While Daniel lay in his deathbed, Angelica sat next to him holding his soft, tender hands. He tried to speak but only half words escaped his dry mouth. She placed a cold, wet face cloth to his mouth so that he could suck in the water. Occasionally, his chestnut brown eyes would look into hers and then they would roll back to the top of his head. For a few minutes he remained in a comatose state. When he regained consciousness, he looked at her and again tried to speak but she couldn’t make out what Daniel was trying to say.
With every laborious breath, he continued his fight against the grasp of death. Once more he looked at her and this time he was speaking to her with his eyes. “I love you. Please forgive me. I don’t want to leave you.”
Angelica's mother once told her that the dying seeks permission, to go. Could this be an old wive’s tale?
Painfully watching Daniel struggle, Angelica lay next to him and held him close to her. She kissed his lips and whispered, “it’s okay, you can leave. Your daughter’s waiting for you.” Then she heard the death rattle. The sudden blood pouring from the side of his mouth horrified her. That, she wasn’t expecting. Taking the sleeve of her purple cotton blouse, Angelica leaned over and wiped the blood off his mouth. It wasn’t until she removed her hand, that she noticed her fingertips were soaked blood. Without thought, she put her fingers to her lips and licked it off. Sitting at edge of the bed, she heard the sound of silence. “Ah, this is what is meant by the term ‘dead silence’.
Looking about the bedroom, she noticed that it had taken a dark form and this darkness seemed to have enveloped her.
The silence and the darkness was more than she could bear. She slid out of their bed and walked into the kitchen, put on the pot of coffee; went into the living room and turned the T.V. on. The news broadcast indicated that it was past 11:00pm.
Next, she slipped out her clothes, went into the bathroom and ran the bath water. While the water was running, she reached for the bottle of bubble bath and poured it into the tub.
She waited till the tub was half full and then she slid in, grabbed the facecloth and squeezed the foamy water onto her breast. She leaned her head back into the water until she could feel her hair float through the bubbles. Once her hair was wet, she sat up and scrubbed it. While washing her hair, the tips of her fingers seemed to have penetrated through her scalp and it felt like she was scrambling her brain. This horrid feeling made her pause. Suddenly she heard the sound of her own primal scream.
Screaming and wailing away, all sense of time was lost, but once she felt the chill of the bath water, her senses quickly returned.
Angelica stepped out of the bathtub, toweled herself dry and reached for her terrycloth bathrobe.
Feeling warm and refreshed, she went back into the kitchen and noticed the orange light of the coffee maker was on. She poured herself a cup of coffee, turned the radio station to classical music, lit a cigarette and sat down and took a sip.
During her entire twenty-eight years, she never experienced death. She knew she had to go on, but how? She sprung up from her seat and stormed into the bedroom, and found herself yelling at Daniel.
“You fucking bastard! Why did you have to do that? Why did you have to leave? And am I supposed to mourn over you? It wasn’t my fault that Cynthia was born brain dead. Perhaps that was a sign that she had taken after you! And it wasn’t my fault that I had to have a hysterectomy. I could have bled to death, but did you care? Did you ever once stop to think how I felt? How blowing my one and only chance to give birth affected me? Ever? No! You selfish fucking bastard! You cried in your beer and only thought about your own loss. And how do you think you made me feel when you stopped having sex with me? The fault was all mine, wasn’t it? I was no good. I wasn’t woman enough to bear you a child! You could have done us both a favour and admitted our marriage was over. But you were too much of a damn coward to do that! Christ! You make me sick!”
She then sat down at the edge of the bed and glanced at her husband.. There he laid, stone,cold. “I know you can hear me, you bastard! But, you’re no different dead than you were alive. You always turned a deaf ear to me and now you’re doing the same thing! You’re just as useless now as you were then!”
Where did all this venom come from? She thought she loved him. These mixed emotions were driving her over the edge. She knew she needed to get a hold of herself.
“Is there someone I could call? Anyone that would understand?” She reached for the phone and begun dialing her mom’s number. After the third ring, her mother answered. “Hello. Hello? Anybody there?” Angelica hung up. How could she tell her about the night’s event? How could she tell anyone?” She took a few deep breaths and remembered her friend Jude. She tried to remember what it was he said to her the last time they had a drink at the Black Crow. “Babe, I’d marry you if you weren’t for the fact that you’re already married.” That’s it! Jude! He loves me. I can tell him everything. I know he’s been in love with me since the day we met.”
She went back into the bathroom and took out her make up kit. She started with the foundation. Once that was applied, she put on the blush, the eye shadow, mascara and the black eyeliner. She raced back into the bedroom and ripped through her closet looking for something to wear. “Where’s my fucking jeans?” She found them amongst the wrack of clothes. Once she was in her jeans, she went to her dresser, opened the second drawer and pulled out her black, cotton, turtleneck sweater. In the corner of the bedroom, she noticed her knee high black leather boots. She grabbed them, sat at the edge of the bed and put them on. She stood up andglanced herself at the full-length mirror. “Yes, this will do, but I still need my lipstick. Where the hell’s my lipstick?” She ran back into the living room and found her purse, opened it and drew up the lipstick. She put it on and then grabbed her black biker jacket and ran out of the house.
As she was feverishly running down the street, she spotted a yellow taxi. She hollered at the driver to pull over. The cab driver made a u-turn and stopped at her feet. She opened the back door and said, “42 Southdale Heights, And fast! Please, I need to get there quickly!” The driver looked into his rear view mirror. “Okay, lady, we’ll be there in no time.” “Do you mind if I smoke?” she asked. “No. Not at all. Not as long as you give me one too.” “Sure.” Angelica pulled out a cigarette and handed it to him. The drive to Jude's took less than ten minutes, but it seemed almost eternal.. She gave the driver a twenty dollar bill and hurried out. She was standing in front of Jude’s house. The lights were off. She prayed he would be home. She ran up the walkway and up the three steps, which led to the front porch. She tried the door but it wouldn’t open. She banged loud and hard. Still, no answer. Again, she banged harder and louder. Finally, Jude appeared. He was was in is black jeans but naked from the waist up. His long black hair was disheveled. He appeared bemused and puzzled.. He whispered, “Babe? What are you doing here? Have you any idea as to what time it is? Angelica starred at him, “Jude! The deed! I did the deed! Daniel. He’s dead.” “Daniel? Dead? Gosh! What deed are you talking about? I don’t know anything about any deed! ” Jude!? You told me you’d marry me if it weren’t for Daniel! Remember? You promised! And remember, you declared that you absolutely and totally loved me! “Listen, Angelica. I don’t know what planet your from, but I think you’d better leave.” He slammed the door and bolted it. She stood there motionless. Then she heard a women’s voice ask, “Honey, who was that?” Jude turned to Donna and said, “I don’t know. Must be some kind of a nut. Jude grab her hand and leading her back into the bedroom, asked, " Now, where were we before we were so rudely interrupted?"