What We Need

Her eyes; once as vibrant as a jungle canopy, were glassed over, their energetic sparkle long gone. Her skin was as wrinkled as a dried raisin, shrivelled and lifeless. The veins beneath the skin were bulging like a frog’s eyes. Pete stared at them, hoping they would throb strongly once more, like they always used to. She still had a slightly pained smile attached to her slightly pained face, dry lips parted from the last words, only words she still had to say: “I’m sorry.”
Pete and Jamie were perched by the side of Joanne’s immaculate hospital bed. They looked at each other, not talking, not sure what to say. “Why is she sorry?” Jamie whispered, trying to restrain himself from sobbing heartily.
“I’m not sure.” Pete replied, floods of tears preventing him from speaking clearly. “I loved Joanne so much. She’s gone.”

Pete and Joanne had been married for 60 blessed, happy years. They lived alone, supporting and comforting each other at times of illness or upset, although recently their doctor, Jamie, had been helping them. After developing cancer, Joanne had become as frail as a twig, and found life difficult to bear. Jamie couldn’t really do anything to help her, so he only really came to keep her company and reassure her about what was going on. She had become extremely close to him as a result of this, and told him everything. Pete didn’t like Jamie; mostly because he felt that he had taken his much loved wife away from him. In Pete’s mind, Jamie had stolen his best friend; his only friend.
Pete felt as if all the happiness he had once owned and cherished had been sucked out of him, rendering him miserable and unable to stop thinking about Joanne. The thought that he was next to suffer continually drifted into his ancient mind. Whoever laid their eyes upon him would think the same thing. His light grey hair was the texture of straw, and the lightest of tugs would pull it out, revealing more of his spotted scalp. He had pale blue eyes, glowing with intense wisdom from his years of observing and wondering. He wouldn’t, couldn’t, bear himself to think about moving into a care home, although he knew it was inevitable that it was his only option.

Pete stared blankly at his patterned wall, burying himself in questions he knew no one could bring themselves to answer. “What point is there to life without having someone enjoy it with?” he asked himself solemnly, his bushy eyebrows furrowing with thought. He lay down on his bed, and smiled as he remembered the better times, when he and Joanne were young and carefree. He walked over to his clock, and twisted back the hands, wishing he was twisting back the time.

“When I saw her leaving us, it was like my whole life, all I had ever worked for, had been snatched away from me. I wish she could be with me for one more day. Just one. I wish we were young again.”
“I understand. I’m sorry.” Jamie replied, his deep voice toned with respect and sympathy, touching Pete lightly on the arm to show a hint of affection.
“You wouldn’t understand! You’re thirty and not even married! You don’t even have a girlfriend! You have o idea how it feels to lose the one person left in your life!” Pete shouts, his voice trembling, eyes streaming with tears, fat index finger pointed in Jamie’s direction.
“Ok. I don’t completely understand then, but I have an idea. I feel sorry for you Pete. I know this may not be the best time to tell you, but there is something you have to know.”
“What?” Pete snapped violently.
“I know what Joanne’s last words meant. Thirty four years ago, Joanne had an affair.” Jamie said slowly and cautiously, waiting for an eruption from the broken-hearted old gentleman. His body tensed, preparing himself for what was to come next. His heart pounded strongly, so strongly is seemed all he could hear.
“She told you and not me?! And you had the cheek and the audacity to not tell me! How long have you known?!” Pete screamed, his voice rasping and hissing, sending a rainfall of saliva onto Jamie’s face. He looked like a rabid dog eating soap.
“Joanne didn’t want me to tell you, as she feared you would never forgive her. And about a year. I should have told you.” Jamie sheepishly replied, beads of sweat forming on his round forehead, clenching and unclenching his fists in turn.
“A year! Why did she tell you in the first place? And why would she put me through this!?!” Pete’s face was bright red, and Jamie almost laughed at the mental image of steam exploding from his ears.
“Again, I’m sorry but I don’t think she loved you to be honest. She told me in confidence that she had been unhappy and had met someone that she thought she could be more open to.” By this point, if Pete was younger, he would have leapt up and ripped every strand of blonde hair out from Jamie’s head and burned it. Instead, he went on a massive rant, using language I would never even consider repeating.
“I can’t believe this is happening! My wife dies, I found out she cheated on me, and now some idiot of a doctor tells me she didn’t love me? This is insane!”

