The sad man


 
It’s nearly that time of day again and the shine is bright in my eyes. I move, carefully, expecting any moment now for him to arrive. Slow, I shift and avoid the bright way it comes in the window.

The door bangs three times and he’s here, a big smile and a hug. He brought me flowers again, which is happy, because they are my nicest ones. 

How have you been?”

His face is concerned now, and his eyes look wet. No, he rubs them; it’s okay. I beam back and tell him  
“Fine – can’t complain”

He doesn’t smile.

He has lovely eyes – a deep shade of water, round with thick, dark lashes. He looks like he wants to look through me. Always staring. I smile a lot for him because when I do he seems less anxious. 

He sits down on the chair and looks about him expectantly, then opens his mouth to say to me, then stops. I wonder if I should start but cannot think of a thing to say. I don’t tell him about the…no, he doesn’t need to know. I wouldn’t want to tell a stranger that.

“Did you get that leg seen to?”

I scowl at the nice man. How does he should know? I want to know who said something. They may not! Not without my saying. I feel angry. I see him look worried and he should – I’ll find out who did this.

He pats my hand like I’m a child and I snatch it away, still upset. He leaves.

I hear voices outside the door and turn away to look towards the bright pouring in, to see the blue there. It is nice.

I hear them in the cupboards again. Always there, whispering. I wish they’d leave. I told a girl once and she said no-one was there, but I hear them – I know better, and they’re back. Even the company of the sad man is better than being left alone again with those creatures. They eat my food and crawl over me as I sleep.

A dry, stifled sob escapes my lips. Where is he?

He returns eventually. And I am better.

“The nurse said your leg’s doing well. That’s good news isn’t it?”

It was the nurse? Which nurse? Why is there a nurse here? That doesn’t help me at all. I sigh and he puts an arm around me. I sigh more because I want him to get off – he is taking liberties. He smiles and kisses my cheek, so I push him. Not big, but push him. He is too close.

“There’s no need for that! Don’t push me away!”

My mind is still rattling round on the nurse so I ignore him. He slumps and out of the corner of my eye, the wetness in his eye is returned. But he wipes it with a slip of white, and musters himself together. He shows me a photograph of two strangers – his children? One has a baby on her knee and the other is waving to the camera. I smile appeasingly and he seems to relax.

He talks on and on, the words getting lost in the sounds of his voice. Every now and again he pauses and looks at me – my cue to smile and nod, then he goes on. His voice sounds sad and I can never imagine what’s troubling him, especially if the young ones in his photo are his children – what lovely children!

I reach for the photo again and look at the smiling young women. He stops talking, then starts with excitement in his voice, pointing at the picture and grinning at me, jabbering away like a zoo animal.

I catch the tail end of something he says, the words coming into clarity for a moment:
“…recognised her? She looks so much like you did when you were younger, Mum.”

I am annoyed again now; because that’s not my name.
 This was a ‘Making You Feel‘ post
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12 thoughts on “The sad man

  1. *punches the air* YES! Thank you Sue. I'm so relieved that came through.

    I lost my paternal grandmother to Alzheimer's, and my maternal grandmother is currently succumbing to it…I've had a painfully close look at it. And it's another of those thorny topics not talked enough about.

    Like

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