Writing by Alisi Falevai // Photograph by Alina Autumn
She was cold under my fingertips, and it’s all I could do to not wish I was curled up around her, like my bad days when I needed her most. Sheets pulled up to her shoulders, pilled pyjamas peeking out from beneath. Flowers sourced by the nurses laid on her chest.
But it doesn’t seem so real, now. I empathize with myself; I think, “I’m sorry you had to go through that.”
I’m driving in the car with my housemate, and she tells me about a boy her brother played footy with. She tells me that he passed away in his sleep and his parents found him the next morning. She talks about how awful it must have been for them to think about how long he’d been lying there, dead.
My throat closes up as I remember the nights and days I spent focused on that question. How long were you lying there? How long were you alone? Why couldn’t I have just been there? The doctor told my aunt that the nurse had been in around 2 am to help her use the bathroom. I think about how much difficulty she had, and wonder why I didn’t know what was coming. I’m angry and in pain, and it can’t surpass the guilt.
I lie awake at 2 am and think of her. I think of the letter I found saved on her computer, detailing how well she knew me. I think of how no one will ever know me that well again.[share]