Jamie eventually calmed the raging bull, and put him on anti-depressants. This was a bad idea however, although at the time it seemed appropriate.
That night, after a great deal of contemplating about what was wrong, what was right, and what was the best thing he could do, Pete made his decision. The last decision he could ever make. Pete had always thought of himself of a bit of a tough man, that nothing could hurt him. But since Joanne’s struggle, he had discovered that he really was only human. That night, Pete followed through with his plan. He overdosed on his prescribed drugs, and killed himself. Who could blame him? What is life without someone to share it with?

Jamie was obviously startled and disturbed by Pete’s suicide, and also changed for life. It helped him to become a better doctor, and taught him that the easy option was not always the best option; that he should have talked to Pete instead of giving him drugs . He learned that humans need someone to live alongside, and he experienced how easily we are affected by things from the past.

By MF, S2

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The Clock Chimed

Just the one today! I’ve got quite a few more to post, but such has been the reaction to the posts that the class have decided they want to do more editing on their stories before posting them for a wider audience. Expect a glut sometime next week! Thanks.

Image Credit: "Time Spiral" by gadl CC 2011 Attribution/Share-alike

The clock chimed midnight. Her cries of pain echoed through the house. Hours pass, the screams continue. Four thirty-five, the noises stop. All is silent. Then another cry comes into earshot, a softer higher cry.

Five years pass. Footsteps come bounding down the stairs. ‘’He’s going to be late!’’ Yells the mother. The normally quiet family home is chaos. Then through the mist of the disarray, a young boy came into view. Smartly dressed, tie done up tight, Shoes shiny as ice, he’s ready for his first day of big school.

Three years go by. Smack! The boys fist impacts with the youngster’s face. Two more hit in rapid succession. The child is floored instantly. All his body hurts, he can’t move. Pain shoots up his leg like runners from a block. He feels a foot hit his ribs, it winds him. Suddenly it stops. The minor could barely see for tears. He makes out the figure of his teacher Mrs Quinn. He can’t hold on any longer, he lets his head drop to the floor and closes his eyes.

He wakes up. His alarm is ringing. He leaps from his bed. ‘’Exams today’’ he thinks to himself. He’s enjoying fourth year. He drops down the stairs and slides out the door. He meets his friend Tony at the gate. Tony has been his friend since first year. He was tall and slim with black hair styled to Mohawk. They begin their walk to school.

Hip – hip – hooray! The merry cheers fill the every corner of the hall. Glasses clink, bottles open. The smell of food floats through the air. Tony walks over to the young man. They shake hands and hug. In a few weeks they will be leaving for universities at opposite ends of the country. They promise to keep in touch.

The music pumps through the night. Neighbours roll in their beds with pillows over their ears. Inside the house there is a youthful adult playing drinking games with his mates. He looks up. He is instantly sober. He knows what he has just seen will change his life forever. She glances towards him as she brushes her fringe behind her ear. He smiles the girl laughs and waves at him, he finishes his beer and swaggers over to her.

He’s nervous, She should have arrived by now. He peeks over his shoulder towards the door, he notices his best man looking rather uneasy, checking his shiny watch every second. There is a clink at the back of the room. All the guests turn their heads, the music begins to play. She has arrived. Her dress as white as snow, her dark hair flowing past her pale skin and blue eyes. She slowly treads towards him. She takes her place beside him, the vows begin.

He clears his desk into the cardboard box the receptionist gave to him. He is ready to say goodbye. The young trainees wave him goodbye. He gets outside and takes one last look at the place he has served for 40 years. He places his box in the passenger seat of his car and walks round to the driver’s side of the car puts the key in the ignition and drives away.

