The new life

I’m sitting with her again. If she could see me what would she think?

You’ve let yourself go. You could do with a holiday. She’d tell me to look after myself.

But she can’t say it. The doctors say she sees nothing.

We wait for a miracle.

We wait as we have for the past two years.

But tonight I will say goodbye.

I will let this stop.


I will turn off the light.

I will shut the door.

I hold her cool crepe-paper hand.

A twitch.

Her eyes flicker.

Her head lolls towards me.

She smiles.

I remove my hand and kiss her forehead.

I think of Therese waiting for me in the carpark, our bags packed.

Our new life.

I stop at the nurse’s station. ‘Look in on her for me before…’

The duty nurse rounds the corner of her counter to embrace me.

Tears fall between us.

The lift bell rings. In a moment I’ll be travelling down.

Travelling away.


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