An extreme sense of boredom has lead me to record myself reading this out. Yes, I know it’s an added torture for the poor souls who decided to read this. Deal with it.
There were only a few twenty pence coins left. I had promised to light at least five. She liked the small pool of wax it became after burning the wick down. This was the least I could do for her. I wanted to be beside her all the time, it never got tiring in situations like these. Although, it looked like I’d have to pick up a few more shifts if I wanted to pay the rent, bills and still give her the adequate treatment. She deserved more than I could give her. I knew I had to do this, it wasn’t as if she would be with me forever. Then again, it didn’t take much to keep her happy. These candles made her happy. So, did the lilies.
I only used to come here on Sundays; even then it was only to keep her company. I saved up the stray coppers now, just to make sure I had enough. It was a ritual. I didn’t know how long it would last. I was afraid that once I lit the candles, everything would end there. As I ran out of the church every night, I prayed to every supreme being I knew to keep her smiling and waiting for me at the bed. This was often followed by a quick slap to remind me that the bed was not where I wanted her to be. I wondered if all this was because of the Sundays I missed. Were they punishing her, instead of me? It probably wasn’t a good way to turn me towards the light. I still went there, of my own accord. I would do anything. We only had each other.
My nights were filled with the sounds of vials clashing against each other. I never knew if the sounds were my own sweat slithering down this clammy body or if it was just blood red viscous liquid seeping through those tubes into her. She had been like this for quite a few months now. It was spreading, killing one cell at a time. I wasn’t too impressed with the lack of hope I saw in some the doctor’s eyes. I didn’t ask too much of them, I just wanted her back to the way she was. She had only been deteriorating ever since she got here. They would not even let her go out. They tip-toed around her, as if she was about to leave us any moment now. However, as soon as I asked if I could take her out, they shouted down their protests claiming it would be too much for her. They were stifling her in there. She did not say a word.
The silence killed my mind. I wanted someone to talk to me. I wanted them to reassure me. She hadn’t said a word since they broke it to her that she didn’t have long. They had asked her to stay strong, as if that was under her control. This was two weeks ago. Her eyes looked vacant when no one was around. She still had a book at hand. It seemed to be the only thing that hadn’t changed. As soon as she saw me, her eyes struggled to conjure up that old shine. Her coarse fingers ran along my wax dipped palms. A smile flickered along her face, they gave me hope. I lit more candles than usual the next night. I knew they would change something. I even mumbled the prayers written on the plaque. It was rather chilly. I knew I had to see her immediately.
There was something about the streets tonight. Everyone seemed to give way for me. I knew what I had to do. If they were so sure that she didn’t have long to live, they shouldn’t waste their precious time doing nothing. I knew that she’d hate to spend her last days in such a sterile environment. I would get her out of there. I would rescue my damsel. She had a penchant for Wodehouse. I could pick up the book for her later tomorrow. They were selling the last buds of the day at the station. This was how I should do this, I guess. Clutching the wilting lilies, I ran along the quiet corridors. The doctor looked like he wanted to stop me. I rushed past him. Though, there wasn’t anyone waiting. There was no smile awaiting my visit. The table lay bare, not even the book was there. My world was slowly crumbling. I felt a warm palm on my shoulder. There was an apology. I had not been given enough time to prepare. I couldn’t even turn. It was all turning into a clear wall of white. I dropped the lilies, stems still covered in wax.