Born in Oshogbo, Western Nigeria, Bode Asiyanbi was educated at Obafemi Awololwo University, Ile-Ife and Lancaster University where he holds a Masters degree in Creative Writing.He is a two-time winner of the BBC African Performance Playwriting Prize and worked with the BBC World Service Trust as a writer on its groundbreaking radio and television drama series, Story Story and Wetin Dey.His stage play ‘Shattered’ was performed at the 2013 British Council Lagos Theatre Festival and his short story, ‘The Diagnosis’ was a winning entry for the British Council Lagos Theatre Festival 2014. His poems also featured in the anthology of contemporary African poetry, ” A Thousand Voices Rising”. He describes himself as ‘a wandering troubadour from a long line of village weavers and palace bards; spinning colored yarns and singing out lost songs from rooftops’.
OF BLIND FACES, LOVE AND OTHER TERRIBLE THINGS
One of the confusing things about encountering death is the manner virtues get wrought into very terrible forms. Looking back now, I reckon the problem could be with the ductile manner of reality itself; as you slip down its greasy pole you begin to get a different grip on all the shit it had fed you with all your life. I remember it was the sepia image of Themis without the blindfold that I was struggling to get off my mind when I began hearing voices.
‘Just two more. Two more and you would’ve been too far gone…’
He had this unnerving Charlie Chaplin kind of smile. I frowned. He stood up to go. I asked him where I was. He didn’t tell me.
The room was white, so white I thought for a moment I was in heaven. It was not until he started speaking that I realized he was a man not any angel and I was not in any heaven. That was when I began to frown, and he kept saying ‘Just two. Just two more.’ I told him not to remind me. He apologized and left.
Drowsiness came again like swollen clouds, this time without the dark shadows. I had a long disjointed dream of flowers, broken chandeliers, sacks of money and sweaty election campaigns. I enjoyed the sleep. Man was made to sleep and dream of meaningless hogwash.
The clouds began to disperse. I didn’t open my eyes. Only one person had that voice in the world. I answered. She went silent. Then she began to cry and speak at the same time. I kept hearing ‘why, why, why’ which was strange to me because she knew why. We both do.
‘Who is that guy?’ I asked without opening my eyes. ‘The one who just left.’
She didn’t reply. I told her I had an idea but just wanted to confirm.
She told me. I guessed right. I smiled. But I stopped smiling when she added he came a day ago. My head now warps time. Interesting. She rested her head on my chest. Tears ran down my left nipple. I liked it but began to feel queasy when she wouldn’t stop. I tried to hold her. I couldn’t. I tried again. No way. I opened my eyes.
‘Can you remove this sheet?’
She sighed and did. They had strapped my hands to the bed. I looked at her. Blinked. I looked and looked. The eyes, the nose, the mouth, the dimples. I walked my nose through her perfume. I closed my eyes, replaying her voice in my head. Good. I got it.
‘Vicky, you guys tied me up. Common it’s not that bad.’
She said it was; the doctor said she needed to talk to me before they could remove the shackles. I nodded in understanding. I have become a very understanding man. She covered me with the white sheet again and rested her head on my chest. She had stopped crying.
‘Why did you do it?’
I didn’t answer. I started to count the white ceiling boards. I was on the seventeenth when she lifted her coiffured head from my chest.
‘They wanted to come with me…’
I didn’t ask who because I knew.
‘… but I told them the doctor said you should not receive visitors yet.’
‘Why didn’t you just tell them the truth.’
‘They should all fuck off.’
I imagined their bloated thieving faces. Bastards. She looked up at me. I turned my face away. ‘I am beyond their false pity. Fuck them.’
‘You are a christian Richard, you shouldn’t be using such words.’
Oh I forgot. I forgot I was still a christian. Christians should not say fuck. But I thought I stopped being one after God could not save me and I decided to save myself. Well…
I resumed counting the ceiling boards. Forty five. She stood up.
‘They are outside too. The…’
‘Taiye and Kenny…’
My hands turned damp. Sadness is an innately terrible thing. It has a way of making one feel like a castrated dog. I bit my dry lips. ‘Not now. Don’t bring them now.’
She nodded and stood to go.
‘Honey…’ I nodded at the shackles. She sat down again. They look more like belts though. But shackles sounds more forceful. Evokes more self pity if I thought I’d been shackled.
She was tight lipped. I nodded at them again. She sighed. This woman loves to sigh.
