least that was my goal. We were to die together though.
“Go to sleep, Parker,” Hana mumbled and rolled over.
“I can’t,” and shit if my voice kept breaking every time I spoke to her. I needed to be strong for her. I needed her to know I could handle this when there was no way I was going to survive this. If I showed her my fear, my pain, she wouldn’t survive me. I was afraid of losing Hana. I started to cry and kiss her shoulder. I buried my face in the side of her neck.
She patted my naked leg,“I’ll be here in the morning. Sleep. Please.”
“But you’re so gorgeous,” I whisper. Flirting with Hana was something I was good at, and it was something I could distract my painful thoughts with. “How can I sleep with you looking so beautiful? You’re a distraction, Miss Moneypenny.”
“Flattery will get you nowhere, but don’t stop trying1,” Hana quoted a famous and popular line Moneypenny said in many James Bond films.
I chuckled and turned her over. I climbed over her body and smiled. If she was awake enough to quote Bond to me, she was more that awake to do other things. I gave her my most charming smiles. “Oh Moneypenny, how beautiful you are. Do you know how much I love you? How I spent years pining away and lost without you? What am I ever going to do without you?” I lowered my mouth onto hers, and kissed her. What was I going to do without her?
“That tongue isn’t going to work, Parker. I’m tired. Exhausted.”
“Horny?” I asked with a smile.
“Hardly. Go to bed. Sleep.” She smacked my real arm and pushed me off of her.
I rolled off of her and chuckled. I spooned against her and gave her a kiss on the back of her head. I closed my eye, and added one more kiss to her back. “Goodnight, Hana.”
One day gone, but how many to come?
“Hana! What the hell are you doing?” She turned with scissors in one hand and a cut off pony tail in the other. My mouth dropped. No! I took a few steps forward and put my hand through the cut off hair. I wanted to cry. Her hair, her beautiful hair. “Hana, why?”
“Parker, I start chemo tomorrow, I don’t want to slowly lose my hair. Anna and Penny suggested that if I cut it and send it out, I can have a wig made. It might not be as long, but at least I won’t have to choose from some hideous hair styles that are fake.”
Okay, so that makes sense, but her hair. My favorite part of her body—well I love her entire body— but her hair. She never allowed me to touch her hair until after we married the first time. I fell in love with it so much that I had to practically beg her to not hide it.
She handed me an electric razor, “Can you?”
My eye widened. Now? She wants me to shave her head now, before she even starts a round of chemo? I knew going in she would be losing her hair, but to shave it off!?! I shook my head, no way was I going to shave her head. I couldn’t do it. Her hair was something I cherished.
“Parker, please,” she begged.
“Hana, no. I’m not going to shave the rest of your gorgeous hair off.”
“Parker, I’m asking you to help me. Do you really want to watch as clumps fall out at a time? Just shave it.”
“No. I’m not doing it, Hana.”
“No.” Her eyes narrowed and she took a step closer to me. Crap. I backed up, but stood my ground. I wasn’t going to do this to her. If she wanted it gone, she could shave it herself while I curl up in a ball. Why did she have to do this to herself? Fucking cancer was taking my wife from me, why did it need her hair too? “I’m not shaving your head. I refuse to do that.” I said with zero conviction. My voice shook. I had to hold on. Be strong.
“Parker, I’m asking you nicely, please shave my head so I don’t have to.” She didn’t back down, and my hand turned on the stupid razor. Fucking cancer. She turned and got on her knees, and I slowly shaved her head bare. I even took my regular razor and gave her a close shave. Bald. My Hana was now bald. She stood and kissed me before walking out of the room. She didn’t even check the mirror. I don’t blame her, it’d be like me staring in the mirror without my patch, and I never did that.
I followed her out of the bathroom. She headed for our walk-in lounge-room-thing where we kept our dresser, a TV, and a couch. It was originally a walk-in closet that we remodeled. She grabbed a silk head wrap and wrapped her bald head like she used to wear before we married. She turned and smiled, “How do I look?”
“Like the day I met you,” I teared up. “Beautiful, sexy, the only woman I could ever look at.”
“You’re wicked tongue,” she blushed. “Thank you. I know that was hard for you.”
No shit. I did not like this. I wanted her hair back, but this look still got to me. It was as if we were sent back in time when we were fourteen. Yes, we were way into our seventies, but she still reminded me of the young Egyptian woman I wanted to be with for the rest of my life. Funny, how things worked out. Our souls kept crossing each others paths, and finally we managed to stay together for over twenty years. I wanted more time—and if that made me selfish, I didn’t care. She was my Hana.
“I’m sorry this is so hard for you.” She said to me.
“I’m sorry, too. You sure you want to fight this?” I asked. I knew that was a stupid question. Hana was a fighter. She was strong, brave, and more importantly she fought for everything, and never gave up. I grinned, “Stupid question. You’re Hana, of course you want to fight.”
“Just until I get my chance to say goodbye to everyone, Park.”
I took a step back and fought the urge not to get angry, or upset. Why did she only want to fight for so long? She needed to fight longer, harder. I wasn’t going to let her give up. I couldn’t. Giving up, meant less time, and that was not an option.
“You have to fight, Hana. You can’t do this to me,” I screamed at last. “I can’t fucking live without you!”
“I am fighting,” she screamed back.
“Just until you say goodbye? What the fuck does that even mean? Why say goodbye? Fucking fight this, beat it, and give me more time with you!”
“Parker, you and I both know this isn’t something we can fix.”
“We need to try. Please,” I begged. “Please fight this for me.”
“I am. I’m fighting this for you. Don’t you think I know how badly this is going to affect you? Your my Delta Nine, my James Bond, my…Parker.” She cried. I cried. “I have always fought for you.”
I ran up to her and crushed her in a heated kiss. My tears mixed with hers and both sets of tears fell into our mouths as we kissed. I pushed her up against the wall. I couldn’t lose this. I couldn’t lose her. She was the one that kept me going for twenty years when I was alone, miserable, and a killing machine. Knowing she was somewhere safe, kept me going all those years. If she had died, I would have ended my life—and now she was dying and I knew it wouldn’t take much for me to end my own life.
I had a gun. I had a bullet hidden in a silk pouch under my underwear. It was the bullet that was in the chamber the one night I thought about ending it all, and I saved it. I often would stare at it when I thought about ending it. I stopped looking at it the day I found Hana. It was the bullet I knew that would end my life one day—and that day was going to be soon. Because, there was no way I could live my life without my Moneypenny.
1. Connery, S. (Actor). (1962). Dr. No. [DVD]