by Roger Noons
strong black coffee
Unlike in one of my stories, I couldn’t find a way to end it. Day after day, I sat, watching her lying still beneath blanket on top of blanket. Eyes closed; no response to sound or smell. An occasional spasm tempting me to believe she might wake and I could tell her I loved her and say farewell. Remembering that the last sense to leave is hearing, I sang to her. Every hymn I could recall from times when I was young and she was strong; my heroine.
I knelt, grasped the pillow and laid it flat, whispered goodbye, but found I lacked the courage to cover either my mouth or hers, so resumed my watching.
The following day, I was in the bathroom shaving when I heard the telephone. ‘Hello?’
‘Heidi here Raymond, it’s over. Your mum’s gone, just after four o’ clock. I’ve rung the Funeral Director.’
‘Oh, thank you. I’ll call in later.’
‘When it suits you, there’s no rush.’
As I walked back upstairs I wept. Not for the death of a ninety nine year old woman, but for myself. That I’d ever contemplated doing what only God should do.
About the author
Roger has had more than 100 pieces posted on Cafe Lit as well as inclusion in The Best Of volumes. He is currently busy giving readings from his book Slimline Tales, published by Chapeltown Books.