He slams the boot door shut and gets into the car. He sees his wife sitting next to him. He starts the car and sets off on their journey. They arrive at the airport, check in to their lounge and have a quick nap. The time comes for them to board their flight, they climb aboard. As the arrive they hug each other. They collect their luggage and wave down a taxi. It takes them to their apartment, the place they are going to spend the rest of their lives in.

Sirens blare, lights are flashing. The tears of his beloved wife roll down her face and on to his forehead. The paramedics rush in, she is torn from him. They gather round in a circle around him. One of them starts chest compressions, he counts loudly to thirty as he does them. The cries of the mans wife get louder and louder. Then the paramedics stop, the man doing the compressions takes a knee next to the limp body, he puts a finger on his throat, he shakes his head the paramedics leave. He is left alone, Peacefully where he lay.

The clock chimed midnight.

 

By JL(S2)

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The Familiar Stranger

I feel uncomfortable perched on the familiar ratty old couch. The faces from the pictures hanging on the wall, stare down on me. Judging and sceptical. The faces of a thousand different memories. I see my younger face, happier grinning out from the majority. Free from the lines of worry and fear brought on by the years of adulthood I have faced.

Looking around, I fidget nervously. A steely blue gaze is watching my every move. From the face of a withered old stranger, penetrating blue eyes gleamed, staring at me straight in the eye, as clear and bright as the sky. It was unnerving, how these eyes that held so much meaning, can be so cold and distant. Showing no recognition towards the face before them, simply searching and questioning. A face that those eyes should recognise, even if it had been years since they had seen it.

Twisting my hands, I clear my throat, unsure of what to say. The eyes turn from me, back on the food being gently shovelled towards her small mouth. The face of the man feeding her, she only seems to recognise slightly better than my own.

Growing stronger every second, I feel an overwhelming pity in the deep of my stomach. It brings a lump to my throat, and unbearable guilt spread through my chest.

“Dad? I’m so sorry.” It seems so little, unsatisfactory. My voice cracks and breaks, a sound similar to that of twigs snapping. My dad simply pauses in the act of preparing another spoonful, looking down. The grey eyes I inherited stare intently at his beige trousers. He sighed softly. Then, his grey eyes sparkling with tears, he raised his balding head to smile at me. It was a forced, yet gentle smile. It broke my heart. Made me wish I had done more. Stayed closer, given them the grandchildren they always wanted, the daughter in law they always dreamed for. I hadn’t given them any of these things, and this sudden recognition was like an aching weight across my chest.

Who would feed me when I no longer could? Who would dress me, make sure I was clean, well-cared for? My parents would be long gone, any sisters or brothers too busy with their own lives, much like myself, to help. I realised with growing certainty that without a partner, wife, I would die alone. I wondered how many people also awaited this fate. How many people lived and died without family, a partner, a sibling? And how many people had that absolute love, that trust that they could completely depend on that one person? Put your own life, totally and completely into the hands of another. I found it hard to comprehend, the amount my mother depends on my father to survive. Your family were there for the time when you couldn’t first look after yourself, but it is up to you to find someone who will look after you in the end.

I snapped out of my train of thought, this was not the time. I moved over to crouch beside my mother. She looked up in fear, still not recognising my face; her eyes still the only thing that gave me some comfort that this wasn’t a stranger lain out before me. I had tried to prepare myself for this on my way here. The way her disease would have changed her. The way it would have transformed her from the inspiring strong woman she was, into the terrified old lady she had become because of the dementia. Crouched down beside her, I reached out for her shaking waving hands and holding them within my own. My attempts to quieten her whimpers were lost as those eyes focused on mine, as grey as hers were blue. I saw it, the glimmers of recognition, before her face broke out into a surprisingly wide smile.

“Ross? Is that you?” her voice was weak and shaky, but you couldn’t mistake the underlying joy there. Or the tears glittering in her eyes, especially when one escaped and trickled down the hollow wrinkled cheeks. A grin spread across my own face, as well as a wash relief. I sighed happily, a breathy laugh escaping my dry mouth.

