Tuesday, May 13, 2014


            “Are you sure,” she asked.
            “Totally sure. The pain is unbearable,” he replied.

            Darrin rubbed his temples. His eyes were teary. The noise from the street outside the hospital window was constant. Roaring traffic, ambulances, fire trucks, police cars, radios blaring, children screaming in the park, birds chirping, bellowed through Darrin’s small room.

            “What can I do,” she asked.
            “Just leave me alone,” he said.

            Mary sighed and rolled her eyes. She looked at her fingers and noticed how dry her skin was. She started picking at the edges of her index finger. She wondered how her fingers could get so dry. It was probably from the dishes. She thought she might have to change dishwashing liquid. Something that didn’t dry her out so much.

            “I just can’t stand it anymore,” said Darrin.

            He flopped on his bed and buried his face in a plush pillow. His hospital gown flopped open exposing his old, used butt to the room. Mary stood from her chair and gently closed the flap over his backside.

            “I know dear. I know,” she said softly.

            Mary pat him on the back as Darrin started to sob. She felt the roughness of the hospital gown against her dry fingers. She wished she’d brought some lotion. Darrin took a deep breath and then seemed to fall asleep. She kept rubbing his back until she was sure he was quieted. She leaned over him and kissed him on the back of his head. She turned from the bed, took her coat from the visitors chair and walked to the door.

            “I’m sorry,” mumbled Darrin through his pillow.
            “I know, it’s okay dear. It’s okay,” said Mary.

            Mary put her coat on and stepped into the hospital hallway.  The door closed sharply behind her. She felt for her wedding ring on her finger and remembered the day Darrin and she picked it out. A cold day in London 45 years ago. She was young and sexy then and could have had any man she wanted but she’d chosen Darrin even though his future was uncertain. She was taken in by his boyish smile and silly charm.

            She cleared her throat and looked at her aging reflection in the window across from Darrin’s hospital room. She missed her sexy legs. They drove Darrin wild. Now he was a blubbering idiot and she felt abandoned.

            A young nurse walked by and gave Mary the slightest hint of an acknowledging smile. Mary hated her and all her potential. Young miss thing.  She stiffened her back and started walking toward the exit. Her walk was slower now, far too slow for Mary’s taste but it was as fast as she could go these days. She despised it. She never wanted to be an old crone but now she was and there wasn’t a thing she could do about it.

            She looked back toward Darrin’s room and wondered if he even knew that she had come to visit him. She sighed and remembered that she had to go to the store to buy more toilet paper and sugar. She slightly chuckled to herself.

            “Toilet paper and Sugar, how odd,” she said to herself with a smirk.

             She stepped out to the parking lot toward her old car.

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