Waking up, the first conscious breath of the day drawn painfully through cracked lips, rolling over to silence the alarm, wincing as joints creak and twist. Eyes closed, the lids barriers against the World outside, protecting the senses from the onslaught that comes every day, all day, overwhelming and shattering, splintering the already fractured mind that sits behind the eyes. The brutalising reality of the combination of physical pain and mental torment, never a possibility or respite, no option to relieve the ongoing suffering.
“If I was a dog they’d have put me down years ago! I’m fit for nothing and I can’t remember the last time I found any pleasure in a new day. If I had the strength and resolve I’d do it my bloody self but I couldn’t even get that right! I’m finished, done, I can’t go on like this….”
The girl sighed, her eyes heavy with lack of sleep, moistened by tears that had long ago stopped falling. She looked up from the chair she had spent the night sitting in at the older mans bedside ;
“Come on Dad, don’t be like that, the snookers on later, you like the snooker!”
She tried to force the smile on her lips into something other than a rictus of pain but she struggled to remember the last time she smiled for real. A moments weakness allowed her mind to voice the thoughts she fought against every time they had this conversation.
‘Maybe he’s right. Maybe he would be happier if he could just slip away, get some rest finally, get some relief from his pain… Oh my God, what am I doing? How can I be thinking these things? How can I be wishing him dead?’
She tried again to force the smile, her cheeks painful with the effort as blinking back the tears she looked at him again and said quietly ;
“Come on, let’s get you washed and dressed and you’ll start feeling a bit more human. You know the mornings are always worse…”
“I know, I swear its, getting worse though..”
“I know, but we’ll find a way, we always do.”
she pauses for a moment….
“I love you Dad”