She remembered me.

We talked for about an hour, simply about the old days. After a while, she pulled me closer, to whisper in my ear.

“Albert, who is that old man sitting there staring? Do you know him, Albert?” my heart sank. She had called me by father’s name and didn’t recognise her own husband. I tried to explain, but she only got confused. After she started wailing — harsh croaky sounds escaping from her withered old mouth, tears streaming down her face, fear in her eyes — my father carried her to the bedroom. He softly murmured her name, Glenda, again and again. The pain and suffering was clear in his voice. It came to me, that he endured this everyday. He put his whole life behind him to care for the woman he loved when she didn’t even know him most of the time. It put another thought into my mind; is it worth it?

Why live like that? What purpose does it face? Living in such helplessness, with no independence, no opinion? Like a caged bird, with its wings clipped, unable to fly, or hunt for itself, it lives trapped within itself, dependant on the others to keep it alive. Is it my mothers choice, or would she rather end it, be at peace? Or is it my father keeping her alive, in the hope she will one day return to him, the Glenda he fell in love with? The woman who raised his children?  Would it not be easier, better, to live your life until you were unable to live it for yourself anymore? Is it wrong that there isn’t a way for the people living trapped in their own body, to escape peacefully? All this runs through my head at a hundred miles an hour, while I watch my father come back into the room closing the door behind him.

He sits down on the couch and begins to cry. Like I imagine he does every night. And as if I were the father and he the son, I begin to comfort him, while thoughts of right and wrong swirl around in my head.

I stood outside that night, the sun setting, the autumn leaves drifting down from the trees. I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t waste another second and I would do all the things I’d always dreamed before it was too late.

By EW (S2)

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As Long As We’re Together

It was now two-hundred and fifteen days since poor Liz suffered her stroke. I was on the golf-course when the lightning struck but moving quickly from the surrounding trees was not going to help this time, the news came just as fast as the lightning struck.

But the best thing I know is that I’ve got my wife beside me well or not.

As I spoon fed this mushy care-home food to Liz, I gazed into her eyes and realised although we can’t communicate with each other the same way we used to, I’m lucky to see my wife every day. I think about all the things we’ve done together. Out of the frail age scarred face lying before me, her eyes still beamed their fondness into my heart.

It was in the May of ’43 that she rushed into the tent, I was in agony but when I saw Liz’s face she provided me with reassurance I was going to be O.K I don’t know where this reassurance came from. Then I realised I’m in love with this woman.

All of a sudden Liz started shouting “Help, I’m sore!” Then she passed out. I panicked; I didn’t know what to do. I shouted as loud as I could but with my croaky, old voice this wasn’t heard. Then the penny dropped, there’s an emergency cord in the bathroom.

Ambulance

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I pulled the cord at least five times. Then I rushed over to Liz and held her hand. A small carer walked in with no urgency and asked

“What’s wrong?”

“I think she passed out” I cried.

“Don’t worry, I’ll go and get matron” she said calmly.

“Please be quick” I pleaded.

‘Matron’ came rushing to Liz. She tried to wake Liz up by saying hello gradually getting louder and louder. She wasn’t succeeding. I could tell by her voice she was panicking. She now tried to open Liz’s eye-lids they just closed. “I’ll have to call 999” she asserted.

I didn’t have time to say a word, she was straight on the phone asking for ambulance services. Before I knew it I saw flashing lights outside the window. Three paramedics moved quickly to Liz. They slid her onto a stretcher with great efficiency

“Is she going to be O.K?” I panicked.

“Yes she’ll be fine” One paramedic said.

I thought you were going to say that.

“Can I come with you to be beside my wife?” I asked.

“I’m sorry sir, it’s only the person in need of the hospital allowed in the ambulance,” the same paramedic explained. They stretchered Liz out into the ambulance in just under a minute.

A thought came beaming down on me, what if she had another stroke? This could be life-threatening! Then I realized there is no point of predicting and getting myself worried.

