The Thin White Line

A crack in the curtains allowed a sliver of light to penetrate the otherwise dark room. A pair of eyes followed the illumination to its final destination, a threadbare crumpled bedspread.

Eugene could not gather his thoughts. The scene was baffling to his ever increasingly befuddled mind. Nothing made sense anymore even the primitive emotions that swelled up from the deep recesses of his once productive brain.

Fear, frustration and anger surfaced now and again with no meaning or substance to connect too. They were just there hanging like the Sword of Damocles over his increasingly lifeless soul. The fine thread would soon break; whether he lived or died, it mattered not to him.

A fly walking up the wall, an inexplicable mystery. The dots didn’t connect, the picture was incomplete.

The door opened slowly, Rosemary’s head appeared along its edge.

“Hello, my dear, I hope I’m not disturbing you. I’ve brought you some of your favourite cup cakes, you know, the ones you love so much.”

Eugene’s expressionless face didn’t change. It didn’t show any acknowledgement to the woman he had been married to for almost 50 years.The face and the voice meant nothing. He momentarily gazed into that face, but the flame of recognition did not flicker.

Rosemary for her part found it difficult to let go of this man. She was determined to remain stoic and show her love until the bitter end. What she could see still belonged to her. It was still her Eugene, the man she raised 3 beautiful children with. The man who supported her throughout life’s roller coaster journey.

Yes, it was still him even though deep down she knew his earthly connection with reality was now lost forever. His body no longer held the memories, his heart grasped no secrets they had once shared. She alone held the key now. He could never again open that door.

Rosemary sat next to him on the bed and held his long bony hand in hers. Stroking his fingers, she talked incessantly for the next half hour, not pausing for a reply that was never going to come. It was as much to do with her own sanity as anything else. He was lost, but she still lived in a world of memories.

“How cruel; what was the point of all this,” she thought.

A tear rolled down her cheek as it had often done during the last few long years. Wiping her face dry, she whispered into his ear.

“ See you next week my dear. Same time, I’ll be here.”

Eugene stared blankly at that thinning slither of sunlight progressing up the wall.



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