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  • Writer's pictureArlette Ferber

Like the moon we all have our dark side. Rumi

Updated: Mar 8, 2021

The IV drips day and night. I can barely move that arm because the needle is in my elbow fold. There was no other way because there was again no suitable vein to be found. Every few hours the alarm goes off and a new IV is connected. Sleeping is difficult. The pneumonia makes me short of breath and I have a fever. I don't realize how serious it is.

The city is alive outside, it knows no day or night. You get used to that, it becomes a buzz in the background. Awake and staring into the dark, I hear voices approaching under my window. It seems like a man and a woman. They laugh loudly, talk more softly and I can't understand what is being said. Unfortunately. They disappear, it becomes quieter again. My door is half open, the light from the corridor makes a narrow line. A funnel that makes the hospital buzz with alarm bells, running caregivers and sometimes screams of pain, flooding into my room. Suddenly those voices are there again, but now much softer, almost discreetly. As agreed doctor, says the night nurse and she winks at him. The footsteps come closer and almost stop at my door. For a moment I get scared, it doesn't feel right. The door to the room next to me opens gently and closes softly. It remains quiet, I am listening. This is very strange. A doctor who takes a woman, probably not his, to an hospital ? Yes, why actually? Making love in an infirmary seems far from romantic, but I can't think of any other reason. But it's not a brothel here, is it? It remains quiet and although I have become curious by now, I do slumber away. Fight. It sounds like a fight when I wake up from their noise. The doctor is screaming, the woman is crying. Then again soothing sounds, but the altercation continues. There is no end to it. Can't they just have sex? That bothers less. My thoughts spin in my tired head. Compassion and annoyance alternate with the pace of their disagreement.

Silence. The night nurse approaches with quick springy steps. Something is put on the floor in front of the door, it rattles a bit. It sounds like metal. Instruments? And she's gone again. The door opens and closes quickly, whatever it was is now gone. All that mystery doesn't agree with the clean, tightly organized reality around my bed of the past few days. Stumbling, a chair leg? scrapes the floor. Even more curious, I would like to get out of bed and have a look in the hallway. I'm stuck, that won't work. With my eyes closed and longing for sleep, I wait. Nothing, nothing at all. A compelling male voice calls out something unintelligible. The night nurse runs down the hall. A muffled cry pierces the wall. I'm afraid. It is not safe here. It feels like a prison where keys are rattled. Where you get hit if you don't cooperate. I haven't seen anything, but I know it's not right. Eventually the nurse goes back to her office and it remains quiet. I still fall asleep anyway.

Loud footsteps wake me up, that's a man running away. I know that for sure. Will he be back? Is he leaving her wading in her pain now? A degenerate doctor, but also a depraved lover. I still have no doubt that he is her lover.

Noisy chatter again, this time from two women. But it comes from the other direction. Suddenly, in their cleaning uniforms, they appear in my doorway. There is a whisper and it is meant for me. “You didn't see or hear anything last night, nothing happened. You keep silent ”. They disappear and it is quiet again. The light fades to half darkness. The adrenaline rushes through my body. I want to run, but I'm a prisoner. Tears drip to my pillowcase, my heart is in my throat. Helplessness predominates. And then I see it.

Enveloped in radiant light two angels shuffle past, praying while they walk. In their arms is the unborn child. Hallelujah, they sing softly, we gather up all lost souls that wander the earth. Together we shall find a heavenly home. That night they were the angels on duty.

And I? I didn’t say anything.

Copyright © Arlette Ferber. All rights reserved.

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