I rolled my eyes, ‘Common Vicky. That was just a moment of madness.’
‘The doctor want an assurance from me it won’t happen again. I want it from you. Promise.’
I nodded for her to come. She did. Closer I gestured. I held her as far as my shackles would let me and kissed her cold lips warm. She rested her head on my chest again. I stroked her hair.
‘It was just a moment of madness, loveliness. I promise.’
She began to cry again. Warm tears rolled down my chest. I didn’t breathe until she stood up and kissed my forehead. She believed me.
I felt bad. That was why I was so good at the election debates that they were all afraid of me. I tell them, I am nothing but a peddler of truth. Truth is clay, I am just the potter at the wheel.
I resumed counting the ceiling boards as she closed the door. She believed me. They always do.
Trust sometimes, is a terrible thing.
I rubbed my wrists as I stared at the poetry of the setting sun.
‘Why not the General Hospital?’
‘Too far. It was late. This was the closest.’
I nodded. I like it here. I could see the madness of Lagos from the balcony. Death defying commuter motorcycle riders, street kids hawking anything from the long Agege bread to cheap Chinese energy saving lamps and an itinerant drug peddler whistling a cranky ‘Oh when the saints go marching in’. I inhaled the thick odor of a stagnant gutter below. I stood from the plastic chair, leant on the railings and looked down. The drainage was overflowing with refuse and murky water. I inhaled again. I love Lagos. It’s a terrible place.
The door opened. A man came out. He seemed surprised. Maybe at not seeing me inside. He smiled.
‘You look better.’
I nodded. He smiled again.
‘Can we go back in so we…’
I whispered to my wife. ‘I told you I do not want any visitor.’
‘I am the doctor. This is my hospital. I came here yesterday. Remember?’
I looked at him again. Blankness.
‘I just came in to see how you were faring.’
Very young guy. I like him. Different from those geriatric doctors at the Government Hospital. I looked him in the eye. I knew where he was heading. ‘My good friend. Don’t bother about tests. I’m sure my wife told you. I’m tired of tests. I’ve taken like a million of them.’
‘I told your wife. I think I have an idea of what is wrong…’
‘I’m sure she told you I’ve been told far too many ideas.’
‘Ok I will not push it. I will wait until you are ready sir.’
Good. This guy should be my personal doctor. In fact I must remember to put up his name as my family physician. He left with a bow. I looked at my wife. She was not amused. ‘Why?’
‘You… want me to start those tests again?’
‘I think this guy knows what he is doing. He was trained in Europe. The Minister of Health recommended him.’
‘That bloody twerp.’
‘He is your friend.’
‘Was. Before he crossed to the opposition because of a Ministerial spot. Turncoat.’
‘You would have done the same.’
‘I’m not a selfish bastard like that…’
‘You are Richard.’
I stopped. That sounded like an insult. I stared at her. She didn’t flinch.
‘You just said that?’
She nodded, her pretty lips pouted in defiance.
I rubbed my hands together. I was angry. I turned my chair to her.
‘Why would you say that Victoria?’
‘The reason why you are here. The reason our children are with my parents. The reason you don’t want to see them. It all boils down to one word. Selfishness. The highest level of it Richard.’
Don’t I just love this woman. My fault. I married a fiery lawyer. Jesus Christ. Look at the way she twisted my words around my neck. I calmed the heat in my head. Patience Richard. Patience. Instead of exploding, I held her hand. Confirmation that I’m a changed man.
‘Vicky. Do you know what I have gone through. Do you even understand what I am going through now.’
‘You have me baby. You have me and the children. You have us. Why…’
She began to cry. I turned my face away.
‘Purpose. I have lost it. I’m lost in here.’ I touched my head.
‘We can find a way. We can see another pastor. Another doctor. You can damn politics. There must be a way. You have us Richard. Common.’
I have them. There must be a way. She just didn’t get it. What do I return to? I cannot even communicate with my colleagues, my constituency, my friends, my enemies… even my children. Pastors, doctors, counsellors and all shades of opportunists have turned me into their guinea pig. Purpose is the essence of life. And I’ve lost it. I believe. ‘George Sakpa. I muttered. George… ‘
‘Honey. Stop. Stop it.’
My nose flared.
‘He hit me. He did it on the floor of the House before the whole world. That bastard attacked me. And then all these started. I’m not superstitious but…’
‘Hatred won’t get us anywhere Richard.’
