Kissed by a Ghost on the Bed
When he laughed and coughed her eyes got teary and her mind was lost. The forced air from the floor vents would flutter the edges of the blanket thrown over his brittle wasted body.
Life for him as she learned from these last few days sunk to rock bottom. It was very difficult for her, but she tried to rationalize, talk herself into letting go, but instead she agonized.
She slumped into a chair by the bed arms folded across her chest, forgetting for a moment about the cancer that circled the room like a bird of prey.
On March 18th the cancer cells massacred the good cells. That put an end to the daily fighting. Life was nearly over, and sadly there was going to be peace. No happiness, only calm.
The past few months leading up to the 18th she dedicated herself to taking care of her husband. She made him his favorite breakfast in the morning, helped him in and out of bed. She made sure he took his medications, washed his badly soiled clothes and read some stories to him in the afternoon. When he became totally bedridden, she turned him on his side every hour so he wouldn't get bed sores.
It was tiring and she was exhausted. That night of the 18th was haunting as she drifted off to sleep. In her sleep she saw a dead body by the door. Then she saw a young man in dark clothes dangling from the end of a rope tied to a branch outside the bedroom window. His face was puffy and blue. Then she saw people walk by like mourners, but hardly anyone seem to notice the hung man. Then a ghost rode silently through the room and just vanished through the walls. Everywhere she looked, a haze of spirits covered the ceiling.
Cancer was still standing as the lone victor. The cure had the doors padlocked, the windows shattered, but oddly the glass remained intact. She sat in the bedroom by his side, but she felt like a stranger. She thought about all the things that mattered when they first met, they had seemed so important then, but not at all now. She shifted violently in her chair, and she woke up.
Just before midnight, he dragged his head off the pillow. He asked her to lean in and he gave her a kiss on each cheek. Then he closed his eyes for the final time. The sounds of crickets swelled in the gardens as she pushed back a loose curl of her hair and realized she was just kissed by a ghost on the bed...
© 2015 Frank Atanacio
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