Yesterday, I was just like you. Pretty much. I thought that girl was cute, thought she had a wonderful smile, that her smile lit up the room that she took my breath away. That there were endless possibilities, if I could just gather the nerves and tell her… but it’s too late. Too late to regret. I went out just as you did, hang out with my pals and had a great time. As you undoubtedly did I don’t even know how it happened or when it happened, but it did. It may have been that sip I took from the glass, the one I joked about not being strong enough, as the hours pass me by, I wonder am I? Am I strong enough? It may have been from that suggestion that we share that last drink, that we pass the liquid from one to another, because I was shy, but now I find I may be shy no more. In the end may be that’s what being shy is for… was for.
I got home, feeling a little tired, feeling spent. I retired, in anticipation of the hangover that would undoubtedly come. My last thought as I closed my eyes and drifted off, “I’m getting too old for this shit”. Now I don’t know whether I was right, whether my assessment was spot on, I will never know.
I woke up bathed in sweat, with joints hurting in ways suggestive. I should have known, perhaps I did, but denial was so close, I reached out and it’s the course I took.
I called up the boda-boda guy, told him I needed to go to the clinic, asked him whether he knew where it was. He had a rough idea. Good man.
I presented my health insurance card to the lady at the reception, she took it from me, with her gloves, she appraised it. She looked at me, didn’t seem to think I was a threat, asked me to go to the waiting area. I did.
I pulled out my book, the novel I’d got from my friend because I hadn’t read for ages and because I hoped it would inspire me. Inspire me to go on, to fulfill the promise I’d made not too long ago when I’d been inspired.
My chest hurt a little, but I figured it was a cough, my sister had only just recently recovered from one, it only made sense that I should have one. The waiting area was empty, may be because it was too early, may be because people didn’t want to take any chances. In the corner, looking at me, a mother and her child, on the chair next to mine; a grandfather type with his impatient son. Once or twice I’d catch the glance of a nurse, pretty and brown and I’d smile. Then I’d realise the futility of it all, she’d know what I’ve got and her assessment would not favour me.
I buried my head in the story I was reading, my thoughts with me. Then the doctor called out my name. Seemed pleasant enough. I started to pack my book in the bag when my reality and my denial came crashing into each other. All it took was a drop, one drop of blood as my nose let it out and the truth hit me as more flowed. Hit me so hard I was blinded to the panic around me. I didn’t see the mother grab her daughter and run. Was deafened. Didn’t hear the son shout out that they should go, didn’t hear the little girl scream.
It all happened so fast, I am now in a ward, isolated, alone and abandoned. I see my family. But there’s a glass between us. They daren’t come in. I don’t blame them. But that they are here means a lot to me, makes me wish I could fight harder. Be stronger. But its too late. I’m not alone in here. Some are far worse than I am, closer to meeting their maker than I, but in the end we will meet. We shall compare notes, wonder how it happened. For now I feel a tinge, a tinge of remorse. Dreams not fulfilled, hopes not achieved. So much left unsaid. If I’d be allowed a moment, a few seconds to make good I would. Lord knows I would. I’d say I’m sorry, say I was wrong, say I loved you. If I had the chance I’d say it all, but now I can’t and to think, yesterday, I was just like you.