I bit my lips.
George Sakpa. Bastard. Thief. Criminal of a Governor. Ignoble actor in the biggest scam in the history of the nation. Of the whole world. Of civilization in fact. Subsidygate. Government subsidizes fuel imports; fuel imports hinge on criminality in a country touted as the sixth largest oil producer. Let’s leave that for now. Fictitious oil companies; companies that exists only on paper tenders forged for subsidy reimbursement. They are paid. Billions of Naira we are talking here. Governor George Sakpa had seventy. Sweet Jesus, seventy of those paper companies and they received well over two hundred billion Naira in subsidy funds which ended up in tax free accounts in Canary Island. I was inflamed. Look, I was once an investigative journalist with The Sun; my wife, an Oxford-trained lawyer. We dug and we found shit. I threw the shit in the face of his party members at the State Parliament. He romped in the next day, pulled out the House Mace and in the full glare of National TV brought it down on my clean shaven head.
I woke up in the hospital.
Hero? Wrong. National outrage? No. Sinful apathy? Yes. Only a few good men squirmed. Even some in my party said it served me right. Aproko. Parrot. He talks too much. They even branded me Snowden. See him. Mr. Self-righteous. Ehn ehn, Governor stole money. So what? Is it your money? Village square Parrot. Nigerian Snowden.
I only remember trying to protect my head. I stopped remembering on the third hit. I opened my eyes a day later to a pretty, dimpled cheek woman by my bed. My existence tilted.
‘Are you a doctor?’
Her mouth fell open. No words.
I repeated myself.
She began to sniff back tears. A nurse came around and held her. I told the nurse I did nothing. I just asked who she was.
I looked at her. No. I looked again. Wrong. My wife? Victoria? I have a wife. Yes. Victoria. But…
She left in tears. Why was she crying. Maybe I now look so bad or deformed. Maybe… I ran to the ward mirror? I saw a strange guy. I fled back to bed and slept away the bad dream. I woke and waited for my wife to come. My real wife. They brought her in. The same woman. I got angry.
‘What the hell is going on…’
‘Richard.’ She said again near tears.
I closed my eyes. I know that voice. That is Vicky’s voice. But not her face. Okay good. Let me compare it with my wife’s face. Blankness. Of my wife’s face, I honestly had no idea. She brought a family picture. Strange family. Strange picture. I hope someone was not setting me up. The state machinery was big enough and corrupt enough to do that. She suggested I look in the mirror and compare the picture with my image. I did. Blankness. Okay hold. Mustache. Glasses; matched with the mirror’s. Good, then her; dimples. Check. Voice. Check. Perfume. Check. Her name. Vicky. She is my wife. I sighed. No two people have got all those, with that singsong voice. She is. The problem could only be in my head. And it was.
Memory loss. No. I remembered everything she talked about. How we met in England. How we got married. How I left The Sun to join politics. How I became the minority leader at the House of Representatives. I remembered perfectly. But faces, hell no.
The doctors got more confused. My head was scanned, rescanned and over scanned. No concrete diagnosis. I got well; I meant my swollen head got patched up. No more throbbing. I attempted a return to work. I couldn’t recognize a single face. Even George Sakpa until I was told. His face was all over the news. Not for his tomahawk attack on my head though. The Cessna plane he was piloting to an Owambe party in Abuja nosedived into the River Niger. Too late to face the attempted murder charge Vicky slammed him with. Four months on they are still searching for the plane. Karma. But now I guess he took my head with him.
The Almighty hand-picked some men who he relates with; men who can hear and talk to him like I talk with my children. So we the poor unfavoured ones hand over the reins of our lives, our thoughts, our trust and a slice of bank accounts to such gifted and favored men who are beyond greed and lust. Men who do not have my kind of blood in their veins. I once believed in such crap. I once did. Stupidity is a terrible form of belief. Believe me.
‘It’s him. He hit you with an enchanted weapon.’ The Pastor of my wife’s church was deadpan.
‘I know. What I want is the solution.’
‘Prayer. Son. Prayer.’
