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‘Nothing’s lost forever. In this world, there’s a kind of painful progress. Longing for what we’ve left behind, and dreaming ahead.’

  Bright white lights, the kind that usually come with images of angles and a sense of God about them, blind my view but I already know what lies on the hospital bed in front of me. I feel small, insignificant and very lost.
  She speaks but I can’t hear. The words get through though. She’s telling me to be strong and to look after my younger sister, Harry, to tell her that she loved her and that she was special. To tell my dad that he should look for happiness after she was gone and that she loved him more that words could say. And finally that she wished I hadn’t found out this way, but to understand with certainty that she loved me as she loved her own flesh and blood and that she was glad that it was me with her in her last moments.
  Holding her hand I cried. Doubled over in agony across the bed. Confusion was setting in and things were becoming more distorted and blurred as the moments went by.
 

‘I love you mum, forever’ tears made my words unrecognizable. Of course she had understood what I had said; mum had a knack for doing that, making sense out of the things that in my life made no sense.
  ‘I love you too Christie, you were my miracle.’ And she was gone.
  I have no idea how long I laid there, I know that when I finally did move I had drained my body of all energy and collapsed into an ungraceful heap on the floor. Strong hands lifted my frail body off the ground and carried me into the waiting area. The silhouette left for awhile and returned with coffee which I sipped helplessly, not tasting a mouthful. Gently being lead out of the hospital (a place where people are meant to be treated, get better and leave, people shouldn’t enter through the doors and never come back out again, lost to the walls within) my knees gave way and again I was lifted in to the comfort of the familiar car.
  Sleep used to be my retreat, my place of rest. Now it was filled of dark images and a sense of misplaced trust and not belonging. I felt mislaid in this world; I seemed to no longer know my place.
  I was tenderly shook back into the world of the awake, the place that was harsh and far too intense. I reluctantly opened my swollen eyes, and gazed up at the support sitting beside me. He looked very concerned and troubled. He was the one that understood what I had been though to day, witnessed what had happened, all of it, every little detail. Suddenly I couldn’t look into his eyes anymore, he was too close, he knew too much. I needed to be alone.
  I clambered out of the car with the help of Jamie. He led me up the garden path and reached for the key in my pocket. Jamie stood and stared intently at me, as if trying to figure something out, looking for something beneath the surface. He wouldn’t find it. I was a door slamming shut, locked and lost in a hall full of identical doors. He wouldn’t find me for a very long time.
  ‘I called your dad; he said he was getting the next flight back. He’ll be here in the next few hours. Come on in we go.’ His soothing voice landed on deaf ears. I was numb.
  He settled me on the soft cream sofa. As I leaned backwards in to a laying position Jamie started to move closer as if to kiss me, abruptly I sat back up again. A feeling of complete panic overcame me.
  ‘Umm . . . thanks for looking after me and driving me to the hos. . .’ my voice broke and the tears streamed down my face. ‘I can’t do this now. Sorry.’ He again went to kiss me this time I pushed him away, the hurt in his eyes only made my need to be alone more desperate. ‘I need to be alone.’
  ‘Ok I’ll leave, but if you need anything call, and I’ll come,’ he was wounded from being pushed away but right now I couldn’t deal with that. My mum had just died and I wasn’t who I thought I was. That was more important right now. Nodding at him I laid back down on the couch and closed my eyes. I felt him move closer, his hand on mine and his lips on my forehead. I sobbed and he removed his lips and wrapped his arms around me and laid next to me.
  Eventually I fell asleep, in was nothing like the sleep at the hospital it was a pit of darkness and total escape. When I woke Jamie was gone and the silence engulfed me into its lair.
*

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