I was in the hospital sitting outside the operating theatre, wondering the fate of my wife. After about half an hour (this half an hour feeling like two days and two nights) a doctor appeared from the operating theatre. He had a sad look on his face. I felt like a man falling from a cliff. It can’t! The doctor said I’m sorry to tell your wife could die. I did not say anything. When all hope was lost the doctor appeared again and said we’ve got fantastic news Mr. Jones. Your wife is responding and very much alive.

Then I thought I don’t care how ill she is along as I can look into her eyes and she can look into mine I’m the happiest man in the World.

Out of the frail age scarred face lying before me, her eyes still beamed their fondness into my heart.

By RH (S2)

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Sinner

  My hair twisted in the wind and raindrops ran down my body. The vest top I wore, clung to my body like a baby to it’s mother. I stared to the sky, the clouds were dark and moved slowly as the wind pushed them places they didn’t want to go. The rain pounded down hitting the ground at high speeds…or so it felt.

   The blood ran down my left arm, eventually dripping off. The water ran over the open wounds making them sting like when you get salt inside a paper cut.

   I was supposed to be back hours ago but my phone was switched off and out of battery. I probably would have had at least four missed calls of my Mother and Father but I couldn’t care less. I would go home when I wanted.

   I walked out the woods, sweeping my chestnut hair over my shoulder. I kicked the leaves up as I walked. I crossed the busy road, not caring to even look for cars. I heard the echo of a cars horn as it drove past and disappeared into the distance.

   As I entered my street I untied the jumper that was round my waist and slipped it on. I zipped the zipper up and made sure the sleeves were perfectly down so that my cuts were not visible.

   I looked up as the slight outline of my house appeared out the fog. I looked, was there two cars? I could see my Mum and Dads Volvo but who’s car was that? We weren’t expecting visitors…were we?

   What I saw as we got closer is what I had dreaded most, the car was a police car. What had I been caught for doing now? My heart pounded, and felt as if it would come right out my chest. The police had already been at our house speaking to me four times this year. My stomach started to feel as if it was floating, I’d heard of butterflies in my stomach but this was serious. I think I had butterflies in my stomach.

   The door shut quietly as I tried to come in unnoticed. My cat Ralph twisted in and out my legs nearly tripping me over, at this moment the hallway light went on. My Mother stared at me shaking her head. “Uh…hey…Mum?” I squeaked. She scowled and replied “I am so, so, so disappointed in you Kerry.” She aggressively motioned me to follow her through to the lounge.

   There I found a female police officer sitting down on our couch, Is at in the arm chair. “Right, hello Kerry. I am P.C Clark and I need you to answer these questions truthfully for me.” She tried to smile obviously to maker me more comfortable….it wasn’t working.

   “I’ll try…” I replied. She frowned at this making me feel awful. “Right, then. You were seen at Green Avenue at approximately nine thirty at night throwing bricks at a window? Is this right? All I need is a yes or no answer and you may leave.” I hesitated at answering this questions. My eye’s water, and my face started burning up. “Y-yes.” I looked down. After a few seconds I looked back up to look at my Mum and Dad. In unison they mouthed “Dirty sinner” at me. I felt rubbish, the Police Women said “You may leave Kerry, while you talk to your parents.”

   I slowly went up the stairs, I can’t believe my Mum called me a dirty sinner for the seventh time this week! My parents were full on Christians but you didn’t see other Christians doing that to they’re children.

   The court wasn’t to bad apart from being called a dirty sinner and us getting a three hundred pound fine things were okay. I also have to do community service for some old losers who live in the house that we were throwing stones at.

   I was so angry with my Mum though. I hated her. I hated her! She was so…so…it was so typical of her to call me a dirty sinner. As soon as we got in the house I charged up the stairs crying, there was only one way to take my anger out. I rammed open my dresser drawer taking out a sharp razor. I pressed it to my skin.

