The days that remained
Armed with a flashlight I walked into every room in my nightshift. But in one room I stayed a little longer then in the other rooms. I came into the room very quietly. With a big smile on his face he laid there waiting. Two big, wide open eyes looking at me.It was time again. Like always a prank had to be pulled. This time for the ones who had the early shift. It was getting more difficult to think about another joke to pull but with our sick minds, we knew we would pull it off again. He had fun already, just by thinking of it.
Alex was 19 years old. He had a degenerative brain disease. He knew he wouldn't be on this earth for a long time, maybe he could make it till 21, but just maybe. His body was overwhelmed by spasms, he couldn't talk anymore. But the look in his eyes told a lot. It told us when he was sad, when he was angry. Especially angry, also caused by the disease he had and because he knew he couldn't stop his uncontrolled movements of his arms and legs, he knew he couldn't control anything. Sometimes he just wanted to sit in a corner of the hallways, didn't want to listen to any one, and didn't want to see anybody.
His parents never came to visit, because they weren't there anymore. His mother died of the same disease and his father couldn't cope with that and with the knowledge that he would see his son die too. He committed suicide. We were everything he had; we were his friends and family, his caretakers.
A hoarse noise escaped from his mouth. That was Alex laughing while we started to prepare for round one. First I removed the sweat that's appeared on his head because of all of the tension. One moment he got angry because his arms moved when he didn't wanted to, but he started smiling again when I told him he'd better do that when head nurse came to see him. He didn't like her for a bit.
Last time we dressed Alex up like a woman. Dressed in a nightgown with little flowers on it and with some make - up on his face, he waited for the others to arrive and take care of him. This time we added something. He wanted to have a period. So we took some women's bandage and put it in his diper. Colored it with a red marker and added a note saying; "Thank God I have my period"
His eyes got a devilish look. He liked it so much to joke others around, but he never could do it on his own. After a few hours of laughing sounds, he became quieter. At least till the others arrived.
By his looks they knew that something was going to happen, but except for the nightgown, they didn't see anything. And they started to wash him up.
Like an elephant in mating season he started laughing when they removed his diaper. His arms jumped into the air and tears came down his cheeks when they found the note with the red bandage. His legs got out of control; and as an act du presence, he started peeing straight up, almost in the face of the other nurse.
Half a year later, Alex was quiet, relaxed. No more hoarse noises, no more movements he couldn't control and a smile on his face. He found his peace.
Alex had a terminal disease, but with a little help, he could make fun in the remaining days of his life.