I prayed, we prayed. My mother prayed till she went hoarse. My father prayed like the drunk he was. Vicky prayed like she was attacking a pesky counsel. I fasted till I began to see visions. I drank anointing oil like cognac. I even fell in delirium during a deliverance session by one Prophet my party people took me to in Eti-Osa. I opened my eyes to behold my miracle. No way. They said my faith was too weak; it was the lack of miracle that killed my faith. Bloody hell. Jesus woke Lazarus. The dead do not have faith. So I do not need faith to be healed. Scammers. Vicky said I was just being angry. Well I had the right to. Only the subject of my anger was dead below the River Niger. George Sakpa. Damn.
Doctors. Those confused eternally half-baked quacks. They dealt with my head. Scanned and rescanned the shit out of the poor thing. MRI scans. CT scans. Lord Jesus. And Journalists. My former newspaper even said I had dementia. I just shook my head. My seat in parliament was declared vacant and on the day my party buddy, Wisdom Lar won the bye-elections and took my place without even a call to me at home where I was holed up in my room playing sudoku, I loped to the chemist, bought a vial of diazepam, got home, took my bath and downed it. Damn everyone.
Frankly, I never imagined I could damn myself in such a manner because of my morbid fear of ending up in hell but the moment I lost my head, a certain grave numbness came with it; like I was living in slo-mo where of heaven, hell, eternity or of whatever was behind that mortal curtain, I just didn’t give a damn. Reality is a farce; a terrible joke.
I sat up on the bed. I wondered how long she had been there. She had the purple ribbon in her hair.
‘I brought the money.’
She handed me a bag. I looked in. Pulled out a pack of a thousand Naira notes and handed it to her. She jumped back.
‘Take my dear. You are smart. Go back to school.’
She clasped her hands to her chest. Pretty girl.
‘Common take it.’
She did and curtseyed. ‘Sir. Only God can repay…’
‘Rita. Go back to work. Oh wait. You’ll come tomorrow.’ I gave her a note. ‘I need you to buy this for me.’
She nodded and left. I felt good. Very good in fact. I inhaled deeply with eyes closed. We call it the opium of the privileged. Charity is a terrible thing
She was my room cleaner. The day after my resurrection I was lying down reading a western. I sat up when she entered. I’ve got an eye for diamonds even in raw states.
‘You didn’t greet me.’
‘Didn’t know you were awake sir.’ She looked like one of my many nieces.
‘Do you know me?’
I sat up and smiled. ‘Who am I? Tell me…’
She leant on her mop, looked at me and looked back down.
‘Former Minority Leader sir.’
I clapped. ‘Good girl. So you follow politics.’
‘It’s important I do sir.’
‘Smart. You should be in school.’ She smiled.
‘What is your name?’
‘Good Rita. What are they saying about me. I mean in the news. Everywhere.’
She paused then put the mop in the bucket.
I urged her on.
‘They said you are…’
She made a sign with her hands. I urged her on with both hands.
I smiled. That assured her.
‘…that you no longer see well. That you’ve lost your memory. And you tried to kill yourself.’
‘Hmmm. Interesting. Well. I’m not mad sweetheart. ‘
We got talking. She sat on my bed. Lively girl. She was a Manchester United fan like me. We talked about Beckham, Ronaldo, Cantona, Fergie. Derbies. Rooney’s overhead kick. Sweet Jesus. Interesting girl. She left school when her dad was retrenched by the government. She wanted to be a doctor.
‘You will. Maybe you will be the one to discover what is wrong with me.’
She smiled. ‘Nothing is wrong with you sir.’
That day before she left, I wrote a check in her name to help me cash. I told her to always wear the purple ribbon when coming. I needed it to recognize her from the strange faces around. She didn’t run away with my money. She came back. Good girl.
As she mopped she told me about the happenings in the state house. A new governor had been sworn in. I could only shake my head in self pity. They have closed the chapter on me. Fickle world. Bastards.
When I told Vicky about her. She gave me the evil eye.
‘You have started again.’
‘Good thing you will not be able to tell them apart.’ She said.
Confession. I used to womanize. Used to. Vicky cured me when we got married. Now I just make friends with them. Flirting Vicky calls it.
‘Can’t I be nice to a woman and you see it just in that light?’
She smiled and removed a dry mucus from my nose.
‘Doctor Joe said he has something important to tell you.’
‘Joe. Is that his name. Who bears Joe nowadays. Something important. Why didn’t he just tell me. Why tell you?’
‘He wanted to be sure.’
‘That I’m not mad?’
‘Richard!’ Her eyes went misty.
‘Sorry love…was just kidding’, I put a hand on her shoulder. ‘How are you? ‘
She was quiet. She had bags under her eyes.
