She’s lying in bed again.
That’s all she does these days. That’s all she can do.
I muster up the strength to go into the room again and sit in the chair next to her bed.
“This is her chair,” I think to myself, remembering all the times I watched her sit in the chair and yell at the TV like the people could actually hear her. I smile at the thought and cling to the sweetness for a moment and allow myself the comfort it provides.
I’m pulled back and I find myself clinging to her hand.
I hear the constant droning of the oxygen machine – buzzing and pumping and quivering.
“We had a good run,” I think to myself and I force myself to focus on the fan above us because it’s easier to look at.
I remember all the time I spent with her over the summer and all the school I missed so I could stay with her. I remember the first time I met her and almost laugh out loud thinking about how she had danced around in those red high-heeled shoes that were three sizes too big. She’s my best friend.
I turn back and listen to her groan and mumble in pain, “I’m ready for bed.”
“Then go to sleep,” I tell her lightly. “I’ll stay here.”
But she continues, “I’m ready for bed … I’m ready … for bed … I’m ready …”
So I sit there with her and swab her lips – her gums. Her mouth has become a dry, cracked desert floor – desperate for moisture.
I remember all our runs to Savers and all those times we made pies together. I remember the time we made strawberry ice cream and how it started overflowing and how she grabbed a spoon and just started eating away as it was still spinning. I grab her hand again – afraid to let go.
Finally, her breathing slows and I match my breathing to hers.
It feels like we are one again.
Just the two of us again.
Just like old times.
“We had a good run …”