   The next morning I was woken by the word “GET UP!” from my Dad. My Dad worked away I didn’t see him much which was good in my books. I didn’t bother to go for a shower, for the fact my arm would sting like fire on skin and I wasn’t going anywhere special so what was the point. I shoved a hippy band on my head and rummaged around the floor for some clothes to wear. In the end I put on a red hoodie, blue skinny jeans and my red converse shoes.

   I skipped breakfast, my stomach gurgled as I grabbed my bag but I didn’t care. I didn’t even say bye as I left the house I just slammed the door so the would here me leaving.

   It was raining heavily, just like normal. When I got to the house I knocked on the door with a sharp knock. A small, plump man with a bald head answered the door. “Oh, hello dear. You must be Kerry, come in, come in. Let’s get you out this cold.” he said cheerfully. I replied “thanks.” I looked up at the strange light fittings, needing repaired on the ceiling. “I’ll take your jacket.” I smiled handing him it.

   At this point a small, frail, old women peered through a door which obviously lead to a living room. Her terrified beady eyes stared at me, hitting me like sharp needle. She had a small, round set of glasses perched on her nose and her white hair was tinted yellow from a previous or current smoking habit. When she caught my gaze she quickly disappeared back into the room.

   This is when the guilt poured in, how could I do this to someone. It was awful. They were so vulnerable. “Sorry, you caught us in the middle of feeding time. Mirium has a illness, she struggles to do things.

   I watched him feed her, I felt sorry for the both of them. I felt bad and I couldn’t do anything about it! Would this be everyone’s fate, being fed with a spoon, wearing a bib not being able to do anything yourself.

   The though twisted through my mind all afternoon, while Mirium told me about the “Old days.”

   The weeks past and I had gotten to know Mirium and Bill quite well, I was even staying longer than I needed to now. I loved them. Mirium looked up to me “Kerry.”

“Yes, Mirium?”

“You’re my best friend.” I didn’t know what to say so I just smiled at her, she knew I was happy and she carried on attempting to apply her lipstick. Blabbing on about the days she worked in theatre and about her daughter Summer.

   Bill said I didn’t need to go over this week because Mirium was in rest-bite. But she was coming back today so I decided I would go see them. When I arrived there was a cold gust of wind which seemed to give me a warning. I knew something was different. I knocked on the door. A small, top heavy women answered the door. I recognised her, I think she was from a photo Mirium had shown me. She had tears in her eyes which worried me.

   “Hey, is Mirium and Bill in.” The tears ran down her cheeks now, after a minute she looked up and whispered “Oh, you must be Kerry. I’m sorry, I’m Summer. My Mother past away last week, my father committed suicide due to his depression.”

   She closed the door. I fell to my knee’s. Tears streamed down my face. I was so confused. Mirium dead….bill dead. Bill had depression….he never mentioned it. But, he was so happy?

   I ran, I ran as fast as I could. Through the fields, this way I was free from everything. My mind blank focused on what was a head of me. I tripped over a rock, falling to the floor tears began to stream down my face again. I lay there, in that spot. I could have lay there forever. Or so it felt.

   The rain pounded against me, a puddle formed around me. I didn’t know how long it had been but I didn’t want to move, I might just have lay there forever.

Twenty Years Later

   I held the rose in my hand. I pressed the button marked open. The electronic gates opened with an eerie squeak. I walked right to the grave I knew oh to well. I opened my bag to take out my purse. I then out of that took rolled up money. I placed that and the rose down on the paved area at the front of the grave. “I still owe you this.” I blew a kiss as I walked away from the grave looking back it disappeared into the fog and the rain.

   It was still raining again, felt like it had been for the thirty five years I had lived. The rain seemed familiar, I know that sounds strange. But it was almost as if I knew it. As I walked to the car I knew where it was from… this was the rain from the day I met them.

By KM, S2.

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Old Woman

My heart sank; she just sat there in her chair in the corner of the room. I wanted to help her but what could I do? Nothing.