‘How are the children?’
‘They want to see you.’
‘Soon. Soon. They will.’
I didn’t want to hold her. I know she would start to cry. I started to count the ceiling boards again until I began to dream of purple ribbons, my wife’s sunken dimples and George Sakpa.
For no sane reason I was humming a Streisand ballad the next morning when she came in with a bag. I stopped midway and smiled. She had the purple ribbon in her hair. Rita.
‘Thanks love. Just drop it on the table. ‘
‘Would that be all sir.’
‘Yes sweet. That will be all.’
She left. I jumped off the bed. Tore open the plastic wrappings. I breathed in. A knock at the door. I threw everything inside my briefcase, jumped back on the bed and covered myself up as the door opened. Classic Bond.
A man with stethoscope. Ok the doctor I’m sure. And a woman. Pretty. Great shape too. Red dress. Power dresser. They sat down. I didn’t sit up. He coughed. I raised an eyebrow.
‘Ex-Honorable,’ I corrected.
He apologized. He turned to the woman. The woman turned to me.
‘Richard. The doctor has got some…’
I sat up. Looked. Squinted. That voice.
Sorry… Who are you…?
The world collapsed on her face. It was her turn to turn to the doctor for support. He looked to be thinking. She sat on my bed.
‘Richard. It’s Victoria. Vicky.’
I looked again. Dimples. Voice. Perfume. I buried my head in the pillow in frustration.
‘Why did you change your hair. Why?’
She looked at the doctor then back at me.
‘I am sorry. ‘
She looked down. ‘I will just cut the hair and keep it like that. I will just cut it.’ She sniffed.
She had the most elegant hair in the world. Natural. All the way to her back.
I paused. ‘I’m sorry.’
‘It’s okay.’ She kissed my forehead. I felt lame. ‘Dr Joe just said you will not recognize me… because of the hair.’
I turned to him. ‘How did you know that?’
He cleared his throat.
‘Sir. It is not…There is no hex on you. It is a rare medical condition…’
I chuckled. ‘One no one has been able to diagnose.’
He had a stack of papers. Health Review. Mayo Clinic. The Atlantic.
‘It is called Prosopagnosia…’
I checked. ‘Propo…pa what?’
He repeated the word.
‘What the hell is…’
‘… or face blindness. A disorder of face perception. Not limited to face though. Objects too and…’
‘Wait. Wait. Take it slowly.’
He began again. I stopped him, grabbed the papers from him and broke the Guinness World Record for reading speed. Sweat broke out on my forehead.
The words twisted around my head. Damn.
“…some patients’ impairment influences only the recognition of faces; others find their deficit extends to the recognition of other objects such as cars and animals….They find it difficult to judge age, gender, colors…”
Damn. Damn. Then what the freaking hell remained of sanity.
My eyes froze. Finger on a line. I pushed the papers at Vicky. “…though researchers have sought cures, no therapies have demonstrated lasting improvements…”
‘I am finished.’
‘Honey no. It is…’
The Doctor jumped in. ‘Sir, it can be managed.’
I looked at him as I would a stray dog. ‘I would be managed… For the rest of my life?’ My head twirled. I grabbed the papers back.
‘…Acquired prosopagnosia, when the patient suffers brain damage from an injury or stroke is better known because patients have a clear sense of their impairment and know what they were like before they suffered the brain injury…’
I jumped up. ‘Bastard. Bastard. I told you. I told you. George Sakpa. He freaking hit me.
‘Sir I think we should conclude after the tests not…’
‘Do you believe in spiritual manipulations through the physical?’
‘No. I can’t believe what I cannot see.’
‘Do you believe in gravity?’
He paused like a trapped rat.
‘Pope Urban VIII didn’t believe Galileo, it never stopped the earth from revolving around the sun.’
He went silent. Vicky looked like a tired sunflower. Worn. Wilted. Tired.
‘That son of a dog took the mace to his village the night before the attack. To do what. He put a freaking hex on it and hit me with it. You see things and commit to memory. I see and I throw into the trash can.’
‘You do not have to believe those pastors and…’
‘Vicky. He says your pastor is a liar.’
‘I never said that sir. But this is clearly a medical condition. It is…’
‘Okay I agree. At least out of all the incompetent doctors and fraudulent pastors who have had my head on their platter, you gave this madness a face. Okay it is medical not a hex, how does that solve this problem?’ I asked, touching my head. They looked at each other.
