Sickness

Aunty had us pull up chairs around her
bed. I sat down woodenly, gazing lovingly
into her animated eyes. Aunty nattered
freely about life on the ward. She’d woken
the night before. The nurses were mostly
angels. The doctor hadn’t done his
rounds yet, so she was in the dark about
her recovery. Aunty couldn’t remember
much about her illness. It had crept upon
her stealthily. One moment she was
bouncing, the next she was stricken with
a high fever. After that she remembered
nothing. Aunty interrogated Uncle gently
about events. When Uncle wasn’t able to
rouse her, he’d called for an ambulance.
Aunty was rushed to intensive care
immediately. Her coma had dragged on
for over a fortnight. Aunty was quiet,
appeased. She seemed to be calculating
the days, to make sure everything tallied.
For a moment we were all silent. Then the
chief consultant and a group of young
students marched in.

Author: Robert James Berry

Poet & Novelist

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