At that moment her husband returned from the kitchen. He looked tired, worn out. Was he coping? How could he handle doing this every day? Looking after her was the first thing he did in the morning and the last at night. Not once did I hear him complain. He shuffled over towards her, there was an old, dusty cassette player sitting on a shelf behind her chair. He flicked the switch and the sound of fiddles filled the room. He just stood and listened and I’m sure I saw the old lady smile. I remember they loved to dance but they were different people back then…

She started coughing; her husband reached out his hand and gently patted her on the back. It seemed like ages, as if she was coughing up her insides. Eventually, she stopped and everything was calm.

Once again she just sat in her chair but became more and more slouched by the minute. She looked so thin, so old, and so helpless. I could feel my eyes starting to fill and before I knew it there were tears running down my cheeks but I was determined not to show how I really felt. I didn’t want her to see me upset even though it was highly unlikely she knew who I was. To try and hide my tears resulted in looking over my left shoulder. Only then did I notice how many photographs she had on the wall. Each had their own frame and they were all equally dusty. Millions of memories started rushing around my head at a hundred miles per hour. So much had changed, very quickly.

I couldn’t help but think about how she must feel. Was she aware of what was going on or was her mind somewhere else? She was always so independent; she did things herself and hated having to ask others for help. Did she hate having to be looked after twenty four seven by her husband, the man who she has loved and respected for all these years or would she prefer a stranger who meant nothing to her? The question that keeps running through my mind, is she happy? I don’t know – she never says. She doesn’t look unhappy? She just looks distant. It killed me inside seeing her like this.

The last time I saw her was a good while back, she walked with a spring in her step now she can barely walk at all. She was always happy now she shows doesn’t show any emotion. She has a blank expression on her face. It hard to believe it’s the same person. Is this really what happens to everyone who grows old? This could me fifty years down the line? Her husband tries his hardest to keep their home the exact same way his wife had liked it. He felt it was his job to make sure their home was clean and that the window boxes and flower pots had no weeds in them, but he always missed bits.

Her husband stood up off the end of the couch, where he had been sitting for the past ten minutes. He had been reading the newspaper; this was probably the only rest he would have until he went to bed later in the evening. He placed his newspaper on the table and hobbled into the hall. Shortly after, I heard him thump as he walked up one stair at a time. He wasn’t very good on his feet, it must be incredibly hard for him, seeing his wife’s health deteriorating and not being able to stop it. Looking at a woman he’s known for years but isn’t recognised. It’s hard to describe how he must be feeling on the inside yet every day he puts on a brave face and a smile. He helped his wife day after day. It now looked like her soul wasn’t even there; she had lost her happy spirit. In a way she had lost her smile too. In fact it was like she wasn’t even there at all, – instead, a stranger.

It really made me think about how strong their relationship was. Yes they argued, but what other married coupled didn’t? They both used to be so full of life, always happy, and always laughing. Only now it was the opposite.  Her husband would spend the rest of their days together helping his wife, who he loved very much, do simple daily tasks. He needed a break – a rest. I wondered what would happen if it was the other way around, if he was ill and looked so lifeless and she had to look after him? What would she do in his position?  Would she think that he was making the right decision, would she approve? My mind trailed off… I was aware of more thumping as her husband slowly made his way down the stairs. I can vaguely remember playing on those stairs as a child. Her husband passed through the living-room where we were sitting and went into the kitchen.

I glanced round at her; she was just staring out of the window, watching the world go by. Of course there were other options, she could always go in a care home but that seemed so wrong? Like she was in a cage, trapped! The smell in those places wasn’t very pleasant. They smell of old people and tasteless food.

No, she was in the right place – her home. Her husband wanted to look after her, even though he looked so tired, deep down he was happy. Their vows to each other – in sickness and in health, till death do us part…

By RT, S2.

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Assisi

Some of our pupils have been creating their own Study Guides. Feel free to take a look at this one for Norman MacCaig’s poem Assisi…

Click on this link to download a copy: Pupil Created Study Guide to Assisi

Assisi by Rickydavid
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