I stood up and began to pack.
I put a hand on her shoulder.
‘Honey, I just want to go home.’
The degeneration was steady, fascinating at a point even. Faces. Objects. Colors. It’s official. I now have a black and white TV vision. The spiritual manipulation line was a ruse though. A desultory ploy to throw the Smart Alec doctor off scent.
I perfected the decision while we made love two days after I left the hospital. She came with tears. I did with bitterness. Morbid. I would later conclude it was cowardice which I now think is a terrible thing.
I’d banned everyone from my house. Her parents. Mine. Friends. Enemies. Turncoats. Doctors. Pastors. Didn’t want to see anyone else aside Vicky. Just solitude and books. Couldn’t watch TV or movies. Can’t remember the faces of characters so I stick with writing and reading. Toni Morrison. Marquez. Soyinka. Rumi. I came across the word of the moment in one of them. One Vicky cannot stop saying. Selfishness. Don’t be selfish Richard.
I’ve been reading a bit about selfishness. The interesting thing about selfishness is that the selfish person has got no idea that he is selfish. No idea at all. Vicky believes with a religious conviction that I am selfish because I decided I could not cope with being a stranger in a world that went blank before my very eyes. She wants me to wait on hope until reality finally slips out of my head. I say she is selfish. The reason. She only wants to keep me here for her sake. So she hopes and dream of my recovery in the name of love. Simple logic. Wanting me trapped in a fading world in the name of love is selfishness. Conclusion. Love is the world’s biggest tool of blackmail. No brainer.
Did I tell you Vicky had turned herself into a self-made prosopagnosia research fellow? That’s all she now reads. It only makes me feel like a guinea pig.
‘Honey. Look. Oliver Sacks. Distinguished medical scientist. Remember the Dragons Den guy. Brad Pitt too. They all got it. It’s not the end of life.’
‘Which of them got it in the middle of their sterling career?’
She looked up at me. ‘Richard stop doing this.’
Yesterday I said I wanted to help in her research. I told her mine is a new strain; Richard’s Degenerative Prosopagnosia. RDP. It started with faces. Then objects. Then colors. No one has got that in the world. I will donate my brain to Harvard prosopagnosia research center. She started to cry.
I have never stopped asking myself why. Why would Vicky ever do such a thing. There is always a primal first reaction; probably that was it. That feeling of smashing the head of someone who just insulted you, a feral quip in response to your boss’s chiding, the urge to drive on after knocking down a pedestrian. That moment when the animal makes snap decisions before reason knocks it out. For me, that moment never passed from the moment I lost my head. Just the way it never passes for the one lost in love or the one who has the gullible reins of religious faith around neck or the one who believes in the sincerity of the politician and the innocence of the free market.
Vicky’s Neanderthal moment came two days after I discharged myself from the hospital. I waited for her to leave for the salon as I rolled a lost poem in my head. She was going to cut her hair. Schoolgirl style. I made coffee. Black and bitter. Cutting my nails and sipping, I read my scrawled rambling in the notebook I brought from the hospital. I stupidly thought I could write a story about my condition. Like a kind of diary. I think I failed. I keep tangling up tenses. Pathetic.
Opening my briefcase, I remember Rita. Pretty girl. I unstopped the flacon. I smiled. Just two more. That should be the most unwitting and terminally definitive prescription made by any doctor. I set them on the glass table with a glass of water. I slotted in Enya and sat down. Only time. Good music. I looked at my watch.
I didn’t know she was back. She came in through the kitchen door. She had been watching me, I reckon for I only got as far as the glass of water when I felt her hand on my wrist, the other swept the vial and flacon off the table. I didn’t struggle. I turned and how can I ever forget those misty eyes and the terminal pain in that fleeting silence. She didn’t give me any time to recover. She downed the contents in one move. I rushed at her. I only got the empty glass of water. She sat on the couch and began to cry. I couldn’t choke it out of her. I rang for an ambulance screaming and crying like a lunatic.
The doctor didn’t say a word to me. He had his head against the wall. Incensed. Rightly. He righted the intravenous drip passed into her limp arm. She looked so peaceful. I threw the pen under the bed. A nurse asked what I was writing. I said nothing. I closed the book and dropped my head, tears started to fall on the cover.
Selfishness is a terrible thing. Love too.