Posted on August 1, 2015August 1, 2015 by Patricia Ann McNair8.1.2015 Journal Prompt Photo by Pedro Meyer August 1, 2015: She called him Baby. Like this:Like Loading... Related
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We’re old as Reece’s peanut butter cups, old as flappers and band aids. And we’re just waiting now. Keeping an eye on the clock or the calendar and watching time slip through the cracks in everything. And he says he don’t want to go without me and he don’t want me to be alone; at the same time he don’t want to be alone neither. He holds my hand, limp like he’s not really holding it, and he mutters under his breath.
The nurses here think we’re a couple and they say us good morning or good afternoon whenever they see us, and they say ‘Good morning you two lovebirds’ or ‘Good afternoon sweethearts’. And I let them think what they want to cos I can see it makes them a little happier in their day. Like us being old as traffic lights and Double Bubble and still being in love, well it sort of gives everyone hope – hope that what they got can last.
But it aint like that really. No, sir. Cos I know what he’s muttering under his spittle breath, see, and it aint prayers, not ‘less wishing he was nineteen again and not holding my hand but holding the hand of a girl called Amy that he met on a bus going nowhere, not ‘less that may be called a prayer.
Sometimes these days he don’t know who he is or where he is. Like all his thoughts is tiny flakes in a snowglobe and a child has shook that globe till everything’s spinning like crazy snow and it takes time for it to settle and when it does, well, it’s all messed up in his head. He thinks now is back then, and he don’t understand mirrors when he looks in them. And he don’t understand nothing.
And Amy, she was a girl he got talking to on a bus this one time and she was breathless beautiful – that’s what he’s muttering – and he was just sitting beside her and there was sparks, and music playing, and he went way past his stop so he could sit with her a little longer. He was with me then, even then, and this breathless Amy turned his head. I didn’t know that then and knowing it now I don’t know why he stayed with me.
And we sit our chair close together, and he holds my hand, holding it lightly, as light as letting go; but he don’t let go. And he mutters under his breath, replaying conversation he had with Amy on a bus way back. And I’m only just finding this out and I don’t know what I think about it, about him wanting to be with Amy at the end and feeling he has to stay with me.
See, he thinks like them nurses, that we are lovebirds and sweethearts, but he gets all confused and only yesterday he lost my name – cos there are cracks in everything. And he kissed me on the lips, his eyes closed and his kiss dry and soft as butterfly wings or moth. And he said he loved me, sure as sunsets, only he called me Amy when he said that.
So, when he says he don’t want to go wthout me, and he don’t want me to be alone, well, I don’t know if he does mean me or if he means her and if in his snow blown head he’s had a whole other life with a girl called Amy instead